About the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Not...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Dear Lysa, I really can’t fully express to you how much I love your writing but this blog has touched my heart beyond words. I am wiping tears of my own after reading it, because my seven year old son has Fragile X Syndrome and autism and is just speaking his first words to us these last few months. And while I want him to improve on some behaviors, like the negative ones that occur when he becomes frustrated, I hope he never loses his extreme joy in even the tiniest things. I have often said he gets so excited about day to day life and we could all learn from the way he lives. I imagine him growing to be a lot like BJ. I am sure your brief words to his mother have stayed with her for the last five years too, as I know that any kindness shown to my son is always in my heart. God bless.

  2. Thank you for sharing BJ’s story! I teach Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students and several of my students this year have multiple disabilities. They are amazing and truly make me smile each day! Isn’t it wonderful how God uses others to remind us of the simple joys in life?

  3. The thing is you saw his worth. Most of us don’t. We pop in our earplugs, open our computers, and go to work without seeing the beauty of the world around us. Could we “normals” be the ones with special needs?

  4. Lysa,
    Thank you for sharing the story of BJ. Isn’t it just like our God that when we are numbly walking through this magnificent world He has given us, that He gives us someone like BJ to show us how we need to be intentionally present in order to enjoy the magnificence?! You had a great “tour guide” that day and a glimpse of Heaven. I needed this, this morning!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  5. Thank you so much, I was meant to read this. I have been struggling & worrying about my son. God woke me up the other day at 5am snap awake & I really pored out my heart & heart break about this to him. He showed me something amazing about my son & how I can help him but just reading your experience & hearing from other “special needs” parents is so touching & healing. It can be a lonely world where we just want our babies to fit in, blend in & get along but I know God has bigger & more special plans for our precious ones. I trust him & I thank you for sharing your story xox

  6. I am a special education teacher. Kids like BJ and the ones I teach and foster help me to be a better person. If they can love, forgive, persevere and smile then I can, too, even in the midst of so many trials. God’s plan in making each of us was so nothing short of amazing!

  7. What an amazing blog! A wonderful reminder to look at the world through children’s eyes! Praying I never get so busy or caught up in what I am doing that I don’t take the time to be in the moment and have the passion of a child!

  8. My “man boys” name is also BJ- and I’m not gonna lie – things are a bit tough right now. So yes nice to read and see not alone although so hard not to feel alone. Behaviors are so difficult that keep us so isolated from what we need most. Lysa your writings have been such an encouragement to my heart-always kind of feel like I’m having cup of coffee with you or something- that’s nice. God bless… Thank you….

    • Sweet Deborah, I understand those rough days and the feeling you are all alone. I pray the blog today did feel like us having coffee today. Here’s the hug I would reach across the table and give you..((((()))))

  9. Very uplifting story that makes me stop in my tracks and re-evaluate how I rush through daily life and really miss so many “best yes” moments. I get so set on my plan and my to do list for the day that I forget to stop and really embrace and enjoy the beauties of the day.. That can bring me do much joy if I am willing to see them. Thanks for this message today 🙂

    • You are so welcome Kristen. Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. From one fellow rusher to another… it is possible to unrush and recapture. I’m learning my best yes:)

  10. Reading this with tears streaming down my face. I have a man-child: the oldest of our 4 children…our 28 year old son, Joshua. He was born with Down Syndrome. Although it hasn’t been without challenges, parenting him has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I see God clearly when I see Him through the eyes of my son, because he is the definition of someone with child-like faith. God has used Joshua to teach me that we are all “the least of these.”

    Thank you so much for this post. We just want everyone to see the beauty in ALL of God’s magnificent creations.

  11. The truth is, we all have special needs, some are just more obvious than others. What a gift to lovingly acknowledging the value of someone’s child, regardless of the “package” they come in. God made us mamas to love our babies, and what a blessing to shower that mama with your words of love and respect towards her “man-boy”. God’s perspective is so beautiful. Thanks Lysa.

    • Yes, Judy. I almost titled this blog: I’m the one with special needs. And I so agree with you, God’s perspective is so beautiful! Thank you… Lysa

  12. My aunt had down’s syndrome. When I was little I could never understand why people stared or made fun of her. She brought joy to our family and when she saw people – she saw Jesus in each of them – she loved to hug and hugged everyone she met.

    I always felt that God sent one of his angels down to be with our family.

