To finish out my special needs series, I’ve got a couple questions that I’d like to answer.
How have you managed religious training/Sunday School with your daughter, especially if she can’t understand what’s going on, or is disruptive to the class?
We are fortunate in this way. We are members of a relatively small church, and every nursery worker knows our daughter, and what to expect from her. It also helps that her 4-year-old sister comes down to the nursery for the second half of the church service–if anybody needs help translating my daughter’s speech, they can ask her sister. I’m not really sure what the future will look like in this area.
Has having a special needs child been hard on your marriage?
Yes. There’s a reason that divorce rates are higher in families with special needs kids. It takes an extraordinary emotional toll on your marriage. I think some couples are able to weather the storm well, being drawn closer together; others are not. Quickly, I have two thoughts on this:
1. Go seek counselling from a pastor. They are there to help. They can help referee ongoing fights, and point out hidden areas of bitterness against your spouse that manifest in many different ways. Be ready to give answers to hard questions, and receive rebuke for your sin–it’s the only way forward.
2. As much as you think you want to run away from your spouse, leaving the past behind and making a fresh start, it never works that way. The two of you became one when you married, and there is no way to undo that. Between custody battles, alimony battles, and the emotional toll, divorce will only make a bad situation worse. It’s worse for you, it’s worse for the kids. It just is. Not only that, but you have now lost the one person who went through your suffering with you. Even when you think you can’t stand him, and things will never be ok, it’s worth it to put in the effort to reconcile. You’d be surprised the wounds that time can heal.
Wrapping up, I’d like to share an article my friend Michal sent to me, addressing how the disabled bring glory to God. It was encouraging to me, and helps to answer some of those ‘why’ questions.