The Inspiration Behind the Text

Gold Brush Stroke

There have always been individuals who have recognized the true value of those with different abilities (their innocence, wisdom, love, joy, insight, perseverance, and, yes, their faith), have fought for those less able, and celebrated life. Many of them have helped me (and perhaps you) through their writings and recordings/presentations/programs and will no doubt continue to do so; but, in fact, those that have most profoundly and personally inspired me in my present journey, aside from God, are my children.

My boys’ own trials and struggles as well as growing up with a sister with disabilities are molding them into compassionate, strong young men who have already recognized God in action. Daniel, 17; Zachary, nearly 16; and even Joseph, 10, demonstrate a faith and maturity well beyond what I had at their ages. Their encouragement, editorial comments, and even pushiness have been just what I need to follow God’s leading.

However, Rachel is really my reason to “speak up.” Although quite unaware of her role, she is my motivation to be there for those who walk in similar shoes.

Rachel’s disabilities snuck up on my husband and me. She was born slightly post-term with a simple soft palate cleft that we were told would mainly cause issues with feeding (nursing) and eventually need to be repaired. After three previous miscarriages, we were happy to take on that “minor” issue. Slowly though, we began to see evidence of additional problems. From cessation of breathing at 6 weeks (later discovered to be gastro-esophageal reflux) to her lack of ability to roll over or sit up, we began to realize that something was very wrong.

In a nutshell, Rachel did not sit up until well into her second year and did not walk unaided or say her first word until after her fourth birthday. Her fine motor and language skills are severely limited, and at 13, she still cannot jump, does not truly run, and is not potty trained. She is said to be “moderately mentally retarded” (or in today’s politically correct jargon, “intellectually disabled”). But, perhaps one of the most difficult aspects for me to deal with has been the lack of a diagnosis as to the cause of Rachel’s disabilities (yes, we are followed by geneticists).

None of this has been handled without sadness, anguish, self-pity, anger, bitterness, and fear. Today, the tears continue but so does the laughter! Thanks to God’s patience, forgiveness, and grace I no longer define Rachel solely by her disabilities but see her as a unique, beautiful young lady, tasked with a mission and full of fun, unconditional love, and joy. She has made me a far better person. She is my inspiration to reach out to others and enjoy life!

I would love to have you come along for the ride!

By His Grace,



  1. One Thousand (or more) Gifts - Julie Sunne on June 8, 2015 at 11:43 am

    […] hit me like a ton of bricks, and I felt the need to share it as soon as possible! This is what Rachel has been trying to “tell” me for 13 years—in order to truly live joyfully, we must […]

  2. Unveiled - Julie Sunne on June 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    […] daughter, Rachel, kicks the ball. Even before it stops, she raises her hands in victory, eyes sparkling, laughter […]

  3. […] is what Rachel has been trying to “tell” me for 13 years–in order to truly live joyfully, we must notice and […]

  4. How Have You Been Surprised By the Unlikely? on July 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    […] My new normal was the loss of five babies through early miscarriage and the birth of a daughter with significant disabilities. […]

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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