  13. Lysa, thank you for this today. My son is four years-old and was diagnosed with Autism two years ago. Some days are really hard, but God gifted him with an incredible zeal for life that is absolutely infectious. He is always, always happy. Some people look past him, but the ones that truly see him can’t help but be blessed by him. I’m lucky to be his mother, even though I don’t always feel equipped or good enough. My prayer is that I can slow down enough to enjoy he and his brother amidst a world that’s perpetually in a hurry. I bought your book last week and look forward to having a free minute so I can read it! Thanks for your ministry!

    • Thank you for sharing Jessica… sounds like your son is really precious. And thank you for reading The Best Yes. My prayer is it helps us all (me included!) unrush so we can better see God’s “best yes” perspectives and assignments in life.

  14. Lysa, I always love reading your books and your stories, and this story is no exception (nor will this book be)! How often we miss amazing stories because the ones living them may be a little different from us. I have learned so much from a young girl at our church who has Down Syndrome. She lives life passionately and exuberantly and has made me want to say yes a thousand times over to the joy of Jesus and to the wonder of the ordinary (well, what I might have considered ordinary had not Lily opened by eyes as she embraces the small things of life with open arms and open heart and a mouth shaping a loud, raucous, and joyous big YES to God. Yes! Lysa, Yes! Keep saying yes to God in the many ways you have throughout the years I’ve known you. Your yesses never cease to amaze me and want to embrace the God of Yes and His best for my life.
    Love
    Lynni

  15. I have a son that has 2 disabilities that makes it hard for him to verbalized or write what he is thinking; please pray for me to learn how to reach him. He is a grown man now & it seems much harder now than when he was a boy. Terri

    • Praying for your son right now Terri. And I’m praying for God to give you creative ways to reach him and communicate with him. Thank you for sharing. Lysa

  16. What a wonderful, joy filled post! I really enjoyed your love filled writing and appreciation for BJ, and your vulnerability as well and how BJ helped you bust out of boring :). Sometimes I fear I miss out on the joy of the moment because I am just flat taking myself and daily tasks too seriously. God whispers “lighten up, daughter!” 🙂

  17. Be sounds just like my sweet brother Travis who I miss so badly he passed away in 2010 at age 42 of esophagus/stomach and liver cancer diagnosed at stage 4 anyway he was a special needs child but he loved The Lord so much and he just lit up the room wherever he was at just like bj he never missed the opportunity to see the good in everything and everybody he defiantly taught me a lot about true happiness!! Thanks for sharing Bj’s story!!

  18. My granddaughter, Birdie, is a very joyful, special needs 5 year old. Her joy bubbles over and is very contagious. I am so thankful for her and amazed by her. Her parents are struggling and she is so stuck in the middle. I am praying it will not effect the joy.

  19. Tears (and snot) dripped as I read this post, Lysa. As you described BJ, you described a more verbally advanced clone of my 16 year old daughter, who, yes, has special needs and who indeed passionately embraces all of life. She loves everyone and all of life. How blessed I am to be her mother, and how blessed to be reading this post. Thank you for recognizing (and sharing) the incredible value our “special” children are to the world.

  20. Thank you for this reminder Lysa. I had that familiar lump in my throat as I read this as well. I don’t have a disabled child, but my mother-in-law had a massive stroke last week and I have been looking at the world through new glasses. She was a very active and healthy lady when this happened and now her left side is paralyzed and we jump up and down over every little bit of progress she makes daily. This amazing lady still loves the Lord with all her heart and has a strong will to get through this. I know this sounds weird, but I have enjoyed being with her more this week through this because of all the “little” things we have shared together. It’s those little moments that we should be slowing down for that make all the difference, because what’s in those little moments is what we remember and learn from. Can’t tell you how many “no’s” I’ve had to say this week just so I could give my best “yes” to a person I love so very much in taking care of her.

    • Oh Kathy… I’m sure many can relate to this. I have a friend whose mom just suffered a stroke yesterday and is with her receiving some potentially hard news today. Praying for you… Lysa

  21. What a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes…for BJ and his mom, for you and your son. I don’t have a special needs child in a “traditional” sense, but one who struggles with anxiety and depression and is unable to hold down a full time job at 24. “I wanted to tell her how I got up in the middle of the night and walked to my child’s bedside and begged God to make the connections work in his brain so he could read and excel and have the kind of future I desperately wanted for him” – this hit home with me. I have begged God to take this child who IS blessed with a keen mind, who strives to learn, and is filled with so much potential, and make the connections work in his brain so he might be able to experience joy in the every day the way a BJ can, and to have the kind of future I desperately want for him. As someone said in the comments, we all have special needs, just some are more ‘obvious’ than others. Thank you for the encouragement today, and thank you for your new book. I’m three chapters in and as someone who suffers from the disease to please, it is speaking volumes to my heart and soul.

