In the Spirit with Shemeka
As new parents of children with special needs, parents sometimes struggle with their faith. One parent asked, “I do believe in God and I do know that God is in control, but it terrifies me to think of what my baby’s future might look like. Every time my child gets sick even a simple common cold, it scares me. How do I overcome this fear?”
Feeling this way is completely understandable when you’re entering into a world of the unknown. Just learning that your baby has Down syndrome this can be emotionally overwhelming and freighting. But know that it’s natural to be afraid. We often measure our circumstances in comparison to how we perceive things and ourselves. We often ask, “Do I feel adequate enough to handle what challenges that might arise?” The answer is more than likely “No.” And that can produce fear and anxiety.
Try to reframe your fears and use them as an invitation to move from “believing in God” to “trusting God.” What does that mean? Often, we have a concept of God as impersonal. A force that is far away that we can always fall back on, you know, like a lucky rabbit’s foot. However, our relationship with God should be more than that. The passage of 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (NKJV) In other words, give it to Him. He’s a stable being with the ability to carry it. God’s desire is to have a personal, day-to-day relationship with us and our situations.
You have to transition your fear to faith. Throw your worries, fears, problems, and concerns on Him. If or when you fear how your baby’s future might look, simply pray, “God I am afraid. My baby is sick with another cold, but I’m exchanging my fear for faith. Take my concern and worry away. In place of it remind me and make me sensitive to how you’re taking care of me and my baby right now.” Try to focus on where you are now. Embrace and cherish each moment with your baby. You can’t change yesterday and tomorrow has not happened. Remember that God does care for you and your baby. Stay in the spirit!
______________________________________________________This column was written by Shemeka Cherry Jackson, founder of “Specially Wrapped Gifts Ministry” a Christian-based ministry to empower special needs families. Shemeka’s daughter was born with Down syndrome and from her experience she was inspired to launch this ministry to send a message that all children are gifts from God. For more information about Shemeka and her ministry visit http://www.speciallywrappedgiftsministry.org