A Note of Encouragement from Landon’s Dad

Dad’s Note of Encouragement:

Being a father of a child with special needs is a very tall order.  In fact, it is a job that I quickly (and often daily) understand that I am inadequate for.  Only with God’s change in my own heart and attitude can I be equipped.  You see, I have learned that all children need a father that sacrifices his time, finances, and his own interests.  Not only that, as a father, I feel called to provide love, patience, security, and to teach my children about who God is and how much He loves us.  My relationship with my children should be a reflection of God’s relationship with us…demonstrating unconditional love, acceptance, and sacrifice.  A child with special needs requires all of these same things…. only often times require even more patience and sacrifice.  I have seen how selfish and impatient I can become… usually when the responsibilities and demands seem to become overwhelming.

The way I have learned to handle the job is with encouragement in God.   That is, my situation as a father of four young children is not going to get that much easier (change, yes, yet with different types of challenges).  Landon’s limitations caused by brain trauma due to Hydrocephalus are not going to miraculously go away (although God does have the power to instantly heal Landon).   Despite these tough circumstances, as a father of a special needs child, God has completely provided everything that I need to successfully fill this role and  be a good Dad to Landon and his siblings.  God can and will equip and help you in your situation too.  Here are a few things that offer encouragement for those in similar roles:

Number 1, above all else, is find the encouragement in the Bible.  There are so many verses that offer encouragement for the Christian in tough circumstances.  It is like food and water to the body; so when the trials come (and they do very, very often in my household) then I am prepared mentally and spiritually to handle it in a Godly, correct way.  Without it, then I handle the same situation in a selfish and sinful way, and everyone knows it!   If you are not a Christian, then I urge above all else that you make a decision to become one.  It was the best thing I have ever done in my life.  I personally would have no hope for the future if it were not for my Christian faith that includes God’s encouragement.  Here some verses that remind me of God’s provisions, His perspective of my situation, and His love even through a tough situation.  I find the needed encouragement and strength from the changes in my own heart and from the truths in the Bible (you can scroll over to see the verse and back again to hide it):

* Philippians 4:6-8

*Isaiah 55:8-9

*1 Peter 5:7

Number 2, you need a support system.  We have found encouragement from spouse, family, friends, and others.  We have a wonderful church family and Christian friends.  So often, God will use them to pick us up and remind us of those truths in the Bible to help us refocus with proper perspective.   Their generosity and gifts to us (an listening ear, kind words, a meal, a laugh, help with the children, a gift) can go such a long way toward putting our minds and hearts back on the right path essentially being used by God for encouragement and strength .

Number 3, Pray.  I have prayed for Landon since before he was born.   The Bible teaches that prayer changes us and prayer can change circumstances.  God loves us and our special needs children, and He wants to hear from us both the struggles and our thankfulness.   I openly admit I have asked many, many times, “Why Lord?”, “Where is my help, Lord?”, “God, can it get any worse?” God has great, great big shoulders and wants us to pour out our hearts to Him.  I am so glad that God hears my prayers.  He will hear your prayers too.

I know that God wants me to succeed as a Father of a special needs child.  I know that I am inadequate for such as big task, and so I must seek help from God.  I encourage all fathers and especially fathers of special needs children to seek out the Lord for your strength.