  22. Traci thank you for sharing your story my heart was filled with joy and compassion as you were telling Bj’s mom how special he was and blessing. I have a grandson that has special needs also he has bypolar and autism and he gets so frustrated because he can not speak clearly and there are times where his siblings get frustrated at times, he is 4 years old the preschool he was going to last year taught him sign language to help him to be able to talk with them and everyone else. He dose have some challenges but through God’s Grace I have faith that the Lord will use him in a very special way.
    Thank you again for sharing your story it Blessed My Heart, God Bless you keep doing what you are doing you bring joy to everyone’s life♡

  23. What a story, I also had tears as I read the message that was shared. I know I can get caught up in the busyness of MY day. I need to also met a BJ to make me remember the smaller blessings in being calm and less crazy.

  24. Thank you, Lysa, for this blog. You really do get it. I have a man/boy with intellectual delay that is one of the greatest blessings and joys in my life, if not the most! I’ve said for years that the “special needs community” are the “normal” ones, not us. They truly know how to love and accept others the way God meant for us all. They express their feelings with everything they have to give, holding nothing back. And while that may not always be appropriate, they do know how to enjoy the small things and bring joy to others. I wish everyone could see and understand their value and worth and purpose. They make this world a better place!

  25. And now I’m smiling and tearing up with that same awe that you had and still have!! Such a powerful testimony to how we miss so many moments, and the unsuspecting ones who bring them back to us.

    LOVE.

  26. What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing Lysa. BJ just showed us what GOD is always showing us his beauty all around us that we so take for granted. The fact that a plane can fly in the sky and so high that the clouds are like blankets around us is truly amazing. Oh to see the world through those eyes. What a blessing!

  27. Thanks for choosing that best yes! For taking the time to notice the amazing lessons “they” have to teach us. Our son has autism and I can tell you many times people do not absorb his richness but sit in judgement… But he has taught me volumes about the little things, looking for “little clues”, honesty, sincerity, and genuine love and laughter! He teaches me to unrush and soak life in! I pray that everyone who reads your story will also choose the best yes and just pause and enjoy the beauty of life through an amazing differently-abled child!

  28. I taught Special Education and Behavioral Disorders, they are my “heart”! Yes, they have many frustrations, but the joy in every small accomplishment, the new shirt they have on, seeing me, their classmates, the sun, a butterfly and I could go on and on, fills my heart and makes me love them more for reminding me the Joy is always there, I just need to “open my eyes”.
    I go to Kenya each year to work with widows and orphans with AIDS. Abundant joy is there, in a hug, a smile, a lollipop, crayons, a bag of rice, etc! How I have learned it’s not what you have, it’s how you view what you have. Let’s not miss the joy that is right in front of us because we are worrying about something else!
    I applaud all of you with these “extra special” children! I realize, at least in part, the frustrations and hurdles you face and I pray that each of you may have strength, wisdom, patience and support to get you through each minute!

  29. Thank you. I wept because my 14 year old son, not yet a man but no longer a boy, loves and experiences life with more passion and joy than most people have ever known. The comments encouraged me as well. It definitely feels lonely, but I know I am blessed. God bless you.

  30. I love this post. I walked my oldest child to kindergarten for the first day this morning. I was in a rush because I didn’t want to be late (I needed to factor in picture opportunities) As I am urging my son to “hurry up” and “walk faster”, he bent down and was immediately captivated by the wiggly worms in the puddles from last nights rain. Even with his mommy reminding him every 2 minutes to “get a move on it” he was able to soak in this moment of the here and now. What a blessing to be reminded of slowing down and enjoying this beautiful life God has given us. Also….we made it to school in plenty of time. Tomorrow, we look for worms 🙂

  31. Wow Lysa that was fantastic. What a great reminder to us all to stop the whirlwind of the day to day craziness. I have 4 precious children and your words have reminded me to stop and “embrace the magnificent” even just in the privilege of raising these precious souls. Thank you for that. Thank you for your so beautifully put together words that touch my heart and change who I am for the better!! Keep writing girl!

