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June 17, 2020 2:00 am
Lisa Sexton discusses her experiences with raising her special needs son, Tyler. Lisa and Tyler also share their amazing story of how, with God's help, Tyler has overcome the limitations of his disability to become a physician. (Part 2 of 2)
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I close every blind in my house.
I close every curtain and I mourn about today's and what I cried about was I needed to mourn that I lost the normal baby that my life was not going to be a white picket fence pretty house and going to the baseball diamond. We had during honest admission from Lisa Sexton about some very difficult circumstances in her life. She was with us last time on Focus on the Family describing the deep despair as she tried to cope with the diagnosis for her son Tyler of cerebral palsy and you hear a second day of the discussion with your host. Focus on the Family Pres. Jim Daly. I love the story because there's so much hope and faith in it for a mother and father who gave birth to a child with special needs, and all those hopes that you heard in that clip those dreams that parents normally have.
They were all – when they realize her son would not measure up like every other young man, but you will be encouraged when you hear what happens next in the story that's coming ugly center son Tyler story reminds us that were all made in the image of God and that he cares deeply about each of us and he wants to draw you closer in the trials that you're facing Lisa and Tyler have captured so much of their story, the joys and the challenges of special needs in a book called no such thing as Let's go ahead and listen to that second part of the conversation.
There was a story in your book that caught my attention. Were you creatively took a dull in the down moment where Tyler was at emotionally that day, tell us what you did with the Bert Dall well I want to encourage parents to when you're desperate. Desperation is not a bad thing sometimes.
And if it's long term, it can be that desperation lead you to the feet of Jesus. If you see that time after time after time in the Bible we see that and so a lot of times when you are saying you know wisdom and different things.
You're desperate for a way to to figure this out.
And as you said Tyler had all of these little tiny characters Ernie and Burton into the whole Sesame Street gang and he would play with them all the time. It was his very favorite thing to do and he would put them up on the hearth at the fireplace and one day he came home from preschool and everything was up on the fireplace and Tyler's very meticulous. He's very heating notices every detail of everything and so he asked me if he was sitting by the hearth and he looked up at me and he said why is my legs different than all the other kids at my school and I wasn't ready for that question and I said why don't you take your nap will have lunch and then when you get up will talk about it so I had Tyler all tucked in and I'm sitting on the couch and I'm looking at those characters and I thought I'm to chop Bert's arms off with a butcher knife you're really saying woman. Let me just really I am saying.
So I went to the counter and I got out my knife in my chopping block and I cut off Bert's arms through Bert's arms away and I put them up irony, and I knew right away that Tyler would notice that I knew so pretty soon Tyler will combat crawl because he could not get up on his feet without his walker and his braces so he would combat with his elbows and then his little body would just kinda swirled behind him as he came down the hardwood floor so he came around the corner and he noticed immediately, and he went home. I would what happened but Psalms and I said oh you and I can believe what happen he was in an accident when you were in bed and the world is going to call him disabled because they had to amputate his arms, but he can still be with Ernie. He can still hang out with big bird and cookie monster and he could still be a part of the Sesame Street gang but he's going to be different and he's going to be special, and he said, just like my legs. I said, just like your legs you can have to learn how to do the things that Bert will have to learn without arms and he said okay. Did you make that connection. It sounds like you really caught it. It just made sense. It looks the tacos here in was it just okay. I just can't. It amazes me Lisa how God gave you the right fall at the right moment to kind of provide Tyler with the lesson he needed as a little boy let's move forward. We talked about Tyler's early years. Of course he gets her high school, you know you can hear it just how right Tyler is and you talked about the power of observation that you saw in him as a young boy in here you are thinking you know what will he do vocationally, he has cerebral palsy.
It's can be difficult for him to be mobile.
What happens when college comes around. That was tough letting Tyler go because he needed us so much. Did you feel fear, we felt a lot of fear and you're sending them into the vaults as a normal child when we… Or off at college. You're fearful that Italy's three years younger than 20 years younger than Tyler and she is just as loved and special as Tyler is and she's quote normal and was fearful dropping her off and Tyler you worried about doing stairs things that other parents don't really think about. I didn't have to worry about the drugs, the alcohol, things like that. I worried about the safety about him making friends about him being included and so it we were scared to death. His dad and I were both there and his sister and it was a tough time for our family that Tyler at that moment. Are you thinking the world is my oyster that you can do anything or even understand the fact you have these difficulties and the impediments though it was made apparent by others, not to me. You have such a positive outlook word that come from what you first stated it really did. My parents really did they desired me to dream big. Let me do that. So for me I wanted to achieve my goals and I knew I could but some people in the world didn't agree with that and so going to college. College will most difficult times of my entire is why was one of the reasons I got made fun of.
