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Author Stephanie Hubach Shares Insights For Parents With Special Needs Children

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 28, 2021 3:30 am

Author Stephanie Hubach Shares Insights For Parents With Special Needs Children

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 28, 2021 3:30 am

Author and parent of a special needs son, Stephanie Hubach called the program. Stephanie is also a research fellow in disability ministries at Covenant Theological Seminary. Her new book is titled: Parenting & Disabilities - Abiding in God's Presence. 

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of Standing With Hope., and is heard weekly on more than 220 stations. The podcast is downloaded in more than 100 countries. Please share this podcast with a caregiver you know, and help us do more by clicking here: 

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You is the nation's five for an aging parent may be for special-needs child maybe for somebody who has an addiction issue. Whatever the chronic impairment there's always the caregiver help caregivers make better caregivers. But how do you help caregiver stay healthy. How do you point them to healthiness. What does that even look like on a spiritual, emotional and physical level financial level. All of these things wrap up in the heart of the caregiver. We don't make good decisions of our hearts. A train wreck and if if you're if your mind is a squirrel cage. Christmas can have your wallet. This was could happen to your relationships, your job, your body, all those things. So we go back to the word of God to anchor ourselves in these truths that are the human condition. We as caregivers don't suffer from anything that is unique to us. We just deal with it in a more amplified way where things just hit us relentlessly and in sin those times so that we get to see the faithfulness, the provision of God fleshed out in ways that we would not normally see in one of things I love about what I get to do is I get to meet with a lot of different folks and interact with them and hear their stories or their journeys and learn from one of those is Stephanie Hugh Buck. She is over and Pennsylvania, long way from where I am in Montana but we have connected through the years and I followed her journey and her insight. She's a prolific writer, speaker, and somebody who understands the journey as a parent and in other ways as well, as a caregiver. And so you're going to really enjoy her.

She's the new book out as coparenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence. This is part of the 31 day devotional series from PNR publishing then get all kinds of topics they've done with this, but Stephanie has just waited into this particular issue with her lifetime of experience to to learn and to help us learn from this and and see insights in this on the provision of God is this extraordinary book and so I'm glad to have her here so Stephanie, welcome to the show.

I think you Peter, thank you for Mike for your patience. We been trying to do this for what we have, and I was supposed to have you on. I don't even remember when we just got it all crosswise of this is utilized. I thought 20/20 was a tough year. The 2021 listed a ghetto watch and it's great to be here now you have a great it. Indeed, it is great to be hitting her think some stuff this book and this is part of that 31 day devotional series that they do amazing topics that that that the PR as well as allowed wonderful authors to speak to and you took on this one and I love the sport but to before we did that tell us a little bit about your your journey your family's journey as a caregiver and and what kind of prompted you to to write this book okay church plate.

My husband Fred and I've been married for 38 years and we have two adult sons at my older son Fred. He's married to Cecelia, her granddaughter Caroline down in Washington DC connecting our way and our younger son Tim I be 30 in January and he's our son has down syndrome and Tim writes that as he has his own apartment downstairs in our house and that is said really well a lot independent living skills. As to jobs in place in the praise band at church and has pretty sweet lucky what is now common that being in marketing band heated base drama and concert band. He did snare that eats heat and yells as a foam drum set electronic down the basement so it's not fun with that to his this is timing pretty good think about enough people disabilities are often focus on where they have a specific need that people with disabilities also have gifts just like anybody else right and wanted Tim's great gifts is this rhythm heat and I saw that in in him early on when he was three or four and I thought you actually help them to get connected into a world of music that could be a great entre for him in a special world and that's really has worked out that way. It's been great to play the piano since I was five majored in music and everything else.

And Gracie says she calls me Indiana Peter and the Temple of doom. She says I've rhythmically challenged it. The help you do the best I can but it's the better known and worked were not on good terms and I got if you slung across the marble city that he plays. And that's great and is of course that that is the one instrument that's a bit loud to play in rehearsal the house with Buddha.

That's why we now have an electronic camp that we hope that, and I member my son ready look on his face. The Christmas that we gave Tim that trumps all really about God do that for our son and daughter-in-law for their children, but it would trumps for just to mess with them, but that's what wonderful and so you know, one of the things that right off the bat with him and I got a very close friend of mine and his son and son with down syndrome.