  32. I am bawling my eyes out! I shall blame gravity 😀 lol… No really, I am crying because I am so excited that your story allowed you to understand BJ and his story and that combined they have created a story within you that others may not ever fully understand. When we are told to come to God like children I often think of people like BJ, because he is so blessed to not have all of the junk weighing him down, he sees the beauty today the same as he did as a child, with child-like eyes instead of our grown up, grown tired, grown worn approach to the same old things. If only we could all switch out our eyes and our hearts so that each day could be full of magic the way BJ saw things that day! Thank you for sharing!

  33. Tx for your earlier response, Lysa, and I just wanted to say how beautiful that you have responded to each and every woman here. Just like you!

    • You are so sweet to pop back over. My heart wants to do this with every comment every time, but my schedule doesn’t always allow it. But with a post like this, I knew there would be some mamas that might need an extra touch of love so I planned my day accordingly. Don’t you wish the internet had a “hug” feature where we could reach our arms through the screen and physically encourage each other?! Much love to you today… Lysa

  34. Thank you so much for this post. My 9 year old daughter with Cerebral Palsy, Lily, did not sleep well for the last 4 nights and I was feeling quite exhausted, frustrated, and helpless this morning. Reading your article really helped put things in perspective. I love her dearly and do enjoy our still childlike love and affection you only receive from a very young child and everything with her is fun she just giggles when you get frustrated with her disobedience. She thinks it is a game. God bless you for helping remind me of what is important – the giggles – not when she refuses to put her clothes on.

  35. Lisa,
    I loved that you shared this story. My 18 year old son just graduated from high school. He applied for and was accepted into 3 different colleges(2 of them Christian colleges!!). He sang in his middle school and high school choirs, and auditioned for and performed in 6 high school plays and musicals.Heres the thing: My son didn’t talk until he was 4.5 years old. Diagnosed with high functioning autism at that time. I know the fear some of the moms are talking about. I just prayed Xander would blend in and have friends. Once he began to speak and we could understand him, my joke was, “I prayed for him to talk. Now he talks back!”. While he lost the behaviors that made people stare and say rude things, I remember that devastating feeling and crying in the minivan driving home. Moms of kids with “differences”….NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! GOD HAS AMAZING THINGS IN STORE FOR YOUR CHILD! Lisa, thank you for being so genuine!!!! You are a blessing!

  36. Love, love this! My best friend gave birth to a beautiful daughter with Down syndrome, kennedy. She is almost 2 now and has absolutely changed their lives and the lives of so many of us who are privileged to know her. She is so perfect and such a beautiful display of God’s creation.

    Her parents have been a huge part in our church plant and lead our kids ministry. I can’t wait to look into the initiative you are sharing. We are reaching families with awesome kids like Kennedy and they are one of our highest priorities. We will do whatever it takes to provide them with a fun, safe, comfortable environment for their kiddos to learn about Jesus.
    Thanks for sharing Lysa. What Happens When Women say Yes to God has changed my life. Much love from jacksonville!

  37. This story gives me hope. I have a 21 year old lil girl who loves everything and everyone! She wakes up with a smile on her face and goes to sleep with a smile on her face. She is amazing and beautiful and I wish I could be half as sweet and innocent as her. When she was little, people stopped and said hello and acknowledged her. Now she says hi to everyone and very few say hi back. It never bothers her, but I find myself getting cold and bitter toward the ones who ignore an innocent hi. After reading this story, I will atleast have the hope that one peeson really saw her and even if they didn’t say hello, they saw how wonderful she really is. Than you so much for that hope!

  38. As a mom of a wonderful 6yr old son who has autism, this post touched my heart (and tearducts) so much! Thank you for opening your heart to see how special BJ’s gifts are, and for sharing that with your audience. I have struggled with thoughts of wanting God to “heal” my son before, but a couple years ago I realized that I love my son EXACTLY how he is, he wouldn’t be the same “Adam” without autism. Now I want people to take the time to get to know him and see how special he is, the people who do take the time get to experience his joy and love. I also love that sales of your book are going to support such a great cause. I would love to see more churches embrace these families who so often feel left out. Thank you again, for your post. You always speak so eloquently.

