I saw this quote the other day and I immediately thought about Braxton and the journey we are on. I thought about all the people who ask us “ How do you do it?” or “I couldn’t even imagine being in your shoes” or “you guys are so strong.” Truthfully, we were not at all prepared for any of this. I never in a million years thought I’d have a child with special needs and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes think “Why me?” In tough situations I’m often reminded that God will only give us what He knows we can handle, and even still in those situations I think “Well I wish He didn’t trust me so much” this is so much more than I’m ready for. But every time, He shows me the way or puts people in my life to help me face the challenge, and I always come out on top. Every time I am called to do His work, He qualifies me.
Having Braxton in my life is no different. At first, I was completely overwhelmed. I remember being discharged from NICU and the nurse handing me a packet with names of the doctors I was supposed to call and schedule follow-ups with and an additional list of follow-ups that had already been scheduled for me. I just thought “Oh my goodness, how am I going to do this? How am I going to get this child everything he needs? How am I ever going to learn how to use this G-tube?” But, I got home, sat down and started making calls. Started scheduling everything and became more organized than ever. I learned to use the G-Tube, I’ve taught people how to use the G-Tube, I’ve faced everything that we’ve had to face for Braxton, but I didn’t do it alone. I have had my partner with me every step of the way, and we’ve had God on our side the entire time. Joseph and I aren’t ultra religious, but we both grew up with a strong Church presence and were involved in Church throughout our childhood. Now, as adults, we don’t go to Church nearly as often as we should, but we also haven’t just forgotten our own religious principles and ideals. When faced with tough situations I still get down and pray and turn my problems to God so He can help me through them, and every time, He does. I believe with my whole heart that God has been with us through every step of this journey. We weren’t ready for this, but who is? Nobody expects to have a child with special needs. But once it happened, I stopped and prayed. Prayed for Braxton to be ok, prayed for my own strength, but mostly prayed for God to show me what He wanted to me do. And He most certainly did.
I really feel like God has time and time again put people in our life to help us with Braxton. Whether it be to help heal him or to give us the tools or training we need to be the parents Braxton needs. I definitely don’t think I’m the mom of the year or any better than any other mom out there. But I do know I’m doing my very best to take care of my son to the best of my abilities. Do I always get it right? No, of course I don’t. Does any parent get everything right all the time? Absolutely not. But once God has called you to do something extraordinary, He gives you all the qualifications you need to succeed. We have some really great doctors who are truly on our side and have Braxton’s best interests at heart. I’ve never met people who are so willing to help. Everyone from the nurses, the doctors, the daycare provider, the therapists, all of them. The doctors didn’t have to tell me about additional social services available to help kids like Braxton, but they did. They don’t have to call me after hours to see how Braxton is doing, but they do. Our therapists are great too. Our speech therapist stays in close contact when Braxton isn’t feeling well and has a genuine interest in him getting better. She also just learned of several community programs available and called to put Braxton’s name on the waiting list for us. Our Physical Therapist is like a special needs guru and has taught us so much in dealing with the situation, and even given us tips on dealing with insurance and getting them to pay for additional services that Braxton needs. All of this is by grace of God. I’m certain of it. The next time you find yourself overwhelmed by a tough situation and feel like it is greater than you, stop and thank God for using you to do His work. Accept the challenge and trust that He will provide you with the people and tools you need to succeed. It won’t be easy, but nothing that tests your strength ever is. At the end of it all you will find that you are stronger than you ever thought you were.