Grace Upon More Grace
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given
I am a wife.
I am a sister.
I am a daughter.
I am a mother.
Being a mother is one of my very favorite things. It is one of my hardest things that I do too.
When I got pregnant, it was a complete shock. You see about 3 years earlier my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were told the chances of conceiving might never be possible. We had only been married 4 years at the time. I thought our marriage journey would have us adopting children. Well, God had other plans and he blessed us with 2 children. Chelsea, who is now nearly 22, and Charlie, who is 15. By the time I got to the point of being pregnant I was having lots of anxiety because of my past fears and what I had walked through in my short life up to this point (in my 20's). Prior to that, I had just lost my dad about 1 year before. Losing my dad was truly the hardest thing I had tackled besides my husband's cancer just a year into our marriage. The pregnancy brought more anxiety for me knowing I was responsible for this baby I never thought I would have. She came in July 1995 with her auburn hair and blue eyes. She was perfect. I made it!
Then about 6 years later Charlie came. This pregnancy was better and I felt less anxiety since I had done it once before. I never took it for granted when I got pregnant with Charlie either. I was so grateful. Charlie started to have a high fever about 3 weeks after he was born. It turned out he was very sick and had to be hospitalized. He stayed in there a few days and then was ok. He kept having breathing problems, hospitalized again a couple more times over the years. He wasn't talking yet at age 1, 2, and now almost 3. He lined things up around the house like crazy. He was diagnosed with autism in 2004.
Up until this point, I quietly always questioned myself as a mother. I critiqued and questioned how I parented. With Charlie, it was more intense since he showed early so many problems. He wasn't the same as Chelsea. I prayed and prayed for God to help me each day.
I always knew about grace but not fully until I became a mother.
I mess up every day.
I am not perfect.
I make mistakes.
I am not patient at times.
But I always love my kids, no matter what.
Just like I give my kids grace when they are slower to speak, slower to learn things, or sick more than the normal; God gives me, even more, grace. He sees me mess up every day. He sees how I don't know what I am doing at times. He sees how I try. God sees every single thing that we do, we say, and he loves us no matter what. He is crazy about us, no matter what others may say. Other people's comments or opinions really don't matter. God's opinion is the only one that matters.
I have found being a mother of a child with a disability you get all kinds of comments and opinions of how you mother. Early on I was overwhelmed with those kinds of comments, but now I say bring it on! I feel bad for others at times that really don't understand what you are going through but more importantly what your child is struggling with. I use these moments and call them "teaching moments." I realize people need some more information to understand my son and why he is acting the way he is and maybe even why I am as well.
I continue to be grateful for the progress he has made and we will always keep working.
I am grateful also for God's grace and help through the years as I do my best to be the best mother to Chelsea and Charlie. Have I messed up? Of course. Does God still love me and help me? Of course. God doesn't want us to focus on the mistakes he wants us to focus on Him and what he has done for us to live forever. So the next time you mess up think of God putting His hand out once again to lift you up with a great big smile. He is always there to extend His grace, His love, and His strength.
You got this ... with Him!
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