  39. Oh how this touched my heart! My husband and I are full-time caregivers to our 23 year “special needs” son. Mitchell has multiple disabilities, but an infectious laugh, a loving hug, and gentle kisses for his mama. He brings so much joy to our family (we have 3 other adult children, too) that it makes the difficult times a little easier to get through. I may never hear him say, “I love you, mom” this side of heaven, but I can feel his love in every hug he gives me! Thank you, Lisa, for your story about BJ!

  40. Thank you for this post! My Landon is almost 4 and has autism. I love to be encouraged that people in this world will be kind to him, and this story gave me that gift today.

  41. Perfect timing for me to read this blog. As school starts and I wrestle with four of my five children having varying special needs. Two adopted with fas due to their first moms neglect. One with learning disabilities and one genius but having aspergers. What a blessing they are to me. If I slow down and watch them I learn things like everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone struggles with something. Perseverance. Unconditional love and acceptance of others. The list goes on and on of how blessed I am that all five call me momma.

  42. This is the blessing I needed today. I have an awesome son named eli. He was born with a ton of health problems and had open heart surgery when he was two weeks old. When he got to school our lives turned upside down again. He is develoentally delayed. ADHD aspergers. Speech and physical therapy. He has just learned to read slowly but we are getting there. His goal in life to be a special teacher for kids like him. I am so proud. Scores or no scores they can’t take any of that away. God bless bj

  43. Lysa I love this post. I have an adopted son from Ukraine, Samuel, who has some struggles and has had a similar school experience as you described. Thank you for always sharing your heart and your real life stories. It means a lot to this mama. I love your story about BJ. So convicting and beautiful. And how exciting that you are donating to 99 Balloons! Ginny Mooney (who started 99Balloons) was a pledge sister of mine at Alabama. Love her family and her story!

  44. Thank you for this beautiful blog. I have a 3 year old son diagnosed on the spectrum of Autusm. Despite his diagnosis I have never donted that god will do amazingly great things through him. It’s been a tough road having limited resources and support but I am very grateful. With that said I have tried to share all I can with other families being I am a social worker. I am very interested in bringing a support/small group to my church as well as awareness as to ways to help support and guide other families. I would love to discuss this with you if possible. You can email me at jmartinez2718@gmail so I can provide you with my personal information.
    Thank you
    Juliana Martinez

  45. Thank you Lysa for using your gifts. I love your books, blog, and studies. You have encouraged me

  46. I needed this post tonight. I just met with my son’s kindergarten teacher, my son who is starting his school journey with an IEP already in place- he struggles so much with learning. I am sitting there apologizing to his teacher because he has a hard time! I feel so bad for him and compare him to others. You gave me a good reminder tonight and wonderful encouragement. Bennett has so much to give, he is one of the most charming, loving, and generous little boys you will ever meet. I should be celebrating his gifts! Thank you.

  47. I am a mother of 4 “special” kiddos. I am a physical therapist who works with people of all ages with “special needs”. I volunteer in our church’s ministry for children with “special needs”. My world is full of these people that our society calls “special needs”. The irony is that we are all “special” and we all have “needs”. To place one’s uniqueness above anyone else’s is kinda vein for lack of a better word. God has created us ALL in His image and has designed a Devine purpose for each of us. We need to focus and cherish on what we were designed to do and not what society tells us is “special”. We all want and need to be valued. I just love how God designs us uniquely and some are called to be LIGHT and JOY for the rest of us to see Jesus. We can’t all be rocket scientists, some of us have to keep the world smiling!!!!
    Thank u for sharing how BJ affected your life, and now the life of your readers. It will remind me how God is using my kiddos and patients to brighten His world even when I am too busy to notice.

  48. Lysa, Thank you! I can’t tell you how many times I read your post or blogs and think wow! Sometimes they really hit home and others like this are great reminders. Sometimes reminders of things I all ready know. I do wish I could remember to look at life with the same kind of excitement that BJ does in this story instead of taking so much for granted. Thank you again for sharing God’s love and for the comfort and hope your writings bring me!

  49. I definitely needed to read this blog. I am 50 year old man with special needs. I buried my Mom on July 29th this year. That makes me special needs. When I worked at a group home in VA the guys I worked with mainstream society had no use for. My wife worked thee as well with a group of young ladies. Those guys taught me new and important things every day. They even taught me about priorities. My special needs led my wife and I to be foster grandparents to a sweet baby boy in our church who has downs. Bless you for your insight and transparency!

