Special Needs

The Middle: Where He Promised To Be

By Jennifer Edewaard

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The Middle: Where He Promised to Be

It was a moment that changed everything. The list of all that could go wrong with just a small piece of what could go “right” in the end would leave a life of unknowns. It was here I found myself in the middle of a space--a gap really--that I didn't fully comprehend.

Shortly after this moment, my son was born at 23 weeks and with that came so much unknown. There was a middle ground I couldn't see and in the darkest of moments, where I didn't know where to plant my feet, He was there, in the middle where He promised He would be. Right where He promises He will always remain.

I found myself in the middle: a point that is defined as the equal distance from the ends of something. It was a place where years of infertility finally brought life smack dab in the middle of His plan for my life. Where I had to make the choice to release my need for certainty so that I could live in Him.

As I pleaded in prayer with Him to save my son's life, I remember hearing Him whisper, “I will always meet you here. Step up and stand firm where I place you, and I will surely step in.

Through life as a mama of a special needs son--my Red Sea that He has and continues to part for me--I keep placing one foot in front of the other as He parts the way. I tell myself and my son that in this beautiful yet sometimes unbelieving world, we will experience trouble, pain, and sorrow but because He has conquered the world, we get to be courageous.

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Over the last few years, we have worked on many different goals, benchmarks, and therapies. We try one new thing and start over with the next. Ahead lies a lot of work to be done on my part and it has required a “whatever it takes” mindset. I have stayed close to this middle place because no matter what He is orchestrating behind the scenes, He's always working and providing what we need, which is so different than what I want. In the middle of my special needs mama walk, there is one constant and it's Him. And because of that, even in the really hard days, I have His joy. It's a joy that fills me up with the biggest sense of gratefulness. And I wouldn't change any of this. I wouldn't have it any other way because when I lay my head down at night, He is there parting the ways and carrying me.

For a long time, I thought that whenever God needed me, wherever He called me, that I would surely feel equipped and qualified for the task. I had my ideas, and maybe you know the feeling. We think we know what the plan is--we think we have control over a situation. But He is so much more powerful than that; He has His way of doing things and He always has a reason. I am learning each day, really in each moment, that He has gone ahead and prepared the way. Life as a special needs mama is one that I never planned on because I looked at my capacity and knew my qualifications were lacking. He has quickly taught me that I just need to continue to be open to what He wants to show me--what He wants to take and use for His good. So I cling to this verse in Proverbs, when I have any doubt, fear, or anxiety.

A person may have many ideas concerning God’s plan for his life, but only the designs of his purpose will succeed in the end.
— Proverbs 19:21

We are overcome with peace because His peace lives in us. We move forward with the Truth because the Spirit of the Lord is powerfully upon us. We surrender dependency on self because we abide in our faith instead. It's not about what I think I am qualified or equipped for because He never meant it to be that way— it’s up to Him to fulfill and up to us to walk obediently in.

He knew exactly what He was doing when He gave my son to me, with every need that He might have. He knows today as He did in all the days past, and all the days to come, how much I really do need Him. How much you really do need Him. And He doesn’t break us. No, He weaves Himself into us, giving us grace so that we can go and tell others about His glory.

Sweet friend, I don't know where it is He has you planted. Where He might be pruning, growing, or pausing in your life right now. What I can encourage you with is a truth that will remain and that is Christ. Can I challenge you to invite Him into your middle today? I don't know what your walk in motherhood looks like but would you turn to Him? Would you pray and ask Him what He wants you to do, not why? What it is He wants to do here in the middle? What it looks like to live, seek, and stand in His abundant grace, truth, and glory?

The abundance that overflows from the imperfections is not for our comfort but for those passing by or staying for a while--so that they would know and see Jesus. It's this part of self-sacrifice that sheds light on the biggest sacrifice--Him-where we don’t have to fight the friction because we can trust His intentions are, in fact, steadying us.

I stand on these truths, His words, His power and capacity, many times when I feel like I might be fighting the friction where I am planted. Of what is to come.

Friend, He is right there, in the middle with you, where He promises to be.


Jennifer Edewaard is a wife, mama, and friend passionate about living our His perfect purpose ok making Him known, even in her own imperfection. She writes and speaks while stepping daily into God’s mission to bring Him glory. Jennifer is married and has two sweet little ones, living in beautiful Colorado. She writes over at www.jenniferedewaard.com and you can find her on Instagram.