Almost every day.
I walked on the college at college level.
You would think that we as guys get older we know in college is a vast array of personalities and people closer together, walk funny money mom business that I be left alone.
Every day I got made fun of posing was about ambulation, moving from place to place throughout the campus. I didn't know one of these.
That is, you should use a wheelchair and I work so hard to get out of Wiltshire. I don't want to go back so I thought I've worked so hard to be independent and to be typical Gabrielle's not that you symbols is a blessing and I wouldn't trade for the world but I worked so hard to stay away from a wheelchair.
I thought what am I going to do this. How does God do this and literally what I saw guys at the beginning of all this at the beginning of high school and on every time there was a hurdle accident could be done got Sabrina jump this from him. I member specifically talk about emulation college in high school my senior high school took a senior trip. I was left of center.
It is and you know the Segway human transfers at first came up to see you stand on. Move back and forth. I saw one of the president in the way of the future area I said was up. That is the thing I'm gonna used to get around. I said I went home and I said mom God showed me what used to get around.
I did and so I got Segway and I use the Segway to get around and then there was an issue of Kennedy stairs on my own. Can I live on my own. Can I do some of these things and I was on a waiting list for service. Talk Danny at the time and Danny was at completion of pictures and you know in James ties with every good and perfect gift come from the father lies who is in heaven. Danny was my good and perfect gift.
The last piece or the kink in my armor or the need that I had.
Then he filled it in terms of BMI stability in terms of my confidence now every day student made fun of on college campus. They thought they thought I was blind because it would trip the amount I got on the Segway with my sunglasses on what I wrote away, but the issue was. At first he would talk about how I feel him in the trepidations these things went off to college. At first get made fun of. Every day I became inverted when I first got Danny. I lived in a situation roommates that were live in the college scene, producing things made fun of. Every day I said and I thought, man, if I just keep my sunglasses on nobody to mess with the blanket as I literally would do that I would keep us in on.
I wouldn't talk to anybody in my vibrancy to talk about right now and I appreciate that, but it really it was lost to me and I said, this can't be. I can't let this because I will be the same and starting off in college to finish whatever I'm trying to do. I will be the same man. So I started post Bible verses throughout my apartment. Think of is 12 9010 for my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will delight all the more gladly about my weaknesses to the cross power may rest on me as my life verse Lovett started pacing these things and I said I'm going to do this at that moment you know there were issues it in my previously was written with the roommates and God took now that as soon as I change my attitude. Again, God started opening up doors. Otherwise I would've not seen. And that's really how it all started. And then there were times when I had a passion to become a physician to work with kids, specifically pediatrics and kids with special needs. Okay, now let me let me slow that down because a lot of people I want to make sure were all hearing this, you're in college I'm assuming you're taking science as your undergrads drag it out and you're struggling emotionally. I think it's fair to say your are you wanting to hide as best you can see, you don't have to confront these boys.
In essence, that's completely understandable and again the application there Tyler for all of us is we hide in different ways. Don't way we do, especially in the Christian community we can use that to cover up that humanness.
Those things that we struggle with how do you see that applying to those who are fully capable physically, emotionally, mentally and I'm really glad to address that question because that's what the books about is not just about shelves or falls in the mom is about. I did find whatever part of your life you're going through and how God can use the optical portion why look at it is I'm an art fan I like mosaics you mosaic when you look up close to a random bunch of pictures you want to know what is this you look through their sometimes our lives are many deficit God why are you doing this.
Just give me one month of no ridicule give me one month of easy and I say, when the good things you have to walk the rocks to see the Mountain View and you be amazed we all have rocks our lives to be amazed how God uses these rocks and turn them into amazing scenery of these amazing views aptly were in Colorado around amazing views, but it's incredible because what I did at that time I looked at a mosaic and I would see that randomness. I likened it to life, something we don't know exactly what God is doing in our lives. When you pull back on a mosaic that pictures beautiful. It's cohesive is perfect is not missing a piece of the picture.
That's how life is a wonder exactly why were going to that specific piece of our lives are that specific season and if you didn't go through it, you wouldn't be complete and God wouldn't finish his work. And that's what college was for me. That's what God showed me what so-called he was older and my relationship grew with him and you showed me that he is completing me a greater work for greater purpose and every term on every hurdle God was doing it to complete the next phase you think this is a bigger question, but when you look at the state of the church in our country, particularly, are we missing that as Christians broadly not to overgeneralize but it seems to me that we look for safe comfortable and in materialism is a compared to Lord affected these difficulties that it kind of is like a force of gravity. They push us or pull us toward God.
