02 May 2020


Christians are familiar with the concept of being set apart. We are not to love the world or the things in it (1 John 2:15) and we are not to conform to the world's views but be transformed by the continual renewal of our thoughts (Romans 12:2). John and Paul counseled us on how we are to be different.

But, as special needs parents, we can become even more separated from the life we've purposefully planned and cultivated. We get pulled in an entirely new direction and it might feel like we are being cast aside instead of set apart. Maybe Abraham felt that way. His familiar life was disturbed, shaken up and distanced, from everything he was accustomed to, brought to a new land, new people, and new experiences. It's not easy being a stranger. And special needs parents can feel like that too. We get redirected to a new journey with unexpected experiences, people, and places. We become a stranger, thrust into a new world. But just as Yahweh was with Abraham on his rerouted journey, He is with us on ours too. 

To be set apart means something has been removed from the collective. It's been separated from the pack for a purpose. Just as God purposefully set Abraham apart, God has called our special needs families to be set apart. It is not a mistake that God calls us out of our comfort zone and into the unknown. Notice in Genesis 12:1, God tells Abraham to go and Abraham does it. Abraham obeys and abandons the life he was comfortable with for one unknown and uncertain. Most of us got thrust into the realm of special needs with the same simple command. Go. Abraham left with no idea where his journey would take him. He had no certainty as to how things would turn out. He simply abandoned his future to God and trusted the call to be set apart, to be different from the culture he knew, and to trust that God would guide him along the way. 

Special needs parents have been called to be set apart, just like Abraham. We are expected to walk a different path than our neighbors, friends, & family. We are called to look different than even our closest Christian peers. This separation can feel lonely at times, but we should have confidence that God will give us wisdom and peace as we pursue Him, fully trusting in Him like Abraham did. 

When we fully lean into our Father and trust His plans, even though the journey may be difficult and demanding, we can take comfort in knowing our diverted direction is purposeful and pleasing to Him. The harder road is not the path for everyone. It has been chosen for you because God knows what He is doing and He will see you through. You have been set apart to take a different journey. Have faith in the path you are on. God will give you the grace to see it through. And even though we can't see out of the valley, we can trust the Shepherd is graciously leading the way. 


1. In what specific ways have you felt set apart? How does today's reading offer you hope in that journey? 

2. Do you struggle with trusting God in the path He has you on? You aren't alone! Write out a prayer to God and thank Him for all the gifts He's given you, and let it be a reminder of His faithfulness even when you feel lonely and set apart. 

28 April 2020

What Special Needs Families Can Teach Others in this Pandemic

The bewildering and unexpected times we find ourselves in today with the COVID-19 pandemic remind me so well of the trying times I found myself in when our special needs journey began. I can't help but draw so many parallels. 
Finances decimated.
Worry about the future.
Everything familiar became unfamiliar. 
Expectations dashed. 
Plans destroyed. 
It's an emotional roller coaster of confusion and chaos. All of it out of control. Sound similar to the times the world finds itself in right now? 

The primary shock of the pandemic has likely worn off as we find ourselves weeks down the line from initial diagnosis, yet we are still reeling from the fallout. No one can predict the future. Doctors try when they have to deliver the bad news but it's just a guideline. There are so many variables at play that even the exact same brain injury in two different children can produce astonishingly different outcomes. This pandemic is rife with a virus that causes no symptoms to severe into death.  The future is uncertain and we can plan to the best of our abilities but must yield to the truth that we have never had control to begin with. This virus, just as the special needs journey, will morph and change us.

What are some truths we can hold onto that will help us focus in the midst of this global crisis.

