“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” When many of us heard Dory say this in Finding Nemo, it became our life motto. As we work through the pressures of the day and are caring for the additional needs of our children, it can all seem overwhelming and we struggle to just take one more step.
This is partly why it drives so many of us crazy when we are told, “We could never do what you do.” Most of us don’t feel like we know what we are doing. We don’t feel like we have extra parenting skills and we don’t have this extra amount of insight or strength to care for our child’s needs. We feel weak, exhausted and like we would rather do a back float than keep swimming.
I recently heard the following quote about parenting by Paul Tripp and it really resonated with me. “God knew our calling would be so huge and our weakness so deep that the only thing that would help us was Himself.” Isaiah 40:28–29 speaks to this when it says, “Have you not heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
This is so encouraging to me and hopefully will be to you. We can know that when our child is melting down in the grocery store, God is there. When we can’t go to church because our child’s immune system is too weak, God is there. When the doctor comes out to give us bad news, God is there. When we are too weak to ask Him for help, God is there.It is okay to acknowledge our weakness. In fact, please do. You might encourage others in their walks. We can see the Apostle Paul do this in 2 Corinthians 12:9. In previous verses, he shares how he had begged God to remove a “thorn in his flesh” three times. We don’t know what this was but God tells him in verse nine, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Paul goes on to say that he now boasts about his weakness so that the power of Christ can work through him. When we are weak, is when God’s power is most evident in our lives and He will receive the most glory.
I want to close with this last thought by Paul Tripp, “God hasn’t just sent you to do His work in the lives of your children; He will use the lives of your children to advance His work in you.”
We want to hear from you! If you are the parent of a child with additional needs, how have you seen God’s strength in your weakness during this journey?
Jonathan McGuire is the co-founder of Hope Anew, a nonprofit that comes alongside the parents of children with additional needs on spiritual and emotional level. You can follow Hope Anew on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/hopeinthetrenches/