Silencing Your Inner “Super-Parent” to Hear God’s Voice

The tension in my neck felt like a vice had been attached across my shoulders. After umpteen hours of research, calling medical offices, and chasing lab results, I reached my limit of special-needs mom stress.  Acting as (a diligent, and yes, sometimes obsessive) case manager, nurse, researcher, decision-maker and counselor all in the same day (or hour) can become overwhelming.  I knew I reached that point last week when I yelled at the cat (poor old guy was just in the wrong place at the wrong time).

The truth is that I find it hard to wait patiently for answers. I dislike ambiguity regarding the well-being of my children,  and working to figure things out is in my nature.  This can be a good thing, but there comes a point where work has diminishing returns and mainly brings about a state of physical or mental exhaustion with little progress toward the goal. I am the poster child for this scenario.

I finally had sense enough to pull myself away from computer research and took a warm bath.  As the buoyancy of the water supported the tight muscles in my neck, I again asked God to forgive me for trying to solve my child’s medical problems with supermom skills that are often not super at all.

This intensely active problem solving and subsequent repentance is not new for me.  The first time I walked the supermom wanna-be path was when my husband and I were seeking a diagnosis for our two-year- old who had autism.  That was 20 years ago.  This time it’s on behalf of our 22-year-old who has undiagnosed medical problems.  Clearly, I’m not as far along in my spiritual development as I could be.   I regret how often I may have drowned out God’s voice with my intense efforts to learn and seek expert opinion.  



Does this mean I get everything I want?  No.  Does it mean that God has immediately answered “yes” to every prayer.  No—not by a long shot.  What it means is that God has always provided strength and enough provision over time to keep my hope alive and to sustain me and my children.

So here are the questions I must ask myself:

  • Why do I act as if I alone must secure resources for my daughter? Do I believe God will not work His will for my daughter without my help?
  • Do I believe that God is so skimpy with His power and provision that I must micromanage my daughter’s care?
  • When will I know that my due diligence in advocating and researching is enough—and that it’s time to let go of fear and to trust?

Thankfully, a friend (who read Luke 12:27) reminded me that wild flowers in the fields do not toil for their survival, yet our Heavenly Father sustains them.  He dresses them more elegantly than the most powerful Kings in the world.  The flowers simply bask in the sun (or tolerate the rain) as he provides for their needs and dresses them in an extravagant way.  To think that God might do this for us and our children is extraordinary!

As we make decisions for our children, it’s not always easy to discern our role in the process and to be sure of our choices.  However, it is clear that we have stepped over the line when we  feel worry or overwhelming burden over anything (Phillipians 4:6-7).

For me, it’s time to intensely seek God (not answers) through a quiet and attentive spirit and to watch in awe and thanksgiving as He directs my path (Proverbs 3:5-6).


Thanks to Professionals Who Bless Our Special Needs Life


Today I appreciate professionals who give great care, good advice, and are wise enough to consider what it’s like to be a struggling child and a parent of that child.  Here are some shout-outs to those who made our lives easier:


  • The neuropsychologist who took half of her workday to evaluate my daughter at home where she could really see and understand the challenges that others missed. Her efforts gave us the correct diagnosis so we could move forward.


  • The college student I hired who was gifted in her ability to engage my pre-schooler with autism. This was a serendipitous engagement.  The first time we spoke over the phone, she recalls thinking it might be a good job because Katie was “artistic” and this student liked art.  She lightened our days, became my friend, and helped me enjoy life again.


  • The behaviorist, the best I ever met, who taught us how to calm my daughter’s rages. It was nothing short of a miracle.


  • The psychiatrist who not only prescribed the right medicine but shared pieces of her own life which put us all at ease. She attended meetings to educate the school staff who discounted my child’s anxiety because it did “not appear” to be a problem at school.


  • The psychiatric nurse who openly shared her family’s struggle with mental illness on our first visit with our depressed and angry child. She helped us feel normal and showed us that life and laughter continue after a mental health diagnosis. I cannot thank her enough for the candid disclosure which lightened my emotional load.


  • The school autism specialist who started an excellent after-school social training program for children with autism. She wasn’t paid extra to run an after-school program but knew it was important. A family advocate at heart, she welcomed children with autism and their families into her home every Christmas and summer.


  • The itinerant teacher for autism, who spoke to parents as allies and equals. She calmly addressed behavior problems as understandable reactions to stressors, taking the “scary” out of erratic behavior. As I got to know her, she shared her own struggles as a teen and young adult. Watching this down-to-earth young professional gave my heart hope that kids often grow up and find their way.


  • The school psychologist who acknowledged how hard our lives must be sometimes—and shared her own struggle with her son. She was professional, compassionate and brainstormed solutions that worked in real life, not just on paper.

Please share a sentence about who and how professionals have blessed your life as you raise your child with special needs.