He's 42. I think now the DH now that Tim is reached 34 years ago that was almost unheard of to find somebody with down syndrome in the 30s and in their 40s.

It was that it was a very rare thing is that there was a lot of different things. The medical sizes come a long way said you guys have to walk through some of those things with hearts all the thing but yet yes we did. Had Tim had AV Canal heart repair when he was an infant, and that without heart surgery. You, the vast majority of kids with dance didn't survive right to adulthood. I member reading early on when Tim was little what the statistics were back in the 1920s.

The average lifespan of a child with Downs was nine and four before open hard right and before. What's the word I want Peter in a biotic there you right back was still hung up on rhythm villages that you back in my mind. And worse still, on a more heartbreaking note child down syndrome in the womb when most dangerous places for a child with one and when you've got a that was going on in Europe and so forth. Been pushing more and more I saw this article became well last December about this that they want to basically eradicate down syndrome by making sure that every Downs child is aborted right it was an article in the Atlantic last year that I've featured what's happening to people down syndrome in that country of Denmark actually read response article to that that's coming out in by faith magazine about three weeks so maybe about the time to strike at some that that will be out will dwell think that is marvelous and I think really applaud you for speaking to that I want to get right into some the things with your book the way you get this set up is a theological statement in of itself, and that you split this up in the sections for this 31 day devotional and you don't have to do this 31 day stratum. It is something you could pick up Adele pickup put down right and you mentioned that in your book, but every section of about four days roughly is called the gift of this, the gift of that gift. This is not a curse. This is not God's punishment.

In fact, one of these sick days of day five years. Disability is not punishment. And for those of us who have lived with chronic disabilities in our family and so forth.

We run into you spent any time of this in church folk work out some bad theology on geotechnical this and that's what we talk about when we come back from this break. Talking with Stephanie shoebox and her book is parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence and his extraordinary devotional book. I promise you change your life and her website on the way Stephanie shoebox.calm BAC. It's what the composer this Peter Rosenberg.

This is hopefully caregiver quick break will be like this You will see more about how to get the CD of music and things we've done talking with Stephanie shoebox asked if you got to know each other for the last several years and we've intersected a lot of different things and I I've always admired how she's approach this journey of caregiving is apparent particularly with their family and dealing with down syndrome with her son Tim and but the insight she said she she's done deep and she's written some beautiful things to help others stay you get back to the road of safety and trust in God. With this in this new book of hers is called parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence. I wanted to jump right into day five. Disability is not punishment talk a little bit about this because you understand this in ways that few do you have wrestled with this particular issue a lot and and we've had to push back a lot of bad theology out there. Talk little bit about the Stephanie sure this is unfortunately one of Danny's places where Christians practice very bad theology and it's really hurtful to people right and it doesn't for flannel thing happens as frequently as you state that it still then click. It's amazing I guess.

What's comforting about that. In an odd sense is that this is not a new problem right and when you look at that the story in John nine where Jesus and his disciples are encountering a man born blind right in the first thing that disciples do is turn to Jesus. They don't talk to the man they they just turn and talk about him and I said so you said this man or his parents right.

The assumption was somebody send which one was it right and that give me that story is how Jesus completely turns their assumptions now on that on their heads and that neither this happened at the work of God might be displayed in his life right and that I think that's the really sweet story that every parent of a child with disabilities needs to hear right first bullet no personal sin at play here. But at this condition that your child has is created uniquely and God that makes and therefore has incredible value.

So no matter what combination of abilities and disabilities parent-child possesses right that that person is created specifically that way for for God's glory and for their good figure like to be fulfilled as an image bearer that reflects God's character into the world and so we have a tendency to want to assign blame when there's difficulty in life right when it will do everything we can eradicate difficulty we went to assign blame that we can eradicate it and I just love the example that Christ gives us in John nine of how he embraces the man born blind and embraces God story for his life will and I think we can infer on the other side of that that enough set of said this a lot because I member over the years with Gracie's situation. I'm actually one lady came into her room.

Her hospital room after horrific after she she been unconscious for three weeks and then turns out she was going live community. What did you do the God would do this to you Gracie the 17th coming.

