When Special-Needs Parenting Brings Too Much New
Our family moved in January. Since the day we left the community we called home for 25 years, I've struggled to regain my equilibrium. I've finally pinpointed the malady causing this lack of balance and affectionately named it ...
Too Much New.
Some of the new is time-consuming:
New address notifications,
new routes to new stores and services,
new routines to create and perfect.
Some of the new is expensive:
New curtains and shades,
new paint and trim.
Some of the new is delightful:
new walking trails,
new trees and flowers in a new yard.
The constant navigating of too much new–both what's delightful and what's not–leaves me exhausted at the end of each day.
I haven't felt this off-kilter in a long time. Not since when we were 25, and our our first child was born. In a heartbeat, we were parents of a child with a medical diagnosis we hadn't known existed. We were knocked completely off balance as we arrived in the land of...
Too Much New.
Some of the new was frightening:
New medical terms and procedures,
new chances for survival–or not,
new complications and set backs.
Some of the new was expensive:
New doctor bills,
new prescriptions and supplies,
new travel and food costs.
Some of the new was delightful:
A new baby,
new milestones as he overcame health challenges,
new unexpected friendships.
As first-time parents in less than ideal circumstances, we were suffering from too much new. My husband regained his balance quickly, accepted the situation, and concentrated on loving our baby.
But I struggled. Worry consumed me. The physical demands of motherhood–pumping milk to keep our baby alive and sleep deprivation–were exhausting. My faith in a God who allowed my baby to suffer began to erode. The foundation upon which my life was built began to topple.
DO YOU KNOW THE FEELING? ARE YOU IN THAT PLACE TODAY? IF SO, YOU NEED TO KNOW TWO THINGS.
First, know that when too much new knocks you down, you will need help to get back up. Allow people of faith to gather round, even when your faith is fading or non-existent. Ask them demonstrate the love of God without preaching. Let them provide practical help until you find your feet and faith again.
Second, know that God was and is and ever will be the same even when your life is an unceasing swirl of too much new.
His goodness is the same.
His justice is the same.
His sovereignty is the same.
His grace is the same.
His faithfulness is the same.
And his unending mercies are new every morning.
When too much new sends you sprawling, reach out to the people God has placed around you. Ask them to lift you above the too much new into the arms of the One who loves you and your child with an undying love. Rest in God's sameness. Bathe in his goodness, justice, sovereignty, grace, and faithfulness. Wait for him to turn too much new into new mercies specific to your circumstances. Because he was, who he is, and who he ever will be.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
-- Jolene Philo