Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent

Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent

by Diane Dokko Kim

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683971344
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 503,447
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author


A San Francisco Bay Area native, Diane has been serving for over 25 years in bi-vocational church leadership, serving the disabled community. Diane’s first son was diagnosed with autism and ADHD/ADD in 2004, at age two which triggered profound personal, professional and spiritual crises.  In 2008, she began serving as a special needs ministry consultant and in 2012 launched an online ministry to reach out to special needs families.  Diane and her husband, Eddie, live in the heart of Silicon Valley with their two young sons, Jeremy and Justin.
 

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CHAPTER 1

"Do Not Be Afraid!"

Good News, Great Fear

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."

Luke 2:8–10

A phone call in the middle of the night, or from our child's school in the middle of the day: both flood a parent's heart with instant dread. Before a single word is spoken, our hearts brace for impact our ears have yet to receive. For years after our son's diagnosis and enrollment in special-education classes, his teacher prefaced every midday call home with, "Hi. Don't worry. Everything's fine. We just need____."

Sometimes, it was a missing permission slip. Other times, it was to notify us of a mild bump or bruise he'd sustained on the playground. And of course, there were the "difficult" days, when an uptick in behaviors or ill-health necessitated a call home.

As a veteran special-education professional experienced in interfacing with anxious parents, she anticipated the pre-elevated stress of a special-needs parent. She preemptively sought to assuage them. No matter how severe or mundane the reason, every call came preceded by, "Don't worry ..." because she knew we'd worry.

Of course we'd worry. Special-needs parents are people forever changed by unexpected news.

Good News, Great Fear

"Fear not" is one of the most oft repeated exhortations in the Bible. Within the first two chapters of Luke, an angel of the Lord disseminated good news to three parties whose fates were intertwined: Zechariah, a priest tending to his temple duties when startled and gripped with fear (1:11–13); a betrothed young maiden, Mary, greatly troubled, wondering what kind of greeting this might be (1:28–31); and shepherds tending to their flock, when accosted by heavenly hosts in the dead of night (2:9–10).

Each had been faithfully tending to their God-given responsibilities when interrupted. They could not have prepared for the news they were about to receive. The bewildering message and the shocking manner of delivery were frightful enough. To a geriatric Zechariah: "Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John" (Luke 1:13). To a young virgin: "You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus" (Luke 1:31). To the shepherds who hastened to Bethlehem: "You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:12). "Good news of great joy" was met by great fear. Zechariah wondered in his heart, "How can I be sure of this?" and Mary in hers, "How will this be?" What normal person wouldn't be terrified? It would have been abnormal not to be afraid. "Good news that will cause great joy for all the people," (Luke 2:10) was stunning and exhilarating at best, alarming and dreadful at worst. Yet each responded to the confounding favor of God with a faith that defied their incredulity.

How Is This Good News?

Your child has autism. He'll need at least forty hours of intensive therapy a week. He may not learn to speak, function, or live independently. He'll likely not go to college, marry, or have his own family. You'll have to abort your plans and rearrange your lives to care for him full time. His prognosis? Unknown. You'll have to just wait and see.

Our child's lifelong prospects — all the unspoken possibilities every new parent assumes as a birthright — had suddenly been snuffed out. Our toddler could barely walk when his future suddenly ran out on him. How could this be? How would his life turn out? How would our lives turn out? All-encompassing fear crowded out space for anything else. Rather than soothe, well-intentioned exhortations of, "Don't worry. Don't be afraid. Just trust God!" only aggravated an already troubled heart.

In the world's economy, a diagnosis of disability is hardly "good news." To a parent, it's the worst news in the world. The sudden upheaval of lifelong plans are legitimately terrifying. In that moment, it would have been utterly mindless and insensitive for anyone to dare tell us, "Do not be afraid!" Any normal parent would be stricken with grief and dread.