  1. God isn't punishing you. John said Jesus didn't come to judge the world but to save it. John 3:17. And Jesus said himself, "If anyone hears my sayings and doesn't keep them, I do not judge him; for I do not come to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47 God brought Jesus to save us, not to condemn us. God didn't bring Jesus to earth to inflict harm. In fact, Jesus did the exact opposite. Which brings us to point two.
  2. Not one time while Jesus was here on Earth is it reported that he inflicted harm. Not as a punishment, not to bring trouble, not even as a teaching tool. We witness people, already suffering from the effects of living in a fallen world, coming to Jesus for healing. He healed everyone who asked. Jesus brought with him peace. Trouble comes from the world and Jesus says, "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
  3. Trouble will come! Accidents will happen. Does God teach, and rebuke, and correct His own? Yes. Does God hurl viruses at His people, causing untold amounts of death and suffering for us to come running to Him to receive comfort? What does Jesus say about that? Jesus mentions a well known tragedy when speaking with his disciples In Luke 13:4-5, "Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them- do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Jesus is warning them to not think that those people deserved a punishment from God because they were evil. He says they are mistaken in believing that God sends an accident or tragedy to someone because they are a worse person than someone else. He is telling us not to be lulled into the misconception that tragedies only befall wicked or sinful people. He says tragedies can happen to anyone at any time! No one is immune. We will all face trouble. But take heart! Have peace! Think of the man born blind. Jesus said neither him nor his parents sins caused it. Jesus states the tragedy at Siloam just happened. It was not designed by God; not the so called "Christian karma" at work. God does not cause all things to happen but he does cause all things to work for his good. Romans 8:28
  4. Our sweet pastor used to say, "Control is an illusion." It's true. The special needs journey will always be unpredictable. Such is life! Even though we think we've got everything under control, we never really do. Disease, job loss, financial loss, social distancing, are all similar to what special needs families encounter daily, not just during a global pandemic.We should be used to this. Enduring extraordinary circumstances while life goes on around you is the norm for many. But perspective changes everything. What are we doing with what we've been given? How do we respond to a world in fear? Where do we seek refuge in times of trouble?
  5. God is still sovereign. Just because the world is facing an unprecedented virus, just because your child has a devastating diagnosis, God is still on the throne. His sovereignty is not diminished because a virus ravishes the population. Was God not sovereign when the angels fell? When the Israelites were in bondage? When people sin? When the disciples died for their faith? God does not need to control every movement of the fallen world in order to be sovereign over it. Just because he doesn't stop disease and illness before it starts doesn't make him any less of the great I AM.

If COVID-19 teaches us anything about God and his love, it should be this: Jesus is who we must look to. Illnesses, suffering, trials, troubles, are exactly what Jesus warned of. And the wages of sin, of our fallen world, is death. None of us get out alive. Jesus gives us focus for the future:

"And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Hebrews 9:27-28

Judgment comes after death. Not with a virus, not with a disabling condition. When we are in Christ, God remembers our sin no more. (Hebrews 10:17) What can special needs families teach the world during this pandemic? First and foremost, we really can relate to your feelings.  We also have to live in the here and now while facing our troubles. But we can face them easier when we trust that God is for us, he loves us, and he is still sovereign.

07 February 2019


Week Two
Day Four
What is the "good" Paul talks about in Romans 8:28 (we are on page 26 of Beautifully Broken)? The good, which Paul says serves a purpose even through suffering, is the conforming of our hearts & minds, our character, into the likeness of Christ Jesus. Verses 28 & 29 tell us that God works through our weaknesses, our struggles, our trials, to mold us & shape us into an Imager of Christ.
Suffering stinks. Life's detours take us off guard. We can doubt & struggle with God's goodness when these things happen. We might even think we're being forgotten or foresaken.  But God's goodness is not dependent on our doubt & confusion. He is good because He is God. And His divine detours are a call to action on our part.
Jesus said himself that God is always at work. God is great at taking a situation & flipping it upside down to give you a new perspective. Greater good comes out of our circumstances that don't seem to be good at first, if we allow it.

02 February 2019

It is.

👊🏼You made it to the weekend & the end of Week One!👊🏼

If you are still hanging with me in Beautifully Broken, we are wrapping up a week full of expressed emotions. Pain, suffering, despair, anxiety, depression, hopelessness. Job exemplified them all. Like Job, we want to make sense of senselessness. God created us with wisdom & intelligence. We want to understand why things are. Yet Job's suffering is a poignant reminder that we will face trials & never know the reasons or the why's. Job never gets the answers he seeks & because of that, he gets the answer he needs.

Do we need to know the why's in order to have confidence that God is trustworthy? After reading through Job that answer should be confidently clear. We can question & we can get angry. But God is still God & we are not. 🖤

✴️167 attempts to get a decent picture in our matchy PJ's this year & this is the best one we got. Liam laughed & I laughed & we think matchy PJ's are still fun, just maybe not picture worthy.😂