She she was. She was just a kid and and and people have that and and and I've never say this once the course on television over the world was but I said it very publicly if if amputee for reputation was a sign of God's displeasure to be a whole lot of peace in this world. Hugh Hefner made it an entire lifetime without losing a limb and and it you could see it, took people back aback a little bit but sometimes we have to do that we have to push back little bits not just the server for cells for so many who don't have a voice who don't have the vocabulary to push back on this and I can look at myself and you is is the same way as is were, sheepdogs for character. First, because there's so many that that don't have a voice like they're in isolation there and that's that that's one of the topics you talk about this is that isolation and then in that isolationist were a lot of dark thoughts can come in with a lot of dark thoughts about God and you just systematically go through this in this book can help people understand hey wait a minute, listless rethink this little bit and I'll excuse me and I love that here's another one that I loved and on day two. Every person has agency and I gotta tell you I do so much for Gracie that I have often robbed her of her agency at time and and I've had to go back and really make amends for that.I caregiver so long Stephanie that I've had ample opportunity to make every kind of mistake you can make of the Wiley Coyote of care to go. I've had more intervals dropped on my head but but this this issue of every person has agency talk little bit about the idea of agency really comes from that creation story right there where created as image bearer shares that letting God write an argument mission to have dominion over creation right and to be fruitful and multiply. That means it doesn't just mean procreation right. That means in what ever we deal in Whatever Way, Scott is wired us where to live our life fully in a way that reflects its his character draws other people and so again it's so easy for us to look at the challenges of people with disabilities face and focus on the challenge and not focus on on doing everything we can to support their sense of each agency. Their sense of action or sense of leaning into the life that God has given them in order to glorify him with whatever capacity that he has has given and so that's what it is good costing point press as caregivers, weathers, parents, or spouse or whatever way someone is walking along some side to somebody with the disability is to respect their agency respect the fact that, for example, they people disabilities have amazing gifts that God is given them as well. But the key is to say, sometimes we don't we don't allow their agency. In this case because we don't even recognize them because their package to write a lot of left different ways that we could unravel it right but that I think it is a really important things really and is closely tied to dignity right well enough struggled with this in my own life and had to learn some some hard lessons.

Gracie started spinning more time in a wheelchair, particularly with you, which he has a surgery on her leg or something that you can't wear prosthetic limbs and I started Matic making a conscience conscious effort to get down at her level is for sitting in a chair getting on the look in her instead of having her look up at me because that lobs her dignity of agency of a lot of different things and I had to I had struggle with that struggle with the concept of it. I just had to remind myself of that away, but this is unfair to her and she deserves to be treated with respect and this just because she's in a wheelchair doesn't mean I get you know what I have a serious conversation, I will pull up a chair will look at this and those are little things it did you learn over the years and and when you when we caregivers tend to do so much for a loved one. We we brought them of whatever independence sometimes it's easier yes I can do it faster I can do all those things but that the goal is not to do it faster and and that it right.

Since he is the enemy of agency right" yet when we when we put a premium on how quickly we can get something done and for example this happens a lot with it. An individual with an intellectual disability right processing is a little bit slower the speed that person is generally little bit slower so it takes a lot of intentional reining in right of my own sense of urgency or efficiency in order to allow tenant to exercise his agency right to learn a great quote from a friend, but he said the family moves at the speed of its lowest member since then. You know that's there's something to this, and when you deal with the church.

I think we ought all that that principal gets lost even further than it does with the family because some of our members and churches are not going to be as quick to not be as quick spiritually as others ordered attributes are not the same place we we we need to be kind with one another and recognize that the goal was not to get there you every guy could test this will we take a trip.

I don't know Fred does you have to verify this and we we won't tell Fred about this part of the show. Every guy would goes a long trip with the fair with the firstly does get out the car with that in five hours and 14 minutes ago was to get there is absolutely best to break every speed record we possibly can to get there and then brag about the fact that we shave three minutes off the journey doesn't mean that we were screaming and yelling each other the whole time that everybody's eyes are watering because I gotta go to the bathroom so Babel could stop you know but but but we missed. We missed the opportunity and I have been guilty of this. In untold times and so what I'm learning over the years is that you want.

It's it's okay to slow down and go with the speed that that you know I can't get the sometimes what I will don't don't really buy the stuff. This just to you and me, but I will once I basic but once I get Gracie in the wheelchair. I will move a little faster. Once she is contained where I know where I have a little bit measure of control. We can get from point A to point B faster because Gracie will often move at the speed of half the speed of smell but maybe we got to go. We got to Windows and so yes there are those moments in any family that has the disability that she is family dynamics. But there the point that you bring in.