Providence anticipates our shock, fear, and dread. He knows we are terrified and stricken. He has compassion for our aversion to things too marvelous for us to comprehend (Job 5:9). He is wise to greet us with eternal words of assurance, "Do not be afraid." The same God who comforted terrified shepherds, a startled priest, and an innocent young maiden, comforts us in our terror and bewilderment of today. The eternal Spirit of God comes upon us to assure, "Do not be afraid! Your prayer has been heard. You have found favor with God." Though we may not understand our circumstances now, though our hearts are filled with fear, His promises bring good news of great joy that will benefit all people: our children, our extended families, and our communities.

When stricken at a child's diagnosis, take heart. We stand in good company. Heavenly hosts once heralded the most terrifying and wondrous news the world ever received, to a handful of terrified sheepherders in the dark. Despite their terror and astonishment, the thrill of hope drove them to Bethlehem, where they were amazed to find all the things "just as they had been told" (Luke 2:20).

God has the audacity and authority to prelude our journey with "Do not be afraid!" because He already knows how our story will unfold. A sovereign God already knows the future that awaits our child, and the inconceivable blessings that wait for us. He who can birth life from barrenness, inject peace into chaos, and spring life from death, can transform the most shocking news and redeem it for our good (Romans 8:28). For nothing is impossible with God. He has done it before, and He will do it again. Despite the terror that threatens to keep us paralyzed in the dark, let us respond with a supernatural faith that propels us toward His light. Fear not. Go and see. We, too, will be amazed to find things just as we have been told.

UNBREAKABLE PROMISES

• "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).

• "The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1).

• "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you" (Isaiah 26:3).

• "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid ... for I myself will help you,' declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel" (Isaiah 41:13–14).

• "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).

• "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

• "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you" (Psalm 56:3).

• "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Prayer

God of comfort, we confess our fear and dread about our child's diagnosis. You already knew how this would terrify us, so You go ahead of us with understanding, patience, and compassion. You also know how our child's life and our family's story will turn out. Though we cannot imagine how this could possibly be "good news," we claim Your promises, goodness, and faithfulness in advance, no matter how we may feel. Fill us with Your presence. Enable us to defy our natural fears with supernatural faith in You.

Questions

1. What was your initial reaction — thoughts or feelings — to the news of your child's diagnosis? How did you respond?

2. What are your biggest fears or worries for your child's future and that of your family?

3. What is your "Bethlehem"? What are the next steps you can take to support your child and family while also working on your faith?

CHAPTER 2

"What More Could I Have Done?"

WHEN CHILDREN DON'T TURN OUT AS EXPECTED

What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?

Isaiah 5:3–5

In the final months leading up to the birth of our first child, my husband and I delighted in a common rite of passage for expectant parents: the baby registry. Armed with a digital scanner, we scampered about the baby section of Target. We tagged items, paying no regard to price or quantity. Giddy with possibility, we ventured into aisles with items we wouldn't need for years: dictionaries, science kits, bicycles, and musical instruments. Anything and everything felt like ours for the taking.

Back at home, we washed organic cotton onesies on the delicate setting and gingerly tucked away baby shower gifts. The freezer was stocked, checklists checked and double-checked, suitcases packed and repacked for good measure. The only pending item was the baby's arrival. Life was beautiful, promising, and good. So very good.

But then: an unexpected diagnosis. The sudden abort of dreams. The emotional whiplash from a jubilant "It's a boy!" to a hushed "I'm so sorry ..." was swift and staggering. We expected parenting to be challenging. Sleepless nights, we signed up for. But no book or website could have prepared us for this. Disability barged into our home uninvited, with no forewarning or instructions.

What more could we have done? We had done everything we could to prepare perfection for our child, so why did we get disability instead?

It Was Very Good

In the opening chapters of Genesis, the first Parent in history prepared lavishly for the arrival of His firstborn. He outfitted the universe with unparalleled artistry and enthusiasm. The God who made the heavens and the earth and everything in it spared no expense. He did things up big to prepare perfection. He saw all that he had made, and it was good. But nothing compared to the glory of His ultimate creation: His children. Only then was the creation described as very good (Genesis 1:31).