  50. Lysa
    Thank you for your story about BJ, so many times in life we are to rushed for the little things to pay attention, when indeed it is the little things we need to humble us more than we know! Thank you.

  51. I read this with tears streaming down my face. My youngest child has aspergers and struggles so much. I pray for people to accept differences and embrace them. I needed this story tonight. Thank you for sharing!

  52. Lysa- I just recently attended the Happy Mama Conference where I met so many wonderful mamas of special needs children. I am sure I am positive your comment to that mother will stay with her forever! these special mothers need all the encouragement they can get. Be a noticer!

  53. Lysa, thank you for this post and reminder. It is so true that these days people are more apt to be looking at their cell phone than at the person they are speaking to at that moment. You are so right, we can miss the beauty and joy we should be having for God sharing his love with us. God Bless you and your family.

  54. What an incredible story! My son, 2, has Down syndrome, and I have learned more about joy through his life than I ever could have imagined. The magnificence of learning to roll over, to say “Mama”, to play with cars and make car noises, to take his first steps. These are things I took for granted with my other children. Now, I see each milestone as a miracle. And we delight and exclaim over each one with incredible joy. And his joy? Contagious. He lights up a room. He lights up my life. And I know that God has given this little boy to me to change me, to shape me, to grow me in my faith. If this story is just a glimpse of your book, I truly can’t wait to read it in its entirety. Thank you for taking the time to write; I look forward to being encouraged and challenged as I read!

  55. Your post put renewed joy in my heart and tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing the story of BJ. Not only will he continue to impact your life, but now thousands of others through your book! I am one of them.

  56. Lysa, I love you for this. My son, Cameron, has Aspergers, an IQ on the lowest end of normal and dysarthria, a speech/ auditory processing problem. He is 29 and has worked at McDonalds for 10 years. He is often loud, says awkward things, tells jokes that no one understands, and doesn’t keep his room clean. But he loves to help people, he loves to go to church, volunteers joyfully whenever he can and is willing to do all the jobs no one else wants to do. He has spent summers volunteering at a mission camp in Spain, has gone to Mexico and volunteered last summer for our church camp. My husband is often embarrassed by his son, like the mom shuushing her son. There are days that even I get frustrated by him when he doesn’t understand or gets stubborn. There were nights when I asked God to make him normal, like you did. When you are living close to the situation, it is hard sometimes to have perspective, to see the good. Thank you for seeing the value in “man-boys” like my son. Thank you for letting me see him through your eyes. Thank you for writing this to remind me what a gift Cameron is to our family.

  57. Lysa-Thank you for sharing this story, and thank you for listening to that gentle prod of the heart. I am a very blessed mother of an absolutely precious 7 year old boy, Aaron, with Down Syndrome. I can relate to BJ and the excitement, wonder and awe he sees in the things we call ordinary. Aaron does that too. We celebrate the little things. He has made us slow down and look at the world in such a different way. We laugh and clap and sing and live life to the fullest each day. And it does warm a momma’s heart when someone sees the obvious difference in your child and gives you a warm look, a word of encouragement, a nod of acceptance for one of God’s greatest gifts. If they only knew…….that WE are the ones blessed beyond measure.

  58. Instead of “special needs”, perhaps we should say children/adults with “special gifts” 🙂 They bless us with their amazing perspective on life, and we should embrace that.

  59. I read this last night and I was moved. I am too often “rushing” and losing sight of anything important. I have had a very hard day with my 5 year old. She is developmentally delayed and on the “spectrum” and I cry and worry too much about her future and how she is affecting everyone else to even look at today. I have prayed so many different prayers and I just feel lost.

  60. Thank you for this Lysa. Like so many others who have responded, I too have a 12 year old son with special needs named Chance. He was born with Angelman Syndrome and anyone who knows “angels” knows how happy and joyful they are; and my Chance is no exception. The Lord has used Chance, and continues to use him, to remind us how to slow down and enjoy the simple things, to revel at His grace in the midst of unspeakable health trials, to fall on our face in humble submission because our strength is never enough to sustain the day to day (much less think about years ahead), to praise Him for His provision (special needs stuff is expensive but He always provides), to be amazed at how compassionate his two younger brothers have become because of their relationship with Chance, and to be overwhelmed with joy when we see someone smile with Chance. Looking in his eyes I see blissful and childlike ignorance that us “typical” ones lose far too early. I see the eyes of God in his gorgeous blue eyes. This summer has been a very hard summer due to lots and lots of medical issues, and I lost sight of so many of those things I have learned from Chance over the years. Thankful for you and how God is using you to encourage a worn heart.

  61. Thank you for sharing this Lysa. We’ve taken in a foster son after raising our Brady Bunch family. God placed him in our lives. He has had a very rough life and struggles socially and academically. I’m not used to this as all our kids had tons of friends and did well in school. I find myself wanting him to be “normal”. I find myself feeling ashamed for having these thoughts. I pray for patience, understanding, wisdom and guidance to be the mom he needs. I need the Lord’s help daily.

    A few weeks ago, God showed up huge. My stepson is a youth pastor and was speaking during the main service. He had everyone turn to the person on their right and say, “I’m God’s gift to you.” My foster son was sitting to my left and looked at me with bright blue eyes…a smile full of dimples and said, “I’m God’s gift to you.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. He is a special and choice child of God. He is wonderfully and perfectly made and he is indeed a gift to me from The Lord. Thank you for sharing BJ’s story. It was yet another reminder of the Lord’s gifts which come in all different, beautiful packages.

  62. Lysa,
    Thank you so much for sharing. I just received my copy yesterday and really want to encourage others to buy it as well. Does this mean for this week, purchasing the book through any venue will benefit 99 balloons? Or just if purchased through Dayspring?
    Thank you so much!
    Erin

  63. Thank you for taking the time to notice BJ and for sharing your story. I grew up with a sister who is mentally disabled and she is very verbal, difficult to understand, but verbal. She currently lives in a group home, and is now in her 50’s. I have taken her on outings to the mall and she will strike up a conversation with a salesperson, get in as many questions as she possibly can within a matter of minutes, and then proceed to ask if she can pray for them. She calls on the phone, asks me to sing her a song that I sing in church, and always ends the conversation with “say a prayer”. She has taught me so many things over the years and I love her deeply. Thank you for your generous gift of donating funds from your book to such a needed cause.

  64. My mom sent your blog to me knowing I could relate. My 17 yr. old daughter, Kristin, has ADD. She has struggled in school since kindergarten and was held back in first grade. She is a junior this year. She was severely bullied at school. I sent her to a different school in “open enrollment” the last two years and she never had a problem. She made 5 new friends her first day of school there. She is a wonderful Christian young lady who loves God and is as sweet as can be. Everyone says that about her. Unfortunately the school she was in “open enrollment” in sent us a letter over the summer stating that her open enrollment was denied for this school year due to all spaces being filled with students who live in that district. So unfortunately she had to go back to the school she was bullied at. She’s a junior and hasn’t been back to that school since 7th grade. She’s been back to school for three days now and no one has even acknowledged her presence. No one has even said Hi to her. She doesn’t know her way around the school and even teachers are rude to her if she asks where a certain classroom is. She eats lunch alone. No one has asked her to join them and she is too shy to ask herself. She’s come home crying every day. She says she’s never felt so alone and she’s around 200 other students. Her spirit is being broken and I feel helpless. I remind her that she is never truely alone, Jesus is always with her. She understands that but says, Mom, you don’t know how it feels. At this school I guess if she was tall, thin and drove a brand new Mercedes she would be accepted. She’s different and therefore not accepted. She’s a child of The King!! I just pray that God will put someone in her path to be friends with. God bless you Lysa! Thank you for your inspiring story!!

    • Tara,
      Your comment brought tears to my eyes and touched me in such a personal way. I have been where your sweet Kristin is now and see one of my own sons facing :”alone in a crowd” experiences. I can relate with how heart breaking it is to see your own child feeling left out and helpless. Is it okay if I pray for you and Kristin? That God would be give you strength and wisdom with how to comfort her on the hard days, that she would strongly feel his presence in her loneliness during school and that he would put a good, kind friend in her path this school year. All these things in his name. Amen. And from one Mama to another.. Hugs.

  65. Dear Lysa,

    I just wanted to say thank you for this latest article.

    I had a twin brother (Danny) growing up who had Cerebral Palsy, who went Home 14 years ago. To this day, I can tell you that Danny’s purpose in life was to make people smile, to make them happy. He was unable to walk and talk, was confined to a wheelchair his entire 23 years of life on this earth. He was always happy and he just made you smile when you saw him, especially when he reacted to certain things in life. Its been 14 years since his passing and I will never forget his laughter and his smile he brought into any room.

