• Laura Alvarado-Newson

There is room for only one superhero (exposing a myth)

Something has been bothering me for the past few weeks. Ever since my son was born 17 years ago, there has been a message, words of encouragement that I was never quite able to swallow.

These words are spoken in love and admiration from others and are meant to be a compliment and a message of hope for us special needs parents. However, I consider these words a mistake, a misunderstanding of sorts, not true. What are these words? or rather, what is this message?

"God only gives these children (or disabled spouse) to strong women like me"

"I have been given special strength and gifts, that is why I was chosen for this calling as a caregiver"

"God chooses only the strong to handle these situations."

And usually these beautiful sentences (not being sarcastic) are followed by: "I wouldn't last a day", "I can't do what you do", "I don't know what I would do if I were in your shoes", "I can't imagine..."

Okay, here's the deal. These ideas or messages are basically saying that any one who is a caregiver or going through anything heavy has been especially designed with superhero genes, right? We have been given extra wisdom? So the strength, wisdom, endurance, patience and faith are completely unattainable to you regular folk? Of course, I am talking to you who know the Lord and understand His promises. If you don't know God, His love, His grace and promises, well yeah, you can't do what I do or be what I am; and who is that? A woman, forgiven, set free from guilt and shame. A woman who knows that when the storm hits, I have a solid rock to hang on to and that Rock's name is Jesus. You can know Him too.

What I am trying to say is this: us special needs parents, us caregivers, or those of us who have it tough and yet seem strong enough to endure, laugh, and praise God along the way, we are not a special breed. We are made from dust just like you and we are sinners saved by grace, just like you. We cry, we scream, we whine, we complain just like you. So this is my encouragement to you:

God is our superhero! God is the only one with supernatural strength and endurance. And guess what? God is with you too! God is your strength too! When you need to endure, God will give you the grace to endure too! When you need extra patience, God will give you the grace to be patient too! God can strengthen you after multiple sleepless nights too. In my case, that is years. God can give you the wisdom and understanding to learn difficult tasks and excel at them too! God can give you the compassion and love for a disabled child or spouse too!

My heart is broken and I see God holding my broken heart in His hand because He wants to make it new. He can and wants to give you a new heart too. Do you believe this? You are just as special to Him as every one says I am. You have a purpose and God will use you in powerful ways, you just have to let Him do the work.

So in Jesus, you would last a day and then some, you can do what I do and more, and God would tell you what to do one step at a time if you were in my shoes. Be encouraged, if any of us are "heros" it is because of God's grace and strength, and this is for all, not just a "special breed".

Good Night...

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