Then, a mere two chapters into the infancy of humanity, sin smuggled in. Doubt, distrust, and disorder broke out like a disease run rampant. The chaotic descent from joyous birth to degeneration was steep, devolving into a downward spiral of wounding and being wounded. These perfect children ... God became grieved in His Spirit that He had made them at all, and His heart was filled with pain (Genesis 6:6).

The glory of creation was irreparably marred. Defective. Ebullient hope and promise sank on its maiden voyage. How could a breach happen so soon? A loving Father had ensconced His beloved in the middle of paradise. He provided His utmost to guarantee their fruitfulness, blessing, and joy. Why did they turn? Why did they yield disappointment and sorrow instead? What more could He have done?

God Understands

What more could I have done for my child? After all I've done to secure their health and happiness, why did we get this? When I planned for perfection, why did it yield heartbreak instead?

Our heavenly Father understands our outrage and grief. He, too, intended perfection for us, His children: plans to prosper and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). The perfect Parent did everything possible to ensure His children's joy and fulfillment. It was not for lack of intention, wisdom, or preparation. There was nothing more He could have done.

We grieve the loss of what could have been. Our Father understands and grieves with us. Yet for every parent who mourns, the ultimate Abba is also at work to exchange beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning (Isaiah 61:3). God understands our heartache, but He does far more than that. He redeems it.

God had a solution for our salvation from the beginning. Despite His profound loss and heartache, the heavenly Father launched a master disaster recovery plan. He had a plan to redeem. From the Garden of Eden, to the cross at Calvary, and over every crushing disappointment today, our God is still a Redeemer. It's the only kind of God He knows how to be.

Immeasurably More

We could do nothing to prevent our child from being born with a disability. When the enemy injected doubt, like he did in the Garden, relational dissension and discord ensued. At that time, our physical, spiritual, and emotional lives (once perfect) became the definition of imperfect and fallen.

Take comfort in God's heart for our children and for us, His children. Our settings may have vastly changed, subject to the wiles of a broken and capricious planet. Yet God's character remains steadfast. He is still the God of good, good, and very good.

The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Remember His original design and intentions for perfection. Wholeness. Paradise. We may be in the genesis stages of our journey as a special-needs family, but He is already at work. God will prevail over what we could not prevent. Just like how He knew the Genesis story would resolve in Revelations and beyond, He also already knows how our glory story will unfold. It will be more than we could imagine.

UNBREAKABLE PROMISES

• "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).

• "My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word" (Psalm 119:28).

• "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?" (Jeremiah 8:22).

• "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13–16).

Prayer

Lord, You prepared Your utmost for Your children too. You had high and lofty expectations for us. But we didn't turn out how You hoped. I take comfort in knowing You understand and share in our heartbreak. You grieve with me over my child — and over me. Lord, help us to trust in Your original plans to bless us with very good. You are still a very good God.

Questions

1. In what significant or unique ways did you prepare for your child's arrival?

2. How have you had to adjust your expectations and plans for your child and family?

3. How is God shaping your character or challenging your ideals about parenting?

CHAPTER 3

"This Is Not the Way It's Supposed to Be!"

WRECKED: FROM HALLOWED TO HOLLOWED

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me." The Jews then responded to him, "What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." They replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

John 2:13–22

Perhaps the early years of childhood flew by in a blissful blur, just as they should. Until subtle hints began to emerge: A missed developmental milestone, then another. The sinking sense of a pattern developing while our child did not. A series of dissonant mental notes that kept growing louder, only no one else seemed to hear.

"All kids do that. My child was late with that too."

"You're being paranoid. Stop overreacting. I'm sure he's fine."

"He'll grow out of it. All children develop differently."

All we knew for certain was an unnerving sense of, Something's just not right. This is not the way it's supposed to be. Either the baby books and websites were wrong, or something else was.

