“So my challenge to all of you parents and caregivers…don’t settle for what other people tell you. Strive to achieve self-sufficiency for your child!”
The speaker paused and surveyed his audience. My wife and I were attending a seminar addressing transitional care for young adults with special needs. My son has Down syndrome and when he graduates from high school in a few years, we will need to make some critical decisions as a family. Will he attend college? Will he get a job? Where will he live?
“You are your child’s advocate. You know them better than anyone else. But I will tell you something…” his voice dropped. “After five years of living on his own with two roommates, things didn’t work out and he returned home. My son is now living at home with us once again.”
There was an audible gasp from several in the room but on cue, the speaker calmly reassured us. “It’s okay.” He smiled. “It is a journey.” The entire room nodded in understanding.
It is the goal of every parent to ensure their children become self-sufficient. The questions we ask for our son are the same questions that every parent asks, regardless of whether their child has special needs or not. Some or even all of these goals may not be achieved in their lifetimes. Yet, even if it is not, this should not be construed as a failure.
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God…
2 Corinthians 3:5 (ESV)
Our Heavenly Father desires the same for all of His children who have placed their faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ. God wants us to be completely God-sufficient, needing or desiring nothing else. But who amongst us can ever claim to live a life of complete surrender to Jesus Christ? Jesus asks us to abide in Him; He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5). I know that apart from Him I can do nothing, yet, why do I so often seek to remove myself from His life-giving Spirit and think I know better?
All believers in Jesus Christ wrestle with our sinful natures, always at war with the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. I should never be impatient with my son’s progress to self-sufficiency when I reflect upon how often I grieve God and seek to do things through my own volition.
It is a journey and God is our Heavenly guide. We know we will never reach the final destination in our lifetimes but that should not dissuade us from pursuing the goal to be completely sufficient in Him.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.