When my disabled son, Lucas, was an adorable little boy, I thought (and declared loudly!) that as long as I was alive and well, I would care for him. I was his mother and no one could ever provide for him as I would. And I completely believed this up until about five years ago.

It started with puberty as Lucas blossomed into manhood, shedding his adorableness, and my mental and physical health deteriorated as he grew larger and stronger and became aggressive at times. I whispered to my husband, late at night with tears streaming down my face after Lucas had pulled my hair or scratched my arms or lashed out at a sibling, “I don’t know if I can do this forever. I don’t know if I want to do this forever,” and those moments became the catalyst of God softening my heart toward a different reality.

RELATED: Leaving the Nest is Not an Option for My Daughter

Then the pandemic hit, and we were stuck at home forever and ever, and we made a documentary called Unseen: Caregiver Documentary that detailed just how bad it got (well, with the hard parts smoothed over for public viewing), and one day, as I was wrestling with God, and crying out, “Lord! I do trust you with my children! I just don’t know how to surrender Lucas to you! I’m his mom! No one will ever care for him or love him as I do! I need to make sure he’s safe forever! I need to control this situation! You understand, right?! He’s nonverbal and completely dependent on others for his care!”

And a still small voice replied, “If you don’t trust me with Lucas, then you have made caring for him your idol.”

Ouch.

The prodding continued, “You trust me with seven of your children. Trust also that I created Lucas and love him more than you could possibly imagine, and I will care for him, just as I care for your other children.”

And I slowly began to open myself up to the possibility that one day I would have to ultimately learn to entrust Lucas’s care to his Creator.

RELATED: Who Will Protect Her When I’m Gone?

This is our story. I trust that you and the Lord will wrestle with your own story and your own unique path and just because this is the plan God laid out for us, doesn’t mean it’s the path for everyone.

I would, however, encourage mamas everywhere to allow themselves permission to change their minds. 

Just because you promised your child something at five years old doesn’t mean it still applies when they’re 25. Pray, wrestle, cry out to God, and then surrender. He does love your child passionately and will command His angels concerning their care and yours.

These are hard and holy choices. Go toward the open doors and walk through them when you have a peace that passes understanding.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Jess Ronne

I’m an author, teacher, wife, non-profit director, special needs advocate and mom of 8. A few years back, we traded in our Michigan snow shovels for humidity and sweet tea in the South & we’ve never looked back. You’ll often find me on social media chatting about faith, grief, food, simplicity, blended families, gardening, special needs, and everything else in between. 

To My Son With Autism, I’m Sorry

In: Child
Boy sitting in grass

To my son with profound autism, I’m sorry I didn’t try medication sooner. I’m sorry that I was more concerned with side effects than possibilities. I’m sorry you lived in an anxious mess of a mind for years because of my pride. I’m sorry I assumed the worst and how it would affect you. RELATED: What if I’m Failing My Son With Autism? I’m sorry I hindered your abilities because of my inability to broaden my horizons. I’m sorry I limited your communication when medication would have clarified your needs. I’m sorry I restricted you from your siblings because the...

Keep Reading

Autism is Heartbreak By One Thousand Paper Cuts

In: Motherhood
Little boy smiling

Every year, 1 out of 59 children is diagnosed with autism. And behind each child—behind the meltdowns and the therapies and the meetings—stands an advocate.  We stand in the shadows, you see. We are the social story-tellers, and the paperwork-doers, and the appointment-makers.  My son Jack was diagnosed with autism in 2005. He was a little boy in overalls and a blue jacket. He was 18 months old. I hadn’t slept more than two hours in almost two years, and he screamed all day long and threw his food on the floor and my marriage was on the brink and who cared anymore because...

Keep Reading

The Struggle You Don’t See in a Special Needs Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy hugging mom, black-and-white photo

My heart is pounding out of my chest. My hands are shaking. My face becomes flushed, and I can feel my eyes start to fill with tears. I quickly walk to my room, close the door, and break down crying on the floor.  As I sit here with my hands over my face, feeling defeated from another emotionally exhausting day, I can’t help but secretly wish others could see the behind-the-scenes moments. The hard stuff. The struggles. The sleepless nights. The things that make us uncomfortable to talk about. I want to have a conversation about the moments that bring a...

Keep Reading