Or perhaps an ultrasound detected signs of genetic anomaly, the physical evidence confirming itself at birth. Long-held silent prayers and closeted dread went unanswered, until now. Regardless of how gradual or sudden the onset, a child's diagnosis slams into a family with brutal, blunt force.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Unbroken Faith"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Diane Dokko Kim.
Excerpted by permission of Worthy Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Joni Eareckson Tada xvii

Introduction: "Just a Piece of Paper" 3

1 "Do Not Be Afraid!": Good News, Great Fear 9

2 "What More Could I Have Done?": When Children Don't Turn Out as Expected 15

3 "This Is Not the Way It's Supposed to Be!": Wrecked: from Hallowed to Hollowed 21

4 "Where Do I Go with My Pain?": Permission to Grieve 27

5 Angry "with" God: Leaning In, Not Away 33

6 "Don't You Care, God?": Writing Our Own Psalms 39

7 "Broken" Child, Broken Parent: Our Personal Peniel 47

8 "Did You Lead Us Out Here to Die?": Trapped by the Impossible 53

9 "If Only You Had Done Something!": Couldn't vs. Wouldn't 59

10 "Why Won't You Fix This? Don't You Care?: Good Gifts 65

11 "Why Won't God Intervene?": Close to the Brokenhearted 71

12 "Me? A Special-Needs Parent?": Lord, Pick Someone Else! 77

13 "But I'm Not Qualified for This!": Unschooled and Ordinary Men 83

14 "I'm the wrong Parent for This Child!": Our Liabilities Leveraged 89

15 "But I Don't Want to Be Special": Have To vs. Gel To 95

16 "Why Me? It's Not Fair!": An IEP for Me 103

17 "No One Understands!" The Fellowship of Otherness 109

18 "Sit with Me, for I Am Overwhelmed": Compassion: Suffering With 115

19 "Is Tins It? Or Should We Expect Something Else?": Jesus, Plus 121

20 "Never, Lord!": When God Won't Behave 129

21 "What Has Happened to Me…?": Life, Hijacked and Imprisoned 135

22 "What Do We Do Now?": Losing Our Way along the Way 143

23 "I Can Never Die": A Secure Surrender 149

24 "Why Was He Born This Way?": Crisis and Culpability 155

25 "What Is the Work of God?": Believing, Despite 161

26 "What Do You Want Me to Do for You?": Dumb Questions 167

27 "What Good Could Come from This?": Low Expectations 175

28 "How Can My Child Live a Worthy Life?": Kingdom Currency 183

29 How Is This "Blessed and Highly Favored"?: Inconceivably More 189

Author's Note 197

Epilogue 201

Additional Resources 205

Acknowledgments 209

Notes 213

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Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
morethanlegs More than 1 year ago
Unbroken Faith by Diane Kim is a book like no other. Although her son has autism, every parent with a special needs child grapples with similar problems. While her book is written primarily for parents of children with disabilities, as an adult with cerebral palsy, I was encouraged by it as well. The short and powerful chapters make it a delight to read. Each scripture in her book, seems like a peaceful oasis for our weary souls. Everyone is either impacted some elses brokeness or our own. Unbroken Faith will definitely be helpful to anyone who is on a journey of healing. I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. Author- Lyla Swafford
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've never written reviews for books I read, but this book - How can I not share how I love this book when it is such a precious gem? I couldn't stop reading it until to the end of the book. I haven’t read a book that will make me laugh and cry at the same time; I haven’t read a book that makes me kept on nodding my head, agreeing and saying “Amen”; I haven’t read a book that is like what I have been feeling all these past 20 years. Even though each story might bring tears, memories of past pain, hurts and despair, yet each chapter brings bigger smiles, greater joy and abundant hope, and in no time, I found myself writing Amen on the side, underlining almost every page, scribbling notes everywhere, and tagging asterisks next to important points. How I wish this book was available when my son was diagnosed 20 years ago! But it’s never too late. 20 years later, being a seasoned special needs mom who thought I had gone through a lot of ups and downs, this book helps me more than ever. Each chapter starts with Diane’s story, followed by a Bible story which relates to her story. Then she added her insights and reflections, and the best part is at the end, a prayer and questions that really help me to pray, process, and spend time at the Lord’s feet. There are so many precious gems in this book. I am feeling like digging treasures out from a treasure box! I’m sharing several here, and I know you’ll find your own gems from the treasure box. (If you don't want spoilers, stop here) *****Spoilers below:***** (pg 132): “We may not have had a choice in how our children were born. But we do have a choice in how we respond. When we release our grip from tightly held notions of how God should be....we can experience the full measure of all God intended.