Thursday, April 17, 2014

Let's Call a Spade a Spade (To Diagnose or not to Diagnose) Part 4

We've recently gone through a series of  blog posts that talk about special needs diagnosis, and debunking the concerns that arise about approaching diagnosis. If you missed them, find Part One here, Part Two here, and Part Three here.

If you have started the process toward Special needs diagnosis, or have recently received a diagnosis, you will be processing a lot right now. This post will be directed specifically toward the mental process of handling it as a parent.

I'm at a loss for what to do!

I'm sure that through out the process of supporting your child, you will find yourself at a loss for what to do or how to feel sometimes. Even then, I believe as Christians, we are not alone. 

In our moments of weakness, no matter what part of the journey we find ourselves on, we also have a powerful advocate that can provide us with wisdom. James 1:5 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." 

You know, I have to, as a special needs mom, appreciate the 'without finding fault' clause in that verse. God knows that we don't know, and He's willing to give us His wisdom. No criticism. Not like what you may have already encountered from others. Run to Him. 

Along with his withholding of criticism, He is merciful and compassionate. Isaiah 42:3 describes something that sets my heart at ease in this area. "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice." 

If you are in a place of vulnerability, please know He will treat you with compassion. He will not break you in your weakest moments. He is more than able to provide you wisdom,  if you ask, and surround you with people that can lift you up. I have seen it. I have been recipient of it. 

Should you decide to pursue this road of assessment for your children, you may find that your emotional responses to receiving a diagnosis for what you are facing may be varied and intense.

 You will likely struggle in many ways. It's hard, to know that your child is different, and face the avalanche of feelings that comes with that. You may experience grief, anxiety, anger, sadness, despair, guilt, and isolation, mixed up with a fierce love and protectiveness for your kids. On the other hand, you may feel relief too.  It's like a roller coaster. None of it would be unique to you, and you would not be alone in feeling it.

You may have been battling for a long time. It can be both a mental and physical challenge. 
You need someone to walk alongside you, in a position of grace, and hold your arms up for the journey. The challenges you're facing didn't come up over night and won't be solved overnight. It truly is a marathon run, rather than a sprint type of situation.

I would really recommend getting involved with a support group, where you an spend time, in person, or online, with people who are walking the same journey, It goes a long way to feel you are not alone in this. 

Isolation can be so damaging. Please reach out for help. If your first try does not result in the right help, whether in the support, of the medical arena, keep trying until you find the right supports.  I have confidence in you that you can make it through this. 
A few parting thoughts, which you may or may not be ready for. If they are not a 'right now' thought, tuck them away for the moment you need them.

God is in the business of Romans 8:28. "...And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

You know how I interpret that? God knows, God sees, and God still makes good out of even the painful things in our lives.

 Who knows? You may be walking this road "For such a time as this" as Esther did. You may just be doing some on the job training for a time when you will have the opportunity to walk along and uphold the arms of another, in their hour of need. The skills you learn in working with and supporting your child(ren) through this will serve to encourage someone else down the road. 

I also want to remind you that your incredible child is so valuable, regardless of the struggles involved. Yes, they have quirks, but you're up for the challenge, aren't you, with God's help?

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