This devotional is that you know let let's let's be thoughtful. Let's be considerate to what's going on with their journey and then also how this affects our journey as we step back and allow and stop being an impediment to them in their learning process in their adaptive process thought that was a beautiful thing that you put in this book. What is something else that surprise I'm sorry but the call for been around horses and everything else is not covert is just allergies and I kicked off button time. So sorry about that. What are some things that surprised you as you wrote this, but before I give them some of the other areas.

It really grabbed hold me up well take a quick break.

I really appreciated the specificity of what you got into this that you have drilled down some very poignant places for caregivers to think through this. I think we stay at a very shallow area.

Theologically, so many of us do until confronted with these things will talk about this more will become stiff if you box definition Her new book, parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence. This is Peter Rosenberg. This is hope for the caregiver will be right back to book joins us today to talk about her new book, parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence stiff and will set you up as a 31 day devotional. By the way this is written it is really extraordinary. I want to set you up with the conversation I heard that had nothing necessarily to do with what were talking about, but it touched on it and then I want to get your thoughts on this.

There's a gentleman named Robert Woodson and he is a American civil rights activists. It is the present Woodson sinners is a wonderful thinker is African-American felony was on several shows it was talking about and he was talking about our country and the turmoil in our country and it's all stems a lot of the argument stems is that America was born with this great birth defect called slavery and he said if you if your child is born with a birth defect some type of impairment you don't destroy the child, you rehabilitate you and nurture you help equip that child to live as productive of life is possible. He said why would we do anything different with the country that just just stuck with me.

I thought wow that is a very profound thing I think we've got this entire mindset in our country where if we don't like it, let's eliminate it. Whether it's children in the womb, whether it's dealing with.

When the know you were just as horrified as I was with the previous governor of Virginia came out and said will put the child suffers born, you know, was whatever special night or whatever and they will have a discussion and I was I was just as outraged about that I think is millions of others were and and then were also looking at end-of-life issues.

If it becomes inconvenient let's eliminate it is almost like we have a culture that is wanting to bow down at the altar of culture of convenience and when it comes to special needs children. There is something extraordinary that God does in families that are willing to trust with this and how I was wonder if you could just cut unpacked a little bit sore and I think in our country that one of its great benefit since it individual rights that we possess right, but it's also one of our sticking point becomes the living in healthy ways the community right is that we see team focus so much on individualism and individual rights that we really Lee's this idea that flourishing in the community. Actually takes place only when we actually give up our rights right on behalf of other people right. That's what that's what really that the Scriptures cost in Christian community is not to defend my right side to lay down my rights like Jesus laid down his right right and and then to move into the lives of other people offering ourselves to each other in order to actually promote flourishing in the community and Andy Crouch has written a book called strong and weak and he does really great job at laying out these two parts that create flourishing one being what he calls authority which he defines his capacity for meaningful action right in the second one being vulnerability, which he defines as exposure to meaningful risk. They says when you look at the life of Christ example right is the highest level capacity for meaningful action. Highest level of exposure to meaningful risk on to the point of his death on the cross right is a delight. He calls us to is one where it's that coexistence of this capacity for meaningful action and his exposure to meaningful risk and get what we tend to think is that I can just isolate myself from risk and have as much personal control as possible. I live a good life right and disabilities. I'm it's just a cross out of that little little humble that we tend to want to hide draws with their vulnerability right draw us into their vulnerability and actually take us to a place of flourishing which is amazing and is so counter intuitive and countercultural, but it's absolutely biblically true and how that works in life and it's a beautiful thing when you get to be a part of the EC that how not only capacity but also vulnerability work together to and thought you had to get out of having integral individualistic mindset about life that all of my life is about me and what I want.

My goals are right and that living a life that much more willing to die to self.

This is a topic that the grace you have had to wrestle with many times and there's a point where you you will is okay.

I can't wait for her to improve or get worse before I start living a lifestyle of purpose and meaning and and even joy in the midst of this of the lung people think well I'll just get mama through this and when she does not go do this and this and this. Well this is been going on for 35 years of our marriage. Gracie was hurt 38 years ago and there's point you have to learn to live with this. You know, I've got to go make a living. You've got to you got to pay bills you got to clean the house you cut to learn how to cook, you know, and eventually River. One time I had a church group for tomatoes some school in the family member was going through some stuff they wanted to start bringing meals and and heart and get going over there and cling to their home and stuff like that that will hold Holland was put on the brakes.