“ ; (pg 137) “God makes our prisons into pulpits” - so true! So embrace my prison and change it to my pulpit! Chapter 23 is my favorite as it speaks about my fear: parents can never die. Who will take care of my child when I die? This is the fear of every special needs parents. At the end of the chapter, the questions helped me to process, especially this one: “How do you distinguish between your response and God’s sovereignty? What are the parts only you can do versus what only God can do?” Of course I need to surrender my control. Hope - “Seek His face, not His hands” - stop comparing with others - why others received healing and miracles but not me? “But the work of God also includes the ability to sing, ‘It is well’ when all is not”; “It is the inexplicable exchange of resentment and cynicism with defiant hope and joy.” Oh, I love this one: Critical care for parents. “Our son was disabled: I was spiritually crippled. Both of us needed urgent intervention. But the therapists only came for him“. “Jesus aim is not to merely dress a wound but heal it from within. He desires truth in our innermost parts”; “ Our children may require urgent care. But our souls need critical care as well”. Such good reminders! How do we take care of our children if we don’t take care of ourselves?! We all need to take care of ourselves too. The last gem I’m going to share is her advice not to underestimate our children. This is in Chapter 27. Do not “lowball the miracles God can do”. I am jumping with joy and hope after reading her book. Thank you Diane! So go and get her book and ready to jump with joy and hope too!
Deborah Lillo More than 1 year ago
J just finished reading Unbroken Faith cover to cover and am even more blown away than I was when I read an unfinished version prior to writing my endorsement. Everything I wrote then still holds true: Parents who are navigating the world of disability with their children do, indeed, desperately need this book and Diane does ask the hard questions many are afraid to ask and answers with faith-filled honesty and humor. However in this reading, what I am most struck by is the spiritual depth of Diane’s insights: God has given her an astounding view into His heart. As she wrestled with Him over her son’s special needs diagnosis, she allowed Him to teach her deep truths that are not only critically applicable to other special needs parents but to each of us as well who question God in challenging times. I had hoped to offer a single favorite quote or insight in this review, but found that I had highlighted several quotes in every chapter. I found favorite quotes that would warm the hearts of parents, favorite quotes that explain how these families have become so dear to my heart, favorite quotes that challenge us to suffer with those who are hurting, and other quotes that simply reveal how intimately God taught Diane as she openly expressed her questions. As Diane turned to scripture to discover God’s heart in her challenges, she found illustrations and lessons I’ve never considered including: Jesus seeking friends to quietly sit by His side in the Garden of Gethesmane, Moses lacking qualifications but being just the right person to do lead, Israelites facing the impossible, Jesus having a highly specialized Individual Education Plan (IEP) to prepare Peter to lead the new church, and—just as Diane has done in these pages—Psalmists crying out honestly to their Father. Near the end of the book, Diane explains what we all can learn in our challenges: “(Disability) shattered my armchair religion and galvanized it into an unbreakable faith. God used disability to break and remold me, to make level paths so that my feeble faith could be held (Hebrews 12:13). Mary couldn’t possibly have conceived. Yet she did. I couldn’t have conceived being blessed by disability. Yet I was. GOD redeemed and repurposed our pain, for nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)”pg 192 Do not wait. Read this book and pass it on to others!
Deanna Achilles More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read that has given me HOPE! I have battled hopelessness for years as a mother of a special needs child. This book is so uplifting, encouraging, and enriching! The author is so honest, but at the same time weaves humor into describing life with disability. She points me to Jesus and the Bible for REAL answers and help to live this life. There is someone who UNDERSTANDS! Like page 97, “We long to fit in like everybody else, but “normal” now feels hopelessly out of reach. For us, normal has become the new weird.” On page 99, “Special-needs parenting is an uncommon experience. Our children drive us to cling to Him daily with an unceasing desperation “normal” parents may never know.” Page 139, “We are “just a mom” like God is just a Father… What feels like prison, God can repurpose into a pulpit.” I can recommend almost no author living today more than Diane Dokko Kim. The most helpful book I have ever read regarding having a loved one with a disability.
