Being the mama of a child with Down syndrome is hard. I truly believe we are part of, “the lucky few,” and I wouldn’t change Hannah for anything, but we will face challenges most other moms never will. We teach our children to crawl, when most kids are walking. We teach our children to say single words, when most kids are putting words together. We visit doctors and therapists multiple times a month, while most parents just have routine check ups. I am facing these challenges, and have faced many others, but God has always brought me through it. I find myself saying that phrase, but God a lot.
When we found out about Hannah’s diagnosis when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I didn’t think I would be able to handle a child with special needs, but God taught me how. When Hannah was born critically ill and spent 33 days in the NICU/CICU, I didn’t think I would be able to get through each day, but God comforted me. When Hannah had open heart surgery at 6 months old, I thought I might lose my baby, but God brought her through it and has allowed her to thrive.
Each time my flesh has failed me, God has held me up and given me his strength. He has taught me patience (though I’m still learning), perseverance, and how to be joyful through the tough times. He has taught me to celebrate the small accomplishments, and to not worry about the small setbacks. Through this journey he has lifted me up in ways I could not have imagined. I can look back at countless times where I thought I couldn’t do something, or Hannah wouldn’t get better, or a difficult season would never end, but God always brought us through; He always had a better plan than I did.
So when life gets hard, I try to remember that I may be weak, but God gives me strength. The doctors might not have an answer, but God will reveal the right things at the right time. We may have what seems like a setback, but God doesn’t make mistakes. I may not be able to control a situation, but God is sovereign. My flesh fails me, but God never will.