This is not episodic is this what you mean.

This is what this is.

This is been going on for some time, rightly so yeah they been doing this for five years since a year to go there and clean your house for five years is just go another five years, 10 years, you know, and so you prefer that level of commitment goes and he said what I think about that possible, take a moment you can keep making meals to do that every night eventually what happens.

I found when you have a situation like this is what is chronic you know you can only do meals for salon the first couple meals a couple really nice and then it starts getting a Domino's pizza in the complaint and you create a clean level dependency on the providers if you will, where you're not teaching them how to cook how to clean how to do the things I had to learn how to cook know and I struggle to boiling water. When I first got married. Gracie likes to tell everybody that become friends over the years with great care used to be the galloping gourmet is given me some good tips. That's a good place to get tips from the butt you want to know how to do this, but I had to learn that I had to grow and I had to learn to embrace disability as part of your life.

That is what how I can't help you friends about and try to get on the other side of right. Yes, this is what you cannot you cannot. It is this is our life, and it's not a bad life is just right different life like you'd like your book same. That was a plug for your book. Your first essay like that would be a different boat but it's it's not a bad life. It's a hard life and it comes with a specific set of challenges, but that doesn't mean that beauty and joy are are held back from our life because they're not a Gracie to live pretty pretty large. You guys live large doesn't mean you don't have peers. That doesn't mean you walk around your soul. Oh what a funeral one day will be free of all that know you live in the moment with God's joy when running mail and we laugh and cut up and do all the things you're just a family you know is just friendly usually take our marriage vows right says joy and sorrow, sickness and health planning want right. As tensions are are embedded in an understanding of life there. But then when it comes to living at we don't want right. We want to joy right we want the plenty happy rightly.

We spent so much time trying to be happy that were not learning how to be content in Alison Krauss is one of the souls that I'm not looking for bliss I'm looking for contentment. And Paul says I can be content in all things and so I go back and you and I share the same belief system that everything we deal with in our caregiving journey in our disability journey.

Every principal every precept, every struggle is addressed in Scripture.

The struggle is for for me is not dealing with insurance companies and all the surgeries, Gracie's head and so forth. That's what it done. Once a learn those things.

I got it, but the struggle for me and I believe for for most caregivers is the fear that the spare the guilty, the heartache, the loneliness almost things every bit of that is in Scripture that's what you have done with this book and you walk people through this. What surprised you as you start putting pen to paper. With all this about concepts you're unfamiliar with. But when you start organizing your thoughts to do a book like this. What surprised you in this for yourself personally as a mom and just as as it is child of the Lord, multifaceted ways that God is with us are right that it's anything. Think we we know that idea.

The phrase manual. A Christmas card with that's right Christ down was born became incarnate. We understand that right but we really look at the arc of Scripture from Genesis out a way all the way to Revelation. In and look at take that idea of God with this manual and look Scripture forwards Scripture right and and say what actually mean it just blew my mind. I started to look at that and say how increasing God's given me his MH God is with me and with my child right as an image.

Bear in that he's given us his MH in it in a way that can never be taken away right and that that he is with us in that particular very concrete manifestation of our community right then you look at fire the gun Scripture looking out God's God is with us in his faithfulness journey of the Israelites right through their enslavement and through the welding S&S drop that struggles the Israel and Judah in the Old Testament right in and and how God was with his people even even many dark dark places throughout the Old Testament and we look at and then of course the incarnation right now God is with us and in Christ coming to earth and then how is with us in our sufferings, less a powerful statement when you say God is in her suffering is one that I wrestle with personally watching my wife suffer a little somebody who suffers and she's not known.

A day without suffering in 3 1/2 decades since Reagan was present over three that is that is that is not an easy statement to make. Talk a little bit about that, unpack that theologically of where you walked in those journeys of of recognizing okay. I'm seeing the bigger picture in my sufferings. Things to recognize when the waste got got is with this is that is that he actually understands our sufferings experientially right that Christ in his incarnation, he identifies with oppression and injustice. The right and and that look at disability has faith that the functional part of the pie that doesn't work is the weights expected to but we also the social dimension and the ways in which people disable people further right through the social interactions and that that that whole act aspect of Jesus understands identifies with grief and loss in making just what grief he had to go through even this living amongst humanity was appointed was sorry this took a quick break were talking with Stephanie Schumacher book parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence.

We will talk more about this.

I got one more topic I will really drill down was stiff. Stephanie here will become back Rosenberg. This is the show you as a family caregiver that is my wife Gracie with Russ Taft from her CD resilient the joy of the Lord is my strength and this is something that is an overarching theme of everything that we do is that we are not held hostage by the difficulties in our lives. We can't, we are not excluded from joy from peace and contentment from rings from fortitude from endurance by disability Bob's chronic suffering by any of these things of this broken world. That is the message of the gospel. He came into this to show us that whoa wait a minute you are not you are not prisoners to this broken world.

You are not bonded in bondage to I'm setting you free from this through Christ Jesus.

And that's the whole point of this and that brings me to my last topic that I wanted to address was Stephanie who book from her new book, parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence she brings in one of the sections is towards the end of the devotional is called the gift of failing at the gift of an unfailing advocate in Jesus. And as any caregiver will know a lot of the job description is being an advocate when I wrote my book hope for the caregiver are dedicated to Christ. The soulless Christus which is one of the five pillars of the Reformation and I I referred to, because I came to understand he is the ultimate caregiver of a wounded brought and that's who we are as believers and churches were were wounded brought these are these the ultimate caregiver, he II have a Savior who understands what it's like to care for a bride with one just you know and and and that gives me such comfort and strength to know that there is a pass for this and then that advocacy that he beautifully models throughout all the Scripture. He is our advocate and then that in turn allows us and equips us to become advocates in our journey as well.

For those around us that God brings into our lives.

Often times with disabilities and so I wanted Stephanie just a witch close close that out for just a few moments to talk about that unfailing advocate in Jesus, right, Peter. I think one of the words used earlier is where the South-so much for caregivers is that that idea of relentless that's right, every friend that says disabilities not like cancer. You don't get to the other side of it right. And that's not meant to minimize anyway. The difficulty assisted with cancer. I picked it. Jesus is our unrelenting advocate in the case of our relentlessness that he is mad because he is unrelenting.

It no matter how relentless our circumstances. God's love for us is more unrelenting frightens it always out relents and so and then because of how Jesus is modeled to us advocacy that we can at the same time become godly advocates for our family members are or were friends who have disabilities that need need our assistance right and so you know, we can look at things like what is the aim of advocacy about advocacy.

Ultimately, what we really want to see advocacy change if the change hearts right because yes you can change legislation and things like that and that's all good and that's fine but change hearts is where you see real change in culture and churches and and and advocacy that's rooted in faith, not power control right that you do the right thing for the right reason that we live righteously in the waste that we engage other people on behalf of our loved ones and and that we trust God with the outcomes right and that advocacy that basically stirs up the pot in a good way right great distraction in every community that IQ builds community right in the in the process of of advocating so I think we look at Jesus example of how he lived here on this earth and what he does for us before the throne of God right that we can just take heart that he not only is our advocate that he also walks with us in our advocacy teaches us how to advocate in a way that honors him. I think for me as a caregiver. A lot of my journey as an advocate changed dramatically when I realized how much I needed an advocate when I started to understand what Christ did does and continues to do is my advocate, my own great neediness before God that it right you know what once I got a better picture of that it changed everything on how I advocate for Gracie.

I had to learn a different way of doing things out when you have truth without grace.

When you have truth without graciousness that that's judgment and and I would be right, but I would be wrong and how I was being right if that makes sense as an advocate as L and pretty much every part of my life. There's this there's this remarkable switch that happens in your life when you see your own great need before God and how magnificent and massive the grace it was extended from Christ to us. Once that happens, it changes every dynamic of your life.

It's unforgettable and it is it is transformative.

This is what happened to me not only as a caregiver but happen to me as her husband and and everything else that I do what one things I do with the program here all the things that I do are designed to reflect that transformative work that happens with the gospel in helping people understand this. What is this mean when you're watching somebody go into a seizure for the umpteenth time or would you want to go down the hallway to surgery for her.

She did in September with her 81st surgery. How does it.

How do you advocating that situation and the best education that I've ever done for Gracie in the midst of all of her sorrow in her suffering and everything else is when I point her back to Christ in a way that makes sense in the midst of her suffering and that I think that that only comes when you have had those moments when you were just clinging onto the cross for was for everything because you have nothing else in Greenville are bonds in our lives with things that we think are will will support us but nothing does. And there's nothing like disability. There's nothing like suffering, there's nothing much sorrow and heartache to dispel all that veneer and and and bring us to that point were were all we need is neat because it that that's it it it it is hard to cry out to a Savior that you don't think you need and that's what out when I saw that thing about your advocate and she's she's got that she knows she knows this because I suffering is what drives us into the arms of Jesus.