Pam Christensen More than 1 year ago
Diane Dokko Kim hits on so many of the struggles and thoughts that we have all had as Christian Special Needs Parents, but don't think we can say out loud: What could I have done? Is it okay to be angry with God? Why doesn't God "fix" my child? What good could come from this? I'm not the right parent for my child, and so many more. Often we fall into the trap of believing these are not the thoughts of "Good Christians". However, Diane reminds us that God is big enough to handle our doubts, that he encourages our questions, that he has not abandoned our children or us. Through sharing honest and real experiences from her own journey, along with the biblical promises that remind us of God's truth about Him, our children and ourselves, Diane walks the reader through the bewildering, overwhelming and often painful spaces of a special needs parent and reminds us that our God sees, loves and carries us through. As both a special needs parent and a special needs ministry director, I highly recommend this book for all special needs parents and those who minister to them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Diane Dokko Kim tells her story but she does so much more. Through a series of short, poignant chapters, she brings her life as a special needs parent off of the page. Instead of a book that gives advice and tells the reader what they should think, she gently invites the reader into a grief process that makes room for a different hope and purpose through God's grace and redemption. The layout of each chapter, which consists of a short story, relevant Bible passages and questions for the reader to "cement" the concept will be familiar to many who have done Bible studies. This is a book for the parent who is discouraged and for the family member or friend who want to better understand in order to say and do the things to bring comfort and connection to the special needs family. This is the book that, as someone said to me, "starts by putting words to the feelings that I experienced and did not comprehend the day we received our diagnosis" The relevant wisdom and practical insight woven into stories are a salve of hope to anyone who has been wrecked by the haunting words of diagnosis and seek redemption and repurpose. This is a book to not be a read once and put down, but a guide for daily living.
boymom5 More than 1 year ago
Unbroken Faith is the book I needed when my sons were diagnosed with autism nearly two decades ago. Back then, I became an expert at researching leading-edge therapies and was driven to find a path and protocol to "defeat" autism. At the heart of my striving for a cure, though, was a deep sense of guilt that somehow this was my fault, coupled with anger at a world in which our family no longer made sense. What I lacked in those early years was a theology to make sense of God’s activity in and through my sons’ disability. By sharing her own real-life experiences raising her son with autism, and the raw emotions they have provoked, readers find in Diane an empathetic friend. She communicates well the weight of special needs parenting, from diagnosis and through the various seasons of caregiving. In each chapter, she explores the reality of life with a child with a disability and acknowledges the emotions and pain common to so many of us—despair, fear, anger, isolation, confusion, a sense of being abandoned by God, etc. But she is also unafraid in proclaiming her hope in Christ and His faithfulness to guide and mature the Christian facing disability. "What I thought guaranteed certain death became the primary vehicle for proving God's goodness and the relevance of His word." Diane offers perspective-shifting insights as well as hope and comfort directly from God's word. Each chapter concludes with three helpful sections: Unbreakable Promises offers several passages of Scripture that her readers can meditate upon, or better yet, commit to memory. Immediately following, Diane offers a prayer--a model for surrendering to the Lord all that concerns our hearts. Finally, there are questions for reflecting on our own experiences. In her epilogue, Diane declares: "Our son has been the sharpest tool in heaven's drawer to chisel and transform his parents, brother, extended family, and community." I heartily agree! This has certainly been my own experience. Rather than read straight through, these 29 short chapters could serve well as a daily devotional. I am thankful to have this companion for my own walk, but also as a gift to offer to moms new to the journey. I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher.