"When do I forgive God for what he did to my son?" Jennifer (member jjld), the mother of a child with a rare genetic disorder, reached out to other Beliefnet parents on a board she started entitled "children with special needs." More than 110 members responded with words of comfort, faith, and at times a strong rebuke. Some told their own moving stories of coming to terms with their child's disability. Below are highlights.

Jennifer's post:
I'm a mother of 2 wonderful children one with Prader willi syndrome and one that is an average baby girl. My question is: when do I forgive god for what he did to my son and to let god back into my life. I am a baptist and believe in god but I am mad at him because I struggle everyday to be there for my son who is five years old, who can't talk and will have a weight problem all his life. -jjld

Beliefnet members respond:

Are disabled children less "valuable"?
My 6 year old daughter is mildly retarded, has a profound speech disorder, and has epilepsy. I struggled with these issues a lot when we first started learning her diagnoses...I was confused, upset, sad, mad, frustrated, you name it. I kept asking God, "Why? Why? Why?"

A part of me thought she wasn't as valuable as other typical kids because she'd never be a "rocket scientist"-she'd be very limited in the jobs she'd be able to do. And yet, another part of me refused to accept that she might not be as "valuable" as other children. I kept asking myself and God, "How is it that she can have just as much inherent value as any other child, in spite of the fact that she will never be able to accomplish as much as other kids? What is it that gives a child their inherent value?" God led me to a verse that talks about a blind man coming to Jesus and his disciples asking if it was this man who sinned or his parents who sinned that caused this man to be blind. Jesus replied that this man wasn't blind because of his or his parents sin, but so that His glory might be revealed in this man's life. So, I realized that my daughter was a conduit for God to reveal His glory to us, and all people who she comes into contact with..God was pointing out to me that we are not valuable based on how much we can contribute to this earth-I came to realize that our value is based on loving God and being loved by God. Through my daughter, I've learned that God is love, and that our purpose is to love and be loved. I'd heard all of that before, but now it is no longer a trite phrase. -afreespirit10

It's okay to tell God off
I know that God is big enough to deal with our anger. I think it is perfectly okay to begin to renew your relationship by telling Him exactly how you feel and why. I have told God off lots of times, and He is still there for me when I need Him..-dragonmama

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A very helpful poem
I used to feel the same way. Only I blamed myself first. I thought I had done something terribly wrong and was being punished. Casey was born 6-8 weeks early.we found out he was mentally handicapped. Well, that RIPPED out my heart. He'll never be able to do anything was my first thought. Boy was I WRONG. Gold medals in Special Olympics. Boy Scouts all the way to Life Scout. He graduates high school this June. What helped me get through it all was a poem someone gave me from his school:

Heaven's Very Special Child
A meeting was held quite far from earth.
It's time again for another birth.
Said the angels to the Lord above,
This special child will need so much love.
His progress may seem very slow,
Accomplishments he may not show.
And he'll require extra care
From the folks he meets way down there.
He may not run or laugh or play:
His thoughts may seem quite far away.
In many ways he won't adapt,
And he'll be known as handicapped.
So let's be careful where he's sent,
We want his life to be content.
Please Lord, find parents who
Will do a special job for you.
They will not realize right away
The leading role they're asked to play.
But with this child sent from above
Comes stronger faith and richer love.
And soon they'll know the privilege given
In caring for this gift from Heaven.
Their precious charge, so meek and mild,
Is Heaven's very special child.

Remember the life of Job
I have a son that was born 1 lbs and 8 ozs, who is a special needs child.Take the time to review the life of Job. God allowed everything to be taken from him; but he did not curse God and die. Take the time to know GOD for who he is. Don't let Satan have the victory by blaming GOD. He takes care of you everyday. GOD may have allowed this affliction upon your son for you to inspire someone else. -shelle92470

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