There was a report by CNN this past April on Autism Awareness. The statistics showed that 80% of the couples with special needs children end up in a divorce. This is very sad. Indeed, there is a lot of tension in the families when they have to take care of a child with special needs. They are constantly confronted with numerous challenges: children’s emotional and behavioural problems, costly treatments and therapies, battles for limited government funding and conflicts resulting from different parenting styles. It really exhausts the parents emotionally, physically, financially, etc. Tension is built up constantly, setting the stage for divorce.
As Christian parents with Jesus Christ in our lives, we have to face the same challenges. With the uncertainties of our children’s future, there are bound to be times when we feel depressed and vulnerable. But the difference is we can always go back to God for His comfort. He loves every one of us, including our children with special needs. Although the sky is not always blue, just as depicted in the poem “Footprints”, He is always there to carry us through the difficult time. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
You may find it impossible to “rejoice in the Lord always” as commanded in the Bible. But the Bible carries on and says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.
For the past eight years, I have personally experienced God’s amazing love and care. He did not give up on me even when I was weak. In the Summer of 1999, I was deeply depressed and even thought of ending my own life. God used a tape with Dr. Philemon Choi’s testimony to shake me up. I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior in the psychiatric ward. After a few months, my wife also became a born-again Christian when we were attending a marriage camp. The Pastor and his wife honestly shared with us their experience that touched our hearts. God then sent us a counselor who had helped us tremendously. She also has the experience of taking care of her nephew with autism and she can totally relate to our struggles. This simply could not be a coincidence. It was indeed God’s grace.
Two years ago, I relapsed into depression. I could not pull myself off from the couch. I did not have the energy to do anything and couldn’t even sing praises to God in worship or fellowship. It was such a heart-wrenching feeling. I was blessed to have my prayer partner who kept praying for my healing during these days of darkness. Amazingly, after attending the “Louis Program” with my wife, I was totally released from the depressed mood that very weekend. I could be back to church with a thankful heart to worship God. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah! We have to learn to always count God’s blessings so that we can remain faithful with God’s promise during difficult times: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8.
Dear friends, if you have not known the Lord Jesus Christ, I sincerely invite you to come and talk to our pastors. God is waiting for you. If you have special needs children and you think their lives are worthless and meaningless, you are totally wrong. God has a unique plan for every one of us. It does not matter whether we live a long life or only for a few short months, it is our eternal lives in heaven with God that matters. There you will find no tears, no sorrow and no sickness. Although to this day I’m still not able to communicate with my son the “normal” way, I truly believe that he will have perfect health in heaven. We will be singing praises to worship God together. Isn’t it beautiful?
May God’s blessings be with each family who has children with special needs. Amen.