Special Needs and Grace

I reread a book recently that I had read a few years ago. The name of the book is “Wrestling With an Angel” by Greg Lucas. It’s written by a father who’s son is special needs/disabled and how God’s grace is shown to him through his son, Jake. The book touched me in a profound way. And through it I’ve recognized God’s grace in my own special needs child.

Greg Lucas’ examples taught me to see God’s grace where you least expect it. There is one instance where Greg is giving his son a bath and for a few minutes his son completely relaxes in the water with his eyes closed, no anxiety or stress and he’s given a glimpse of what his son would look like if he were a typical young man. That is grace, a gift from God. I’ve had a similar experience with Thomas. I had a dream that Alyssa and Thomas and I were talking together in the front sun porch of our house. Thomas was a completely “normal” or typical teenager. I woke up from that dream feeling odd and I wasn’t sure how to process it. I remembered what I had read in “Wrestling With an Angel” and  I realized the dream was a gift. That one day when we’re all in heaven together Thomas will speak to me as a typical child, one with no disabilities such as speech impairment or mental retardation.  He’ll be able to tell me everything he isn’t able to tell me on a regular day.

Greg Lucas also tells of his testimony of being led to the Lord by his son. Jake was 2 years old and suffered from terrible, constant seizures. One evening Greg completely surrenders to the Lord. He cried out to God and begged Him to take over, not just Jake’s illness but his entire life. That touched me because my son led me to the Lord.

When I returned to church and was saved, when I gave my life to Jesus; my life was “fine”. Thomas was living home and doing well. We had many supports in place and Thomas had recreation programs that he thoroughly enjoyed. The girls were also doing well. I met the Lord however because of my son. Thomas was in and out of the psychiatric hospital. I was so angry with God. Why? Why? I would ask and I didn’t receive an answer that was suitable. It was only when a friend (thank you Toni!) suggested I listen to “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns did I finally break down and realize Jesus was for me not against me. That He did indeed hold every tear I cried. It was at that moment God showed me His grace and my anger dissipated.

There are many more ways that God has shown Himself to me through my son. People who have come into my life who otherwise would not. Situations that would never have come about if not for the Lord. And I owe Greg Lucas’ book for showing me how God’s grace is manifested in my son.



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