Why Did God Give Me a Child with Down Syndrome?
I met Apple Teoh when I was speaking at her church camp a couple of years ago. I find Apple to be a person with exceptional strength, courage and compassion. I am reposting a post of hers (with permission) from her blog I can do it!.
Actually, to be honest, I’ve never really asked God this question. Ha! Maybe that’s how I should tell my friend and wiggle out of this…hehehe…Ok… I shall not clown around…Perhaps when Li-Ann was first born, the emotional side of me might have asked, ‘Why me?’ a few times but apart from that, I had to handle many issues and the practical side of me told me I had to move on. So I did.
I was seriously stuck with this question. It had set me thinking. It took me many months to organise my thoughts…and also to really ask God and wait for His answer.
God gave me His answer in 2 parts. First, He told me Part 2…
God gave us Li-Ann so that we and others can see how a child will grow up as a result of His unconditional love. This was an amazing revelation for me. Being imperfect, I can never imagine how this is ever possible. However, with the Almighty Father, nothing is impossible.
With our older two, parenting has been a continuous challenge. When LA came along, that stretched us further. Surprisingly, CM and I have found ourselves to be more patient (or lax?) with LA (I’m not sure if we are doing better as parents). Maybe we know she needs more time….or maybe we find her really cute….or maybe we are simply tired….Whatever the reason, she’s a joy to be with and we all treasure her.
We witness God’s Hands in moulding LA into a pretty girl who LOVES horse riding, (and she’s GOOD at it) has a mind of her own and will not hesitate to speak if you grant her audience. She is getting more independent and is eager to do things on her own. Now that she has grown taller, she would tip-toe (good way to strengthen her calf muscles) to reach the toilet light switch. With her gross and fine muscles being worked on, she is now more willing to take risks. Li-Ann recently tied a ponytail all by herself!! YEA!! On that day, she did it at least 5-6 times, further enhancing her fine motor skills. I found out it’s not easy for a child to do that. As LA was given exposure to different sights and sounds, people and places, flora and fauna, we see rapid growth and development in her speech, her cognitive capabilities, interests and abilities. Many love her dearly and one, Aunty Louise, even experienced love through her. Perhaps she saw a glimpse of the unconditional love of God through Li-Ann…
As I pondered over these, it dawn upon me that if only more of us are willing to accept and experience this unconditional Fatherly love, regardless of our sufferings and sins, our lives will be full and abundant as Jesus promised in John 10.9-11 (KJV)
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
It is my prayer that this little soul will enter into a personal relationship with her Heavenly Father, who had created her in secret and knew her even before she was born. And that in spite of any limitations set by her genetic code, God’s will will be lived out in her life.
So what’s Part 1 of God’s answer? God gave us Li-Ann so that we will continue to experience His perfecting work in us as we humbly rely on Him.
Brother John and sister Rebecca simply adore their little sister. They love to hug, kiss and squeeze her. These two were known to fight over issues like ‘LA likes me better than you!’ or ‘LA wants to play with me.’ or ‘LA is MY dog/cat/horse/etc’ (when they pretended to be one another’s pet).’ While I shake my head over such petty quarrels, I saw their affection for one another and I’m grateful for the love that is holding them together. John thinks LA is The Greatest Blessing while Rebecca tells you All About Li-Ann. Here are pictures of this cherished relationship…
One day, a dear friend shared how upset she and her hubby were when one of her family members was so close to labelling LA. Both of them were frantically racking their brains on how to stop what they anticipated was coming forth. Finally the husband said, ‘Li-Ann is special.’ And that put an end to the conversation. I thank my Lord for this long-time pal from secondary school and am extremely touched by this couple’s love for LA. Thank you, brother and sister.
CM grew as a father. He loves the children and will take time to be with them as much as he can and as best as he knows how. He often obliges in our home therapies and even went for a talk on Raising Good Fathers of Children with Special Needs. Thank you Da Da for all the sacrifices you’ve made. Here are some beautiful shots taken by/with daddy…
Li-Ann, I come to understand how intricately we are made - the interconnectedness of our body muscles along with our minds, something a healthy typical person may never realise, until perhaps one is deprived of the normal function of a part of one’s body. With every success, I give thanks for the loving Creator who always guides and protects. With every failure, I give thanks for LA’s motivation and perseverance which has become more spontaneous and sustainable as she grows older.
See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
Perhaps, when the Lord brought me through my breast cancer surgeries and treatment, He was preparing me for the long haul with my family, including LA. I find the perfectionist me more willing to accept imperfections, interruptions, spontaniety and adjustments. Afterall, nothing is constant except our good Lord and the changes we need to cope with every now and then. Thankfully, He is also the Lord over any change and that’s an important reminder for me when I feel insecure.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
Recently, we were at the hair salon when our family hairdresser and another of her regular customer unanimously agreed that I must be a very patient mom since I homeschool my children. I thanked them humbly but the truth is I can be demanding with my children at times. I am grateful for that testimony, for how God has worked in my heart and would not give up on me. Each day, I thank Him for His grace, without which I would not be where I am now.
Do you have someone who require your special and dedicated attention? It is my prayer that as you plod on each day, tired with the mundane, frustrated with your unproductive labour and can’t help but ask ‘Why?’, that God will give you many reasons to give thanks for and that your perseverance will bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 15.57-58
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
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