He Will Show Up!

Kindred spirits. Shared experiences. Cleansing moments. A God who will show up.

Friday and Saturday I attended a Parents as Presenters (PasP) Workshop. This year I was attending as an alumnus and was helping coach and mentor attendees as they learned to present their stories of raising a child/children with disabilities.

I long looked forward to this event—a chance to give and a chance to receive.

Walking the Path of Disability

There is something special about engaging with others who have walked the same path. Raising a child with disabilities is a sacred journey, reserved for a select number of us.

Although many love and support, only those who have walked in our footsteps can truly understand.

The grief, the tenderness, the fatigue, the confusion, the devotion! It’s all there, wrapped together in our experience.

No matter where we are along this path, we are connected by a common bond of love. Love for our children who are different, love for each other—strangers but family all the same.

Those of us who see purpose, minister quietly to the pained souls of those still wandering in the turbulent storm—one in which there is little calm.

Those of us who see purpose, minister quietly to the pained souls of those still wandering in the turbulent storm. Click To Tweet

This is an opportunity to reflect, to decompress, to be authentic and vulnerable. Tears and laughter intermingle. Stories take on their own cadence but are eerily familiar.

Although its mission is to educate parents to be a voice for their child, PasP is so much more. It is an opportunity for parents to be encouraged and affirmed, their lives and those of their children validated.

Importance of Relationships

God made us relational beings, with a desire to engage others on so many levels. We need the understanding and support of those possessing a common thread in the web of life.

For many parents of children with disabilities, they travel a lonely road. Shared experiences with others in their communities may be nonexistent as their child is quite different, sometimes difficult.

Indifference, pity, and judgment often further hinder the opportunity for relationships. And the logistics of finding care for their child may provide parents of such a child another roadblock to fellowship.

Thus, gatherings such as these are essential to the emotional health and well-being of these caregivers.

It is a time that we cherish—celebrating life and mourning loss simultaneously! It is where many find their voices for the voiceless and leave as healthier, stronger parents.

God Will Show Up

And although PasP is not a spiritual retreat—there are no group prayers, devotions, or praise song, nor is God collectively called on for healing or strength—it is a gathering where God is abundantly present.

God is there. He’s demonstrated He will always show up. Whether participants acknowledge Him or not, He meets us in that place.

Holding hands and wiping tears.

Assuring us of His continuous love.

Reaffirming His tender passion for our children—those treasured wards we hold for such a short time.

He is there to help us carry our burden—to comfort and strengthen. He loves us enough to show up, even when uninvited.

God is there to help us carry our burden. He loves us enough to show up, even when uninvited Click To Tweet

I pray that you have also found opportunities to gather with those that share common threads in your life, where you feel accepted not judged, times to validate and be validated in your circumstances. And wherever that may be, whatever the dynamics of that group might look like, whether spiritual or secular, be prepared to meet Jesus there.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

If you know those who are raising a child with disabilities, reach out to them with the good news of support opportunities like Parents as Presenters.

But more importantly, reach out with the Good News of the Gospel!

Reflections: What unlikely places has the Lord shown up in your life? Have you experienced Him in action in secular gatherings as well? I’d love to hear your stories! Leave a comment below or contact me directly through my Contact page.

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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