Learning “Grace” Through My Child With Special Needs
During the ages of 11-16 years of age, Nate’s behavior problems were at its highest peak. He would grab me, hit me, pull my hair, and sometimes spit on me. My arms and face had scratches and bruises, and my hair became thin from his constant pulling. It was a trying time, one where I sought professional help for him and wondered if I could continue to raise my child.
Through the years of trying to get Nate the help he needed, I had difficulty with giving him grace. At times I was not forgiving, merciful, or loving. Although I knew that he is mentally incapable of understanding that his actions were wrong, I became annoyed and frustrated. At one point, I even planned to send Nate away, however, God would not allow me to do such a thing. So, I begrudgingly endured the pain, as I complained to God.
My lack of grace toward my son affected my life. My relationship with my son, as well as my relationship with God suffered immensely. I became bitter and angry at God for giving me such a difficult life.
In that time, God was constantly working on me, to develop a graceful heart and attitude. It was an ongoing lesson, that I failed and repeated several times. It wasn’t until my study of God’s Word, that I began to understand grace through God’s eyes.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:2)
“Carry each other’s burdens”(Galatians 6:2)
“not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:4)
“And let us not grow weary while doing good.” (Galatians 6:9)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:2)
When I read those verses, I didn’t only see how I needed to treat Nate, but I could see how God bestows grace upon me. He forgives me, carries my burdens, seeking my interest, never stops doing good for me, and He truly loves me. And God wanted me to do the same for my child.
God wants me to bear in Nate’s burdens, forgiving every action, even when it hurts me. He doesn’t want me to worry about myself as I care for Nate, but trust that He will care for me. God doesn’t want me to become tired or weary, but draw on his strength to care for Nate. And lastly, God requires me to love Nate, the way that he loves me, unconditionally.
This is grace.
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