This thing we do called life can be a tricky one sometimes. Just when we think everything is going right something gets thrown into the mix and throws everything off. The unexpected can be frustrating and at times even devastating. When these obstacles occur we go through several emotions trying to understand how and why they happened. Some of us even question and doubt God with thoughts like “what did we do to deserve this?” and “how could you allow this to happen?”. This is the way my story as a mother started.
As some of you know, our first born son Dominic was diagnosed in the womb with Down Syndrome and a heart defect 13 years ago. This unexpected and painful news came over my husband and I like a whirlwind that at times nearly knocked us off our feet. The amount of heartache and sadness from the challenges we were faced with was overwhelming and quite unbearable at times.
Over the years, my saddened heart continued to ask God those very questions “Why did you allow this to happen to me? Did I do something to deserve this?”. One day God decided to answer me. He said, “What did “Dominic” do to deserve this? Annette, no one did anything to deserve this. I know it hurts and seems hard, but I promise if you turn it over to me I will turn it into good and My glory WILL shine through. Will you help be that vehicle for me?”.
His tender words immediately stopped me in my tracks. The thought that I was making this all about ME and how it affected ME, and not once had I considered the fact that my sweet boy didn’t deserve it either….broke my heart beyond words. I felt so selfish and ashamed. That powerful moment was a moment I will never forget. It was my “aha” moment, my moment of release from allowing an unfortunate circumstance steal my purpose as a mother.
God helped me see that he specifically hand picked my husband and I as parents to properly care, nurture, and guide His precious son Dominic in this world. Not because He felt we needed to experience heartbreak. It’s because He loved Dominic and believed we had exactly what it would take to accommodate his special needs so that Dominic’s purpose could be fulfilled.
At that moment my perspective changed from doom and despair to a higher calling for His glory.
The truth of the matter is, we were never promised an obstacle free journey in this life. We will ALWAYS face new unwanted circumstances along the way. However we were promised that if we seek God and trust Him and His Word, He will turn all things into good for His glory for those that love Him.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Dominic. It was during a time when we were having extreme challenges with his behavior. As we were sitting in church, I looked over and saw him praying to his Heavenly Father. Seeing this blessed my heart so deeply. I believe God wanted me to know He is working with Dominic and that everything is going to be ok.
God has a plan, a purpose, a higher calling for every single one of our lives. When the obstacles in life are thrown at us like a whirlwind, I pray that we seek His face for guidance. Choose to be that vehicle for His ultimate glory to shine through.
*The meaning behind the name DOMINIC is: Belongs to God
These photos are from his Special Olympics Tournament this past week. He won 2nd place in the Softball Throw. 🙂
Dominic, Tatum (sister), August (brother)
♥ My family ♥
In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
Life can be hard and blow us in directions we don’t want to go. But if we trust God, seek His face, and stand in his strength, He will turn it to good and His presence will shine through and get all the glory.
I always knew the day would come when I would share this experience with you here at Textures of Grace. Who knew a little windy photo shoot experience that I captioned on my Instagram photo here would be God’s way to open that door for me to share. 🙂
To the parents and families who have individuals with special needs:
Please know that you are not alone. We were chosen for these special individuals because we have that special something to see them through according to His plan. It’s a big responsibility and the journey is not an easy one. But we have been given a special gift…choose to embrace it. And the blessings will come.
I am no expert, nor do I feel I have it all figured out. I am just a mother sharing a piece of my own story. I pray that anyone that reads this that may be going through a similar situation will feel some form of hope and encouragement.
God bless you and yours.
P.S. Whether it be in the comments below or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org I am always here for you.
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