Saturday, June 4, 2016

Special Need

Whatever my lot Thou hast taught me to say, it is well with my soul.

Throughout our lives we all encounter a person, whether it be family, friend, or stranger; that changes our lives forever. March 27, 1998 my baby brother was born. He was a healthy baby just like any normal newborn child. I was excited to finally have a little, I had been the baby for seven years. I was there every step of the way with my mom, even into the labor part. When I was finally able to see his little face I think I felt my first experience of true joy. We called him Jeremy.

Jeremy grew at what seemed like the speed of light and was developing like any normal child. That was up until the age of two. By the time Jeremy turned two the development seemed to have halted. He was no longer babbling, making eye contact, and became aloof to everything and everyone around him. This was a very sad time for my family, we didn't get it. I was especially sad that I finally had a little but he wasn't nothing I expected.

At age two the doctors diagnosed Jeremy with both Autism and epilepsy. Although we didn't fully understand what Autism was we knew that our lives would never be what society calls "normal". What we didn't know was that we'd have many, many obstacles to face on this new journey. Some of which would almost break our hope in God. We had no idea the hurt that we'd feel. We had no idea that this was all in God's divine plan.

Watching Jeremy grow was one of the most bittersweet experiences one could ever encounter. When he was up, he was up. But when he was down, he was really down. There was a time we thought that he'd never learn, a time we thought he'd never get well. The hospital became his second home and the nightmares did not stop there. 

When I was 17 we received some of the most heartbreaking news a family could hear from a doctor, "Make sure you have a life insurance policy, he won't make it to adulthood." I can not tell you all how that shattered my heart into a million tiny pieces. I really lost it.. mentally, physically, and emotionally. For a moment my soul began to accept what those doctors had to say. I began to weigh the benefits of him not making it to adulthood. He'd be at peace and, although we'd miss him, our hearts wouldn't be tugged anymore. It was such a terrible space to be in.

We have experienced many rough times, worse to be honest, even after the doctors told us that Jeremy was high risk. BUT GOD. See, I am so glad that God is the author of our lives. I am glad that when man says no, God still says "Yes!" I am glad that God has the final say over our lives. That when man calls us dead, God says that we shall live and not die!! That's the God that my family and I serve. The God that has heard the many prayers, saw the millions of tears, and heard all of the cries on Jeremy's behalf. 

This easter, Jeremy turned 18. Today, Jeremy is officially a high school graduate. I have really tried not to get emotional but I can't help but cry when I think about how good God is!! People will count you out and call you dead! But even in the most unfavorable positions God is working!! I named this post Special Need for a two reasons:
  1. God has a special need for everything that we go through in this life.
  2. Jeremy was the special thing that we needed to grow.
If you are the family member, friend, or stranger that encounters a person with a special need, be patient with them. Also know that you are looking in the face of one of God's most precious creations. They may not look or act like what you think is perfection and you may ask how God could do such a thing but the father knows best. If you are growing with a child with special needs, be encouraged. You are amongst the strongest people in the world and you don't even know it. It is not by mistake that God has given you this task. If you are a person with a special need, know that you are a true treasure. Know that you can do anything you put your mind too!! Know that each of you, family, friend, and stranger have shaped and touched my life. Be blessed.

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