The Dream and Story of Parenting

By Mona Fuerstenau

Date: February 28, 2019

Category: Family Living

Parenthood is a grand adventure! It’s a story that begins in our dreams and unfolds over years—full of plot twists and turns that take our breath away (both in good ways and bad). We have a dream of our children and our family. We wonder which parts of us and our spouse they will also have. We think about the ways in which they will be uniquely different from either of us. We hope our son will have the love of music that we do or that our daughter will have a love of sports. We might even pray that there are some of our traits that they will not have! This is all part of the delicious anticipation during the period of expecting. We are praying and hoping and dreaming and expecting.

In truth, reality is never like the dream. Your son may have inherited your least favorite uncle’s red hair. Your baby may arrive too early and with many medical issues. Your daughter may have the spirited temperament of your feisty sibling. Your child may have a disability that is immediately apparent or that unfolds over time. None of your children share your fascination with and love of science.

So, what do we do with these “dream” differences?

We write a different story—with God’s help. We love our children, despite the unanticipated differences from our dreams. We recognize each as a God-given, wonderfully designed gift. Psalm 139:13-16 affirms for us that God has knit each of us together. Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.

I would venture to say that not many people praying to be parents dream of having a child with a disability. I know I didn’t. That was not part of my dream story. It is a plot twist that is different, unexpected, not what we had planned. Having a child with a disability is so significantly different from the family dream we can lose sight of who we are and whose we are.

But we ARE His. God is good, all the time. We can fully put our trust and our children in His hands. We can each become who He wants us to be. And as we grow and learn, we appreciate and embrace our parenting story, rich beyond what we ever could have dreamed or imagined.

We, the Church, can help these parents and families. Bethesda can provide support in talking with parents expecting or discovering a child with disabilities. Our ministry consultants across the country provide support and resources for the Church to walk alongside these families. Visit our website www.BethesdaLC.org and click on your state to see services offered locally. See also Bethesda’s resource called “Welcoming a Child with Disabilities” available at www.cph.org under the Shop Bethesda button.

Together we can write and share God’s wonderful plan and story for all of His children in His family.

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