No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches

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As a special needs parent, how can you rise above your everyday challenges and still find God's glory and purpose? How can you use your "different dream" to find fulfillment and joy?

I get asked all the times by parents of children with special needs how to get dads more involved and engaged. Here’s an easy way, dads.

Dads, your words contain the power of life and death.

Parents, you have got to be speaking words of life over your kids every day. Your kids will believe whatever you say about them. Your child will become whatever he or she believes. And what they believe about themselves will be determined by what you speak over them. They will become whatever the voices they hear say about them. So make a point, every day, to speak positively and affirm your child.

At sixteen my son is nonverbal. Barring a miracle, he won’t be able to stand up at my funeral and tell the world how proud I was of him. But rest assured, he knows it. And that’s all that matters. We can talk about it in heaven someday.

I love my son just the way he is because my dad loves me just the way I am. Not because of anything I have done, or am doing, or will ever do. I learned unconditional love for my son because my dad loves me unconditionally.

My friends, this is the essence of how God loves us. We don’t earn it, we don’t do anything to deserve it—he just lavishes it on us simply because we are his children.

There is nothing we can do that will earn us more love from him or make him love us more. He loves us simply because we are his children.

I am still amazed and astonished to realize that as much as I love Jon Alex, God loves him even more than I do. I cannot imagine it possible to love my son more than I do, but God does.

At first, it was difficult coming to terms with laying down my dreams. Like any special needs dad, it’s hard emotionally to reach the point where you realize the dreams, goals, and plans you had for your child aren’t going to happen the way you hoped. But whose dream was it anyway? It wasn’t God’s dream.

This is where the choice happens for dads. You can choose to spend the rest of your life wallowing in the “Why” and grieving the dead dreams. Most men choose this route. At the end of their journey, they find they have been following a dead-end street that goes nowhere.

Or you can go down the road marked “How.” How are we going to rise above this situation and still find the glory and purpose that God has in this? How can we use this different dream to still find fulfillment and joy?

My son will never do anything that makes me love him anymore than I already do. I love him because he is my son.

Period.

I made him. I created him. He was formed in my image. And for that, I love him unconditionally. Nothing he can ever do will make me love him any more than I already love him. If all he ever does in life is just be my son, that is enough. My love for him is unconditional.

I got that from my dad. Not just the one here on earth, but the One who made all of us as well.

Written by Jeff Davidson

Excerpted from: No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches: A Father, A Son with Special Needs, and Their Journey with God

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