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Families Matter

January 2, 2012

The sovereignty of God is so sweet to me. It pains me that the doctrine of predestination is so widely misunderstood because I depend on it every day: the assurance that God does not mistakes. God ordains everything. From the rising of the sun to the specific children he calls from the east to be my daughters. (Isaiah 46: 3-11; Isaiah 43: 5-7)

Yes, ME. He knows my inadequacies, my shortcomings, my sin better than anyone. (Psalm 139) And yet He chose me to be my daughters’ mother.

His wisdom and His goodness take my breath away every single day.

My ability to cope wells up from God’s sovereignty. I have confidence in nothing besides the fact that God knows I can do this thing called special needs parenting. Why? Because in his wisdom and goodness he chose this for me and in his power he brought our family together exactly as it is, not some other way.

*****

This is not just my perception or the perspective of my church. Empirical humanistic research recognizes this:

“Studying two large samples quite different in age and level of disability, Blacher  and Baker [2007] proposed several types  of perspectives on raising a child with a child with a disability, including a ‘low negative ‘ view, a ‘common benefits’ view  and a ‘special benefits’ view….Among other findings, Blacher and Baker noted that when child rearing challenges were lower, there was little relationship between positive views of parenting and experienced stress. But with increased challenges, those caregivers who held the least positive views of parenting experienced the highest levels of stress.”

The author of the study I’m quoting (to be reviewed full in Part II) concludes this section, “In addition they suggest that personality characteristics of parents (such as an optimistic disposition) can buffer child-rearing challenges. For intervention planning in terms of FASD, this means positive views are of importance.”

We don’t need scientific research to prove that God is real. At the same time, because God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident in his creation (Romans 1:19-20), it makes sense that observers like scientists can see evidence of God’s work in the world.

This research finding caught my attention because of the growing number adopted children with FASD being diagnosed in families of faith. At our church I think FASD is the single most prevalent disability among adopted children. Knowing God is in control, can that be a coincidence?

What is the source of your optimism at beginning of this New Year? My ‘positive view of parenting’  does not get me far on a hard day. But God does. If I possess any measure of optimism, it is only because He gives it to me and sustains it in me, not because I’m taking my cues from the “success” of my children.

These children are ours because He chose them for us. Thee challenges are ours because He gave them to us. These blessings are ours, as well, because He freely gives all things. God is for us and will see himself glorified in everything He has made.

Including our families.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 3:42 pm

    This post speaks to something that I continue to struggle with… the idea that God “knows what He’s doing” contrasts so sharply with the idea that God somehow allowed my daughter’s birth mom to use alcohol during pregnancy.

    I do have faith and I believe that God has brought my daughter to me the way she is for a reasons which I may or may not ever know. When I begin to doubt, I remember the words a good friend offered from 2 Corinthians 12:9…

    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

    I don’t know if this helps your argument, but I wanted to share all the same because these words have helped me so much.

    • January 3, 2012 9:48 am

      Karla,

      I am working on a post about that very thing: If God is all-knowing, then he knew our kids’ mothers would drink during their pregnancy –possibly even before they knew they were pregnant (that fact, too, was known to God) –and God didn’t stop them from drinking, even though he could have. In not stopping it, he allowed it to happen even though he also knew ahead of time what it would do to their brains.

      I love 2 Corinthians 12:9, especially in the contect of that whole chapter. Then put that in the cotext of what Paul wrote in Romans :). Thank you for pointing it out this morning!

  2. January 3, 2012 10:20 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I needed to read it this morning, especially in light of dealing with outright disrespect and defiance with our daughter! I know that God chose me and my husband to be her parents, but some days I really wonder if I’m cut out for it!

  3. January 4, 2012 9:36 am

    I was never angry that God didn’t stop my daughter’s birthmother from drinking. I did wonder why He chose not to miraculously protect her brain. It is hard for me to embrace that God gave my daughter everything she needs to fulfill her destiny.

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