Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
This is my oldest son, Justin on his graduation day. Oh how happy and excited he was. Oh, how happy and excited we all were! You see, Justin was not suppose to make it this far in school. He was not suppose to graduate. Why you ask? Well, let me tell you Justin’s story.
When Justin was born, I remember looking at his tiny little body and thanking God for such a precious and beautiful gift. He was perfect in every way. I counted his 10 perfect little fingers and his 10 perfect little toes. He was perfect! He was the sweetest little baby a mother could ask for.
When Justin was two years old, he was sitting on the couch with me watching tv. I was reading the newspaper. When I finished, I laid it on the table and he picked it up and started reading it. He looked so very serious! He flipped through the pages just like he was reading every page! I was amazed. I knew in my heart I had been blessed with a special child. I just did not know how special.
When he began school, he wasn’t there two days before the teacher was calling me in for a meeting. I remember what she said so very clearly. She said, “there is something terribly wrong with Justin”. I just looked at her. She continued, “he does not play with the other children. He does not speak clearly and does not follow my directions. He is in his own little world. Something is not right with him. I think he is mentally retarded”. Can you imagine a teacher saying that in such a nasty and cruel way? I mean she did not have one ounce of compassion in her voice! I was floored!
Well, I had him tested and found out he had Autism. He had the social and communication form of Autism. I was so upset in the beginning. I blamed myself for his disability. It must have been something I had done while I was pregnant. I carried this guilt inside of me for the longest time. Justin became my world. I became his protector. No one was going to hurt my child. I did not want to send him back to school, but I knew I had too. All I could do was pray to God.
How could this be? He was so bright and so beautiful. Why God did this happen?
They said Justin was going to be placed in special education. An aide was hired to help him stay on track at school. This is when I realized my perfect little angel was not perfect at all. I prayed for God to send someone with a big heart and who would love and care for Justin as their own. God answered that prayer by sending Mrs. G. What a beautiful woman of God she was! She told me this the very first day she met Justin. She said, “Valerie, I see something beautiful in Justin. He is going to shine in such a way that everyone will be amazed”. I safely guarded her words in my heart. She was so right.
Well, to make a long story short, Justin was not in special education very long. He was simply, “to smart”. He excelled in every area. I found out he was a “natural artist”. His pictures were displayed through out his grade, middle and senior high years. I prayed for God to bring out Justin’s special abilities that had been given to him. He won so many awards for his art! The teachers could not believe how smart he was! Justin was shining! God was indeed saying, “this is my child. Yes, he has Autism, but I allowed this to happen for a reason. It was to show everyone that there is a blessing in everything. Every good and perfect gift comes from me”.
Justin is indeed a beautiful gift from God.
On May 10, 2009 Justin graduated from high school. Something that was not suppose to happen. He graduated with honors which was a first in school history. A “special needs” student graduated with honors! God indeed allowed Justin to change a lot of things within the school system for “special needs children”. Justin is now 20 years old and is taking classes online. He is very active within the church and loves talking about the Lord. His light is still shining for all to see.
My friends, if you have a special needs child, do not see them as a burden or as a curse. You see them as a perfect gift from God. God allowed this special child to be born into your life for a reason. Pray to God and ask him to show you this reason. He will bring it to light for you. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. This includes the precious and beautiful special needs child you are caring for. God will see you through. He will show the world how truly “special” your child is.
They are truly the most precious gift from God. Look for the blessing my friends. Look for the blessing.