Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Gift of Unexpected Blessings

When your child is diagnosed with a life-long disability, there are many feelings and questions parents face. Though the diagnosis may be different for families, parents often find common ground with their feelings, concerns, and future unknowns.

Sandra Peoples, a Christian author and advocate for special-needs families, has recently released the book, Unexpected Blessings: Joys and Possibilities of Life in a Special-Needs Family. Sandra's book aims to help families of children who have been diagnosed navigate their feelings, relate them to scriptures in the Bible, and move forward in the life set before them. She shares stories about her own personal experience with her son with autism, which allows readers to understand some of her own journey. Her real life examples, quotes from other sources, and scriptures are weaved together seamlessly helping parents let go of their false beliefs, work through their grief, focus on healthy routines, rebuild a strong faith foundation, and create a support system.

Here are some lines from the book that I connected with: 
From Adam and Eve to now, each person has lived out his or her own Plan B. We see this throughout Scripture, including the accounts of Job, Ruth, Jonah, and Peter. 

False promises of a struggle-free life are lies and can't stand up against the truth of God's grace and love. 

When I find myself in a valley, I ask myself, Will I let this draw closer to Him or push me away? 

Yes, we always point to the hope we have through Christ, but we never shame a person for how they are feeling in that moment. 

Going through stressful situations together doesn't usually bring out the best in people. 

Marry someone you can suffer with!

As I read these lines as well as many others, I found myself saying, "YES!" My experiences have been different than Sandra's as I have been raising one daughter with Down syndrome and a myriad of health conditions and one son with Ehlers Danlos syndrome. However, I could relate to many things in the book, and I know other families could as well. 

As you read through the pages, you'll be sure to appreciate the perspective that Sandra brings to families with a diagnosed child. Her book is insightful and thought provoking. It would be a welcomed addition to the library of a family that has a member with special needs. 

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