Growing up, one of the games that I loved to play with my brothers and friends was “hide and seek.” We would take turns hiding and being the one to try and find the others. We would be creative in looking for the best hiding spaces and squish our little bodies into them. (I always hoped there would be no spiders!)
Some of us were better at the game than others. It would be hard to stay still and keep quiet while hiding. We hoped and prayed we didn’t have to sneeze, cough or make any other bodily noise!
It was also important for the person searching to keep quiet, in order to hear any little rustle of noise that could give the person hiding away. We would move around, quiet as a church mouse, ears dialed in to detect any sound.

Be still and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10a

In this verse we are encouraged to be still before God and tune our ears to hearing His voice and leading. As parents we sure need guidance!
Christian author Joel Ryan adds, “While this interpretation promotes a healthy rest in the presence of the Lord, it should further be understood as a command to wake up, stop striving and acknowledge God for who He is, allowing Him to do what only He can do.”
Yes!
Raising children that have diverse special needs often adds challenges to the already huge responsibility of nurturing a child. It can be hard!
Sometimes there are extra communication issues…
…behaviours
…physical care
…social ramifications
At times it is difficult to see God at work within our children…and honestly even within our own life. We may feel overwhelmed, isolated and discouraged. We may not be able to interact with our child(ren) the way we imagined.
As a mom that raised four children (two with diverse needs) I know firsthand how easy it is to get so busy surviving that spending quiet time with God gets pushed aside. And then I wondered where is God?
I am reminded of words taken from the song. “Way Maker” by Leeland Lyrics:
“Even when I don’t see it, You’re working
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re working
You never stop, You never stop working
You never stop, You never stop working!”
(This whole song is powerful…look it up and listen to it often!)*
Another verse that comes to mind is

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

God is not hiding. He is at work in our lives and that of our children. He promises to help us…to love us…to be with us always.
Talk to God…let Him know what is happening in your life and home. Pray with your children (even if they are unable to communicate verbally).
Read from God’s Word. For children with cognitive delays find a version that uses simple language and colorful pictures.
Connect with others for encouragement and support. God uses people to be His hands, and feet and light.
“Hide and seek” is a fun game…but spiritual transformation happens when we “Seek and Find!”
*A little side note: Music is a great way to connect with and help children with special needs. Try and play worship songs in your home and see if it makes a positive difference. It did in mine!

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About the Author: jodi graff

Jodi Graff is a Special Education Church Consultant. She works alongside of staff, volunteers and families impacted by disabilities to enhance meaningful inclusion. Her professional education coupled with years of work in the church has culminated into exciting ministry opportunities at Beulah. Jodi is married with four adult children (two with diverse needs).