Right, Rebecca McLaughlin has this great book on confronting Christianity as a chapter in there and suffering and she talks about the story of Lazarus, right where Lazarus was was dying and Mary Martha called Jesus. He's ill. Please come and help Keith incense how much he loved Mary Martha and Lazarus and he waited two days right is to send it right back to back and that's what happens in a few days. Lazarus dies right but where does he meet Martha when he arrives at Bethany right he meets her in that space between where where she called for help but she hasn't received an answer to her request. Yet right and since just meet Jesus that space or suffering in between. And right there, he meets her right between licenses. I am the resurrection and the life right that all of the suffering all this pain, no matter how this turns out the other end.

It drives you to me right that I am your deepest knee not having Lazarus not having the person who provides for your financial needs, which would be the case in that culture right, but I resurrection and the life and said that's that's where all their caregivers to go right that that are best place to be ever is is in the arms of Jesus. Thank you and watch Gracie in the hospital many times and she would sing hymns when she was struggling she she was in so much pain.

I go in and she should be singing precious Jesus that she would go.

Gracie trust more sensing over Gracie pseudo-for trust him more and realizing that in that moment of agony, which she she's one of the few people I know who've actually shaken hands with editing many many many times and in those moments of agony. Everything else was gone and she would just say Jesus Jesus, how I trust him. How I've proved, and that's what these love to play all the hills because you look back at the okay, here's these Ebenezer's that I've seen over my life here sees these hills rough seeing God move in such profound ways. And that gives me the strength and the courage to trust him with yet this because, you know, O God, our help in ages past name something with things that you're going through your facing these things, though those serious when sorrows like sea billows roll whatever my lot you know and and this is the place we as caregivers can journey towards. I don't think I'll ever own it in this life. I think I will get closer to some things but I will be struggling with this all the way to the moment he calls me home but I see it differently now and it all starts when night when I started recognizing how much of an advocate I need my great need of a Savior that I got a bigger problem than being a caregiver. I got a bigger problem than an angry sheltie that she said I got a bigger problem than amputation, I got a bigger problem than 80 surgeries. I got a bigger problem than chronic pain and, and these things mean something. As we as we rest with the select on a core level for who we are and you have beautifully laid this out in your book Stephanie. So were out of time here. We got a go but I want to know how much I appreciate you being here today Stephanie shoebox, Stephanie, The book is parenting and disabilities abiding in God's presence last 10 second Stephanie go hit that God is with us from Genesis to Revelation. Throughout the story of Scripture. The question is do we trust him to trust him. Do we trust as Gracie would sing it over Gracie trust tomorrow for grace to trust him more.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust how off preview over no record in Don, this is hope caregiver hope will see you next.

Some of you know the remarkable story of Peter's wife Gracie and recently Peter talk to Gracie about all the wonderful things that emerge from her difficult journey.

Take a listen Gracie.

When you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach. Did you ever think the inmates would help you do not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by course of a new see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you helped collect from all of the country that you put out the plea for and their disassembly sell these legs like what you have your own prosody and arms and orange everything when you see all this makes me cry because I see the smiles on their faces and I know I know what it is like someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out the hospital. These men are so glad that they get to be doing is one thing said something good with my did you know before you became a PT that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled. I had no idea how to peg leg. I thought a wooden legs. I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flexibly see legs and all that.

I never thought about.

As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that there helping other people all providing the means for the supplies to get over there. What is it do you just on the heart level.

I wish I could explain to the world. What I see in here and I wish that I can able to come and say the this guy right here in East Africa with that. I never not feel that way out every time you know you always make me have to lead I don't want to leave.

I feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like we have a common bond that would never expected that only God could put together. Now that you could experience with what you think of faith-based programs.

The course of the coffers. I think there is absolutely awesome and I think every person out there could have faith-based programs because he turned right at the man that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one car is amazingly great compared to those and I think that that is with me just has something to do with God is somebody to help people want to donate use prosthetic limbs was the one who passed away or somebody well-groomed you donated some of your own for the please go to standing We

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