“Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing”
– Bethel Music, “Take Courage”
Oh! The waiting! It is the 100% commonality of all the special needs moms. Because a diagnosis has a prognosis, and a prognosis looms with things to wait for, or dread, or expect, or fear. Nicolas is 16 and we are still waiting for things. Wondering if they will or will not happen. Being part of a parents group for his particular rare genetic disorder is often comforting, sometimes reminiscent, and occasionally difficult – because it always reminds me of something we’ve waited for.
I all but forgot about waiting for him to be toilet trained, until recently there was a discussion among dozens of parents of younger ones about it, then I remembered how I waited through ages 5, 6, and 7 before he accomplished that milestone. I definitely remember waiting for him to speak. His prognosis was of “absent speech” and his first word at age 4 still brings a tear to my eye. I encounter parents now still waiting and wondering if there ever will be a first word for their 8p child. When he was a baby we waited to see if his heart and kidneys had defects as his diagnosis suggested they would. The neurologist reminded me just recently that we will continue to wait and see if seizures develop as he gets older.
Then I see a video post of an adorable two year old with Nick’s diagnosis, who can correctly identify all the primary colors, and I’m reminded we’re still waiting for that. Another little girls who can spell her own name – still waiting for that one too. We will always be waiting for something. The song I quoted above, by Bethel Music, is such a sweet reminder that God is found IN the waiting. Having a special needs child, I believe, has made me an expert at waiting. It is a gift that many in this hurried world may never fully grasp. Waiting is where we find Him, and where we are renewed. Patience is what makes us perfect and whole, lacking nothing (James 1:4). The goal is not the arrival of what we’re waiting for, it’s the waiting itself.
If you find yourself waiting for something, or dreading something, then remind yourself that you’re not in limbo or out in the hallway, you are IN a place. You are in THE place to find Him. To find His love, His comfort, His peace and His fullness. And those things: love, comfort, and peace, they are the triumph that will unfold. So the accomplishment (or not) of something you are waiting for will not be the only triumph coming your way, but also what you find in Him and in yourself while you wait becomes a triumph in itself.