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In a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson, Hope and Help for Parenting a Child with Special Needs, I had the opportunity to chat with Misty Phillip about maintaining hope during life’s challenges, such as parenting a special needs child. This is an issue that so many of my private practice patients have faced so I asked her to share more of her experience here.
There’s a Book Giveaway so be sure to read to the end!
5 Reminders for the Special Needs Parent
By Misty Phillip
We had no indication that there was anything wrong with our son before he was born. My Obstetrician only performed one ultrasound throughout my entire pregnancy. So, my husband and I were in complete shock to find out that our son was born with his feet upside-down and backward. This condition is known as club feet. I remember holding him, tenderly caressing him and thinking to myself how perfect he was.
Treatment would begin immediately to try and correct the position of his feet. This involved a series of casts placed on his feet and legs to alter their position. These treatments are performed gradually over the course of several weeks or months.
The hospital where I gave birth did not have a pediatric orthopedist on staff, so we consulted with the orthopedist on call who assured us he could take of him. But this doctor tried to correct his deformity in one casting and cast him so tight that he was losing circulation to his toes.
We found ourselves back at the hospital ER when Connor was a week old getting his casts cut off, and thus began a roller coaster ride of doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and sickness that lasted for many years.
In the first few years of Connor’s life, he had suck/sallow problems, 15 ear infections, multiple foot surgeries, battled the roto virus, RSV, encephalitis, and Grand Mal seizures.
All of this led to years of doctor appointments, specialist visits, hospital stays, and years of speech, physical, and occupational therapy. Including sound therapy, horse therapy, swim therapy, music therapy, and behavioral therapy.
Having a medically fragile child or one with disabilities can be quite challenging. Our son is now a young adult, and God has taught us so much through the trials we have experienced with him. Through it all, Connor has shown so much about life, love, and God.
Here are 5 Things to remember while parenting a child with special needs.
1. Our children are an incredible gift from God, and they give us a unique perspective on the world.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” – Psalm 127:3 ESV
All children are made in the image of God and are a blessing. Our special needs child helps us see the world from a different perspective. He is always so full of joy and loves unconditionally.
2. God has a purpose for the special needs child.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10 ESV
Our extraordinary child is God’s masterpiece uniquely created, yet in the image of God. These children have a calling on their life and were made for a purpose. We may not fully understand the reasons behind our child’s disability, but we can trust that God has a plan for their lives and that God uses them for good works in the Kingdom.
3. God doesn’t entrust his special children to just anyone.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
You were carefully chosen to shepherd this extraordinary child. You are their earthly advocate. They need you to pray for them, believe in them, and do everything you can to provide for them and give them the best possible life.
4. Don’t give up. Do not get discouraged. Fight the good fight.
“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” Galatians 6:9 TLB
Even though parenting a special kid is hard, hold on to hope that there is a blessing ahead. When the days get hard, take time out to care for yourself. Be kind to yourself. Self-care is essential for you to be able to care for your child. Make sure you find time to rest and rejuvenate yourself. By refueling yourself, you will have strength and energy to care for your child.
5.Find a supportive community.
“And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV
We are better together. Friendships are such a vital part of life. Find friends who will love you and your child well. We all need people that can pray for us and encourage us through the trials of life. Make sure you get plugged in somewhere.
Remember, wherever you are, God is with you, and you are never alone.
God is with us, and He is fighting our battles. We simply need to trust Him with our circumstances and with our child. Our children are His children, and He loves them more than we can imagine.”
About Misty Phillip
Misty Phillip is passionate about helping women overcome challenges in life by seeking Jesus, studying the Word and growing in grace.
Founder and host of the By His Grace Podcast, sought after speaker at MistyPhillip.com.
Misty is the author of The Struggle is Real: But So is God Bible Study.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Hope and Help for Parenting a Child with Special Needs, Misty Phillip is giving away a free copy of her book, The Struggle is Real: But So is God.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one new thing you learned from this post about parenting a child with special needs and you will be entered into a drawing to win a copy of Misty’s book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing. The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, November 18, 2019, here on this post. Continental United States only.
Other Resources for Special Needs Parenting:
- Trusting Our Children to Our Father’s Care
- 8 Simple Prayers to Pray Daily for Our Children
- No Labeling My Child
- Trouble Communication with My Child on the Autism Spectrum
- Does My Child Have Attention Problems?
- “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson
- “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award
- “Hope Prevails Bible Study” by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award