As a pastor/preacher, I pride myself in heralding the Good News of Jesus Christ! In fact, I’m sure in almost all of my sermons, I say something to the effect of, “the Good News is.” When people come to church on Sunday, I want them to know that in spite of what they’re going through, there is Good News. I try my best to preach about faith, hope, trust, praising God in advance, and all the other wonderful virtues that the Gospel of Christ entails. Not only do I preach the Good News, I try to believe and live out the Good News for myself– you know, take my own medicine.
However, there are times in life when the bad news of life, tries its best to choke out the Good/good news in life. In life, when it seems as if all you’ve received is bad news, time after time, it’s extremely hard to receive good news. In fact, when all you’re used to hearing is bad news, the bad news seems to be more palatable to your heart, mind, and spirit.
How do I know this? Because in my own experience, parenthood has at times, been nothing but a blizzard of bad news. Losing 1 child, then another child, then having a child with special needs/disabilities, and then not being able to have more children with my wife (except through surrogacy and/or adoption) has been a rough journey. As some of you may know, parenting Super Mighty Max has come with its share of trials, tribulations, tears, and terrifying news. In my opinion, no one in their right mind likes to hear bad news. Bad news breaks hearts! Bad news can divide families. Bad news can make you act out of character. Bad news will cause emotions to erupt. Bad news can make you doubt God. That’s the truth about bad news!
The lie about bad news is, all news, ain’t bad news and despite what you’ve experienced in the past, everything won’t turn out bad! For me, this is birthed out of my experience with Super Mighty Max; who has been battling with seizures over the past 14-months. Over that time period, we’ve tried numerous seizure medications, and research says once you’ve unsuccessfully tried two anti-seizure medications, the chances of being seizure free is very unlikely!
Well, instead of trying another seizure medication on Super Mighty Max, in December we put him on the Ketogenic Diet, which is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. During his first 30 days of being on the diet, my wife and I still noticed seizures and wondered if this diet would actually work for him. That was the first 30 days! The Good News is, for the past 2 1/2 weeks, we can probably count on one hand how many seizures we’ve seen! Super Mighty Max has gone from having multiple seizures an hour to not having any visible seizures on some days, at all. This is wonderful new! For Super Mighty Max, not having any seizure could be a total game-changer in his development! Again, this is Good News, because it allows us to hope, believe, and have faith in different possibilities for our son!
Today, I’m grateful for the lie about bad news and the truth about Good News! The Good News is, no matter what it looks like, God is in control! The Good News is, no matter what we encounter, God is in the situation with us! The Good News is, no matter what the bad news may be, God can turn it into Good News! The Good News is, whatever the news is, God will sustain! The Good News is, right now, Super Mighty Max has had a dramatic decrease in seizures, and I celebrate that! Will you join me in believing in the Good News???
Stay Super, Make Mighty Moves, Be Blessed,
Let me tell you, 2015 has been a year for the ages, at least from my point of view. Hopefully, if your reading this post, you’ve been keeping up with Super Mighty Max’s story, through our voices and can remember what our family has experienced thus far this year. From those experiences, I have distilled what I think are the most important lessons I’ve learned this year, and believe others who parent and love someone with special needs and disabilities can benefit from. Here is a list of 10 lessons that I learned and they are not in any particular order.
- I’ve learned to be more disciplined. Every morning or evening and sometimes both, I spend at least an hour to administer medicine, feed Max, give breathing treatments, and get him ready for the day. On top of that, there is the job of taking him to and from multiple appointments, which are on occasion several times a week. It takes a lot of discipline to care for someone, because literally their life depends on your attention to detail.
- How MUCH I LOVE SUPER MIGHTY MAX. Having the privilege to spend time with my son, has increased my love for him; he’s a fighter, he’s beautiful, he’s resilient, and he’s an answer to prayers.
- It’s stressful raising a child with special needs and disabilities. Multiple appointments, yet to be answered prayers, unanswered prayers, difficult diagnoses, lack of vacations, lack of trustworthy/confident people to help care for your child, thousands of $$$ in medical bills, difficulty interpreting pain, and etc. It’s just a lot.
- Self-Care is Essential. You cannot take care of someone effectively if you don’t take care of yourself. Enough said!
- I have more compassion. I’m more compassionate with my son and therefore, I’m more compassionate to the pain of mankind.
- The need for advocacy. Navigating the world of disability, hospitals, bills, doctors, appointments, therapists, equipment, and pharmacists is not a walk in the park. I’m blessed to have good people in my corner helping us along the way and we need to help others along this journey.
- Super Mighty Max is not a mistake. He’s not a mistake. He’s not a result of God’s wrath. He is created in the image and likeness of God! He is fearfully and wonderfully made.
- The Village. Never would’ve made it without the help and love of family, friends, church members, and good hearted people!
- Facing Facts with FAITH. Despite what the doctors and experts say, listen to their opinions, and face those facts and opinions with FAITH. God has the final say!
- I’m stronger than I thought. This year has taught me to be emotionally and mentally resilient! I’m much stronger from these past experiences this year and I will continue to be so.
- Lack of Ministry to those with special needs/disabilities and those who care for them. The church overall, especially the Black Church has done a poor job with ministering to those with special needs/disabilities, and their families. Too often, I’ve heard stories about families being asked to leave with their children, because the church wasn’t equipped to serve them. I’ve heard stories of parents either no longer attending church or leaving their children at home, because the church wasn’t prepared to minister to them. This is the elephant in the room that Black Church needs to deal with, as we deal with ministering to other marginalized groups.
Stay Super, Make Mighty Moves, Be Blessed!