In the words of Bill Withers: “Lean on me when you’re not strong; And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on; For it won’t be long ‘Til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
These words seem to have rung true over the past couple of months. I know we all have friends and family who are willing to be supportive throughout our journey, but it seems when you find other families that have a child with special needs, a connection seems to be made that doesn’t usually happen.
In August a friend of mine and I attended a concert for moms with kids with special needs. The guest speakers spoke of their children with autism, Down syndrome, and a child who required extra special care.
To hear these moms talk of their children and how their lives have changed meant something. It wasn’t a time of feeling sorry for our families because of the extra challenges. It was about finding the joy that comes with overcoming the odds, praying for each other, and reaching out when times get tough.
It’s when you realize that God has chosen you and your child to capture the moments of victories or just share in the laughter of life that you realize there’s more to life than, in our case, walking.
We also were given a chance to enjoy a concert with a musician who has two children with special needs. His wife was also one of the guest speakers. She was so relatable in the stories she shared of her victories and triumphs as a mom.
The music was also great as we all collectively worshiped our Creator. The evening went much later than planned. I went home feeling that I would love to be involved in helping plan such an event in the future.
It would consist of a time to share each other’s stories and really pray for each other and celebrate our special needs. We all have a story, and some may not want to share as much as others, but those of us who would like to make a connection and encourage one another, it would be of great worth.
Over the past couple of months, we’ve had new and old friends who have experienced a diagnosis of their children that will require special needs. It’s been such an honor to be there to encourage each other and do life together.
There was even a point that I needed that friend who understood a little more that helped me through a dimmer day. I call them reality checks. It’s when my eyes drift from Jordan’s abilities and look at his disability.
These days stink, but I think we all have them. If not I’d like to know how never to face them. Instead of holding in my emotions and losing too much focus, I have these special moms to look to and say, “Boy it’s a tough day.”
They understand and can give the, “It’s gonna be ok. Look at that little boy!” The day eventually comes to a close, my eyes and mind drift off to sleep and another day comes where my day gets as Jordan now says, “Bright, mommy, bright!”
It’s at these moments I almost need to put my shades on because that little kiddo brings more light than the sunshine.
“You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand; We all need somebody to lean on; I just might have a problem that you’d understand; We all need somebody to lean on.”
Read more about Megs’ and Randy’s journey of raising a child with spina bifida through her blog, Labor of Love.