My Disabled Child Is Still A Child
I remember when my husband and I first moved to Idaho to follow the Lord, the second sermon our pastor gave was, Do You Know Your Purpose In Life? As I sat there listening, tears were burning in my eyes. I had no idea what my purpose was. As I was leaving the sanctuary, my eyes swollen from crying, I said to the pastor, “I don’t believe I have a purpose.” He embraced me gently and whispered in my ear, “We all have a purpose. You need to focus on God and ask Him.” For years I would ask myself, “What are my talents? What do I want to be? Where do I see myself five, ten, twenty years from now?” I wanted to be a singer, an actress, a teacher, a writer, a motivational speaker, a businesswoman. I took the direction of a teacher since that just felt natural. From the time I was a young girl, I would often come home from school, line up all my stuffed animals and dolls and play school, so it was no surprise to my family that I chose special education as a career right out of high school. But I felt there was more. After thirty years working with the special needs population, I wanted something more. Again I began to ask myself, “What do I want to do? What are my gifts? What is my purpose?” I soon learned that focusing on myself would never reveal my life’s purpose. “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind”~ Job 12:10. I remember reading Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life” years ago. I recall a passage that said, I was made by God for God. Only God knows what He designed me for. It was time to turn my attention to the Original Owners Manual, The Bible. I found Ephesians 1:11-12 that says, “In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.” (NIV). That verse made me realize that I WAS created for a reason. I wasn’t an accident. God did give me a special gift and I had been doing it from the time I was a child. I referenced the bible once again and discovered Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” I pondered the question, “How many students have I made a difference in their life/ future? I will never really know the answer, but that really isn’t the question I should be asking. How many students have made a difference in my life/future?” The answer of course is, all of them.
Years have gone by since the days of teaching in public schools with students having special needs. I have grown and matured in God, and now my focus is to help people understand God’s purpose in their lives. I still enjoy teaching and work in a private school. I have taught a children’s bible study group in our church and enjoy bringing Bible stories to life for the younger ones that are just beginning their journey. I give all the glory to God for shedding light on the true gift He’d blessed me with so many years ago. A gift I took for granted because it came so natural to me, that I never realized just how I had made a difference in the life of a child.