For the Days You Just Can't

By Becky Beresford

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Hey there, Momma.  

Could you do me a favor? From the depths of your sleep deprived soul, could you tell me how you are doing? No really. How are you? No sugar coating. No fake smiles or half-laughs. I really need to know because it’s been one of those weeks, and I feel myself starting to believe it. I’m starting to think Jesus should have given my littles to another put-together momma. Someone who resembles Mary Poppins and cooks like Rachel Ray. I look around at these flawless moms tackling life and think, “if they only knew.” If they only knew that my hot mess exterior mirrors the messier thoughts inside. And so, dear friend, please be honest. Because my mind knows I’m not alone, but today my heart needs to hear it. Today I need my sisters to tell me they get it. To stand in solidarity, with hands lifted high—coffee in one hand and the Word of truth in the next. I don’t want to pretend things are okay. I want to be real because this need for authentic community outweighs the risk of the unveiling. So, this is my invitation. This is my unmasking. I want you to see my genuine home, a place where the beauty and the broken are combined. A place I welcome you to now.

I’m a momma to three young boys, one of whom has Autism. He is a total joy and gift like the rest of our little men, but so many days I feel like I’m orchestrating a sea of chaos while drowning in self-doubt. I want to communicate with my sweet boy, but sometimes I don’t know how. I want to give him what he needs, but I’m not sure what. I often look at the circumstances in our family and wonder if it’s me. Am I the reason things aren’t more put together? Am I doing it all wrong? My husband was recently diagnosed with Autism as well, so now I am trying to navigate two different, but similar waters simultaneously. Most days I feel like I have no idea what I am doing. I try to accommodate the needs of everyone while maintaining my sanity, although this is not guaranteed. Throw in health issues, financial struggles and career moves, and it creates an immaculate storm of overwhelm. These are my ‘just-survive’ days. These are the days that I just can’t even.

When the meltdowns are fierce, and my children are falling apart, it takes everything in me to not plop on the floor next to them and cry collective tears. I feel the weight of the world. Every momma does. We feel the weight of raising children to be functioning adults who can thrive and succeed and love others like Jesus loves us. It is the heaviest and most heavenly honor anyone can have, and sometimes we feel like we’re messing it up completely. When the demands and deadlines and schedules pile up, we can look at ourselves and begin to believe we are not enough for our babies. We feel so less than. We’ve missed the Pinterest perfection mark by a mile and a half. We are undone and outdone. And that is when it happens. In that precious, imperfect moment, our gentle Savior kneels down and joins us on the floor. He meets us in the insecurity and pain. On our hardest days, He knows we can’t see ourselves for who we really are. But HE CAN. And He longs for God’s Daughters to get a sacred glimpse from the throne room above.

  • When we can’t see past our sins, He sees our sainthood.

  • When we can’t carry the load, He carries our hearts.

  • When we can’t heal the pain, He binds all wounds.

  • When we can’t stop the chaos, He gives us peace.

  • When we can’t hold it together, He holds our whole world.

  • When we can’t find the strength, He makes us resilient.

  • When we can’t do it alone, He reminds us He lives within.     

Ladies, we have a calling that is not for the faint of heart. Being a mom requires everything we have and more, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have anything left to give. But our faithful Father does not leave us to weather the storm alone. He anchors our reality in who He is, not in our “cans” or “cannots”. Our worth has never been based on what we can accomplish, but instead, it is rooted in what He has already done. It’s hard for mommas because we’ve been trained to DO! But when we embrace God’s capacity to cover every detail of our lives in grace, it relieves us from our duty to perform. We don’t have to earn God’s goodness when it’s been given freely. The Bible says,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9

If that’s the case, then our weaknesses actually lead us into the deepest kind of strength. Our barely-surviving days can do what they are meant to do: highlight God’s unmatched ability, not our inability. Here, the power of shame is taken away and is miraculously exchanged for the power of Jesus…a power that is about His provision, not our perfection.

Breathe it in, beautiful one. Take in His kindness and let go of the guilt.  Because perfect moms don’t exist, but perfect Love does. And out of all the women in the world He chose YOU to be your baby’s first love. Not Miss Poppins, not Rachel. You. Just as you are. Hand-picked from heaven to hold your child’s heart.

We are covered, Mommas. Our whole lives through. Especially on the days when we just can’t even.