Monday, March 11, 2013

Dealing with the Diagnosis

Yesterday while I was helping my 8 year-old son Daniel get ready for worship, he asked me a question. "Did you know I have A.S. (Aspberger's Syndrome)?" I know he brought this up because sometimes this causes him to have a hard time getting ready. I said, "Yes, did you know I have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder)?" Daniel said, "Mom says my A.S. is very mild, and that other kids have it in different ways." He also said, "I heard and illustration about A.D.D! It's like when a person explains, 'Yes, I struggle with something they....'Hey, look a blue jay!'" Then Daniel laughed. Then I laughed. "You are a very smart boy," I said.

Later that day I talked to my son about our situations. I wanted to let him know that just because we have been diagnosed with something didn't mean we were going to allow that diagnosis to become a crutch. Instead it was going to serve as helpful awareness. Now that we have had someone to help identify our obstacles, we were going to be more educated and determined to overcome them. My son was diagnosed last summer and his case is very mild and not very similar to the majority of children who struggle with A.S. I found out as an adult that I had A.D.D. At times it has been a challenge to my ministry. People want and need my attention. They want me to listen to them without distraction. Sometimes I still fail people miserably.

God has created each one of us in a very special way. Our genetics are different. Our personalities are different. Our backgrounds are different. Our talents are different. The human race is intriguing and variegated beyond our understanding. In this we find the beauty and majesty of God. Our weaknesses and struggles only remind us of our need to depend on God and support one another. These weaknesses also keep us humble - a very healthy reminder for Christians who have had their sins washed away and who are on their way to heaven. If you are saved, lest you be exalted above measure, God may allow there to be a thorn in your flesh. This thorn remains to help you remember that His grace is sufficient. This world is not the place of perfection. But Jesus is preparing that place.

In a time where everything is seemingly a diagnosis, we should not be afraid of what we may learn about ourselves. We can all be diagnosed with something. Our weaknesses give us no excuse to sin or be lazy or fail to contribute to a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Just remember that the person sitting next to you is imperfect. They need God. They need a Savior. They need the church. When it comes to being a part of the church that Jesus built, no perfect people need apply.

It is in Christ alone that our hope is found. He is our light, our strength, and our song. I look at my each one of my children and I see them as wonderful, special, beautiful - a creation of God just as God pleased, and an amazing gift to my wife and myself. I imagine that God sees each of us that way. He is waiting for us to trust in Him to lead us through our weaknesses and into the way everlasting. We can do all things through Christ who is our strength!

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10


  1. Words of wisdom for so many to hear. I too, am ADHD, and I have to work extra hard in listening to others. It is a daily task of working on self-control to accomplish this. There are a lot of people who are imperfect and living in an imperfect world, but if our Apostle Paul was able to overcome his infirmity, we can overcome our health issues. I also, worked with children with special needs for 3 years and loved every minute of it. People with special needs have a special place in my heart; to be there for them. Thank you for sharing your heart and family with us. I know you and your family are well loved and most importantly, faithful, Christians raising your children in the admonition of our Lord.

  2. Thank you for your comments, Diane.