Hopefully we have to have the attitude to understand that right.
You make a great point I said is quite often you know a lot of would say the story is just ridiculous, amazing, unbelievable people we serve a God of the ridiculously amazing the unbelievable man and stuttered and couldn't speak through Egypt part of the Red Sea with the staff. We serve a God of the unbelievable. And that's what I think people need to see is that God like we were simple were no different if God can do this for me definitely do for you today on Focus on the Family were hearing a story of great hope from Tyler and Lisa Sexton. I'm John Fuller, along with your host Jim Daly and I urge you to get a copy of the conversation either on CD or as a download and we certainly would point out Tyler releases book has a new title. It's called no such thing as can't course, we have that here the ministry sure you have somebody close to you whose against some challenges they need some hope and they really could benefit from hearing this, look for the link to the CD and book in the episode's let me ask you this question as well. Why did you have the determination not the desire, but that determination that you could go to med school you could succeed that you could pass and that you could make it. And now you're a doctor talk about that. It's a truly humbling thing. I stand here almost in tears of joy stated actually happened may not. It's a God thing.
They're going there is perseverance those things that I stand here before you as a medical doctor, by the grace of God and I just knew I wanted to give hope to patients. I wanted to give hope to people is that of worst-case scenarios.
To be honest people only open to people, but was saying what will you do this for every struggling with physically or to see what God does with the rest that has to be such great encouragement for patient to see you because the doctor that you're a pediatrician, but you also specialize in hyperbaric medicine. You talked about a case and I know that has to be totally confidential, but just generically talked about a case were little girl was about to lose her like what happened right so you talk about the ability for me to go in and impact these patients in one of these.
I wanted to say I know how you feel and mean it seems that right and having the 16 surgeries in going to this. I love them, say, here's what you're going to expect to hear going on so I walked in to the patient's room. Freshen working this new hospital and there was a individual who had tube is also shipped several palsy spina bifida and had this wound for not being turned and they were planning on cutting that it was laid off and the mother looked at me and I said I have several palsy and she said can you please help me please don't take her leg. Please don't and I said absolutely I can and I utilize hybrid medicine which is utilizing a variety different conditions, but we did a lot in wound healing and general underwent 30 treatments and the wound was completely healed. I mean that to me that she slowing and he was going to surgery. That next morning was scheduled to take office. Like yeah the plan was until we had came up with this plan of mine was it. She was going to surgery the afternoon to have a habitation that was right in the nick of time and that treatment although it took several treatments, many it did correct the issue and it has not sealed you know Lisa, I'm thinking back to something you said last time that is stuck with me when Tyler was born and you mourn for those two or three days we pulled the curtains closed in your home and you literally cried and then came out of that and open the curtains and symbolically how that fed your spirit to say okay God, I'm going to do the best job that I can do is this boy's mother and I'm sure you were back at that point, you know, many, many years ago saying he's going to have a marginal life is going to be ridicule all those things working to be his caretakers till the day we die and then we gotta pray that somebody will come along and pick that up. Hopefully his sister Emily. But lo and behold, how many times do we say you should marry a doctor. Think about the irony of this and God, sense of humor and then as you felt at that Easter egg hunt when that kind person encourage you to go and let him live and take amount of the safety net and you were in tears behind the sunglasses as those kids took off to get all the eggs and you thought Juergen have to talk to Tyler about why his basket was empty and yet he found a way divinely. I think to find all those eggs that the kids were dropping out of their basket for the men when you look back on your journey now as mom and you think about the way God is stepped into Tyler's life and how we encourage you to say stick with me because his life is going to show my power in my blessing. Does your jaw drop mind as I can tell you as we talked earlier desperation led me to him and you have to remember I was not raising an MD I was raising a little boy with CP so we had no idea. I didn't have Tyler going to school. All I thought, he's never gonna do anything his neck in a dry season. Nobody will ever love them and be alone for the rest of this life and you know as Tyler said, we serve a God that it's amazing. I mean every dream that I could've possibly imagined and what I was asking God for is not near enough. I was wrong. I was just praying to get by and I think that sometimes when we pray, would we want to get at that moment, could you just did this. Could you just eat that and were trying to make deals and when we let God have that control.
He already has it so get down and give it time, because what I dreamed for my son and what my husband dreamed for his son and that the talks that we have been bad in the prayer time. Nothing compared to what happened in his life when Jim we live in a world of contradictions and unanswered questions. And you've written about that in your book stronger. We all know people in this is an amazing story, and this we said this is hope for so many, but at least you got to talk to the parent to say and I'm glad it worked out for you Lisa. It hasn't worked out for me.
My child hasn't been able to overcome those hurdles or we lost our child. Surely you have people that you know who are struggling like that not to rob you of your joy or to take away the message.
The beautiful message God has is developed here in Tyler but talk to the parent to say that's enough. John can I make that a little more real because I can feel and hear that in your invoice for you and Dana thinking about saying is you, not through doing things a little boy stood a 10-year-old.
And I'm sure that payments come in through your heart because you're not at the end of the journey like Lisa is now know and appreciate that you and there's not that we have hopes we have dreams and we see God working and we we don't take any of that for granted but I still got 10, 15 years to go before I can even get to a point I think of saying okay were through that but their parents who will never have to and that is really tough thing and I don't have all the answers but I can tell you this last night we had dinner with two boys with cerebral palsy and one of them will never get out of a wheelchair. He will always hurt you boys have to have a caregiver unless God reaches down and touches his life, but he's the most kind, precious boy that I could ever meet. We even had him in our home for a week in Florida and gave him a spring break through my husband's sister, who suggest amazing and these children. The only thing that I know we devoted our lives to help families and to make a difference in their lives, but the one thing that I can tell you without a doubt in my mind is that God is faithful and that if you drop close you and your wife you will have the richest marriage and you will have the most healthy home and every miracle that you have that God gives you to hold on to it.
You'll tell the world about it. I'm not a speaker and I'm now I am because I cannot not tell people what God has done and when you talk about people say what your sons a doctor and he's that's in that so question are thankful. I can tell you this, my son called me one night in his little sweet wife Laura. They were on the way back to the hospital and they had just worked a 16 hour shift and I said what are you doing. He said suites Laura and I walked by a room and we saw parent sit and overbuy their little boy in the room and we thought you and dad had the Bible open and then they sat there tired the little guy's been in hospital long time.
Laura and I made him lasagna were taken it up there and we told them they have to leave the room. They have two doctors that are consistent right by their child did not leave them for three hours and they need to have date night. I am more proud of my son for being that kind of man than I could ever be that he's an MD and you'll find that to. If you allow God to work in their lives. Okay, I got tears in my eyes here that is talking about character and when you look at this life is not what it's about process parents to teach our kids that can a character Tyler good job you look at that yet a proud mama right there and it's she's proud for the right reasons and what she sees in you. We would appreciate it. But again it it's just it is about God and and when you when you serve them first is all that matters.
And I would've it never would've made it this far without him. And so I often tell people in, I know you were saying John it's hard to know what's going on and in the people you know in the Bible for someone pulsars were thrown in jail was the first thing they did they praise him love times in our lives talk about these moments of turmoil or uncertainty you know what to do and the last thing you want to do is praise him, but I challenge you when you do things will start changing in those moments first praise find the blessing that you say God will work with this because I guarantee you will find a blessing in this far too many to count.
When Tyler I think again we look at the early church. I talked about this often because there close to the real deal.
They knew the stories. Some of them firsthand about Jesus's parables and seeing the things that they saw in the course of the disciples, saying those things and they had such humility. They approach their environment in such a unique way and I think if we can do more of that to fall into God's arms when we are hurting when we experience difficulty as opposed to maybe that selfish nature that is our flesh. We start to question the Lord and despise our situation. I think there is great wisdom both in observing them and hearing your testimony these last couple of days and it encourages me.
I know it encourages all of you to and when you're feeling down. Think of the story of how God has touched Tyler and his bride and their family. Thank you, thank you for thinking. Thank you. What a great ending to our conversation today on Focus on the Family featuring Lisa and Tyler Sexton talking about their amazing journey of living with cerebral palsy John there such an inspiration to all of us and a reminder of God's love. Now I realize that some parents are still in a time of uncertainty and they don't know what's ahead for their child. You may have a special needs child who didn't grow up to become a doctor. I get that. But please know that God hasn't forgotten you and all I can say is we want to be here for you and if you want to talk through the grief you're experiencing.
Call us. We have counselors here who are ready to speak with you and help you with that grief and I also want to say thanks to all who've been supporting Focus on the Family through the shutdown because you make it possible to offer hope to others and help with our shortfall.
During this pandemic infected thanks to a group of generous friends. Your gift today will be doubled and that is awesome and it's a fun way simply to urge one another to support families yeah and this is a special time offer from those friends. So please donate any amount today bedeviled and will send you a copy of Lisa Tyler's book. No such thing as can't thank you for joining this. Our number is 800 K in the word family or click the link in the episode notes from on behalf of some family time. John Fuller and putting it back next Time You Dr., Christ