    I grew up as a sister with someone with special needs, and now I have a daughter who has special needs. My daughter, Myah, is 8 years old and she is the one of the most special people on this earth. My daughter has a motor skill disability and so there are many things an average person can do that we take for granted she it can be difficult for her to do, such as writing, riding a bicycle, climbing stairs, etc. Every year when I meet with her teachers in school, it’s difficult to hear that she is below grade level on almost everything down the board and it’s even more difficult to hear that eventually her disability will keep her from getting a proper education. The list can go on and on, but at the same time, my little girl stays positive and she knows she will do things when she is ready and God will help her through everything. Myah gets excited for the littlest things and the teachers always tell me they like when she squeals in the playground. I know this little girl of mine does have a purpose in life, like we all do, I know that she Loves God and Trusts that He will see her through everything.

    Little did I know that my experiences in my childhood with my brother will bring me to adulthood and get me through motherhood.

    Thanks, Deanna

  66. i read each of the stories and my heart is filled with prayers for all of you. I have a grandson – Talan Kade was born with Downs. I know his birth is not a mistake – Talan was given to our family as a reminder how much we each need God to help us. Talan is very affectionate, so loving, doesn’t make judgement on people he just loves each of them! Reminds you of how much God loves us without judgement. I keep my grandson in prayer and ask for mercy in his behalf and I know God will take care of him. My grandfather told me one time: children with hardships are the ones that go the fartherest because God is on their side – never have regrets for that child. so I love my Talan Kade – i give him lots of hugs and kisses and I sing to him when he comes home to me. I learned patience thru him. I learned to appreciate every breath of life. I learned to pray more diligently and name every requests in behalf of my grandson. He makes me laugh heartily. One day each of our children will be perfect and we will understand God’s plan. Until that day, dear mothers, grandparents, love your special needs child – give thanksgiving, don’t ask Why? God knows your heart and understands so he renews you every morning! Remember joy comes in the morning even tho your tears are flowing in the night.

  67. Lysa,
    God is so good. Today is six years since my son’s memorial service. He was what you would call a ‘normal’ child and then man but he was far from ‘normal.’ From the moment he was born he embraced every moment of life. He noticed everything and everyone. If you touched his life in anyway he never forgot you. If you gave him the tiniest thing he kept it because he felt you had given him a part of yourself. He lived every single moment of his life in wonder and anticipation. It was tortuous to his spirit to waste precious moments on busyness, especially, if those moments had no seeming value in the eternal. He was my special gift from God. A gift I almost aborted 52 years ago.
    You might be asking yourself why is she sharing this, how does it fit in this blog? Well, when I read the story of BJ, tears began to stream nonstop down my face, because my ‘normal’ son, Fred, was like BJ.
    No matter whether your child is classed as ‘uniquely special’ in some way or classed as ‘normal’, they are all gifts from God.
    Value each moment with them. Thank God that He believed you could be the mother of your child/children. Just as He knew Mary could be the mother of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. She watched as he was accused, abused and hung on a tortuous cross shedding His Blood for even those who were of the cruelest type, those who did not understand Him and His purpose, as well as, for a whole world who needed Him and still need Him now.
    Thank you Lysa for your book, “The Best Yes’. I have ordered two, one for me and one for my daughter. I look forward to reading it.
    I know God will continue to bless your dedicated service to Him. I will pray for you and your whole family.

  68. Dear Lysa, I too am writing to you through the tears in my eyes. This year my 7-year-old niece, Ella, was diagnosed as intellectually challenged. We’ve known for some time that the connections in her brain weren’t quite right, but she’s always been at Waco Montessori School, first in their tiddler program then in their early childhood program, culminating in her graduating from kindergarten in May. Upon hearing her diagnosis, the director of the school told my sister, Melinda, that they no longer had the capacity to deal with Ella. They took her from the only environment she’s ever known, and now she will be starting public school next week. Melinda has had to file a grievance to get her into the best school for her special needs, since they waited so long to get her test results back. It’s a mess, and it’s so hard on Melinda, who is the strongest person I know. The transition into public school is going to set Ella back at least two months, as she has severe anxiety as well. The first level of the grievance will be heard this coming Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Please, I know how very busy you are, but if you could, lift up a prayer for Melinda and Ella. I’m so glad that you wrote this piece…. It makes me feel like I have someone who knows exactly what my sister is going through with Ella. I have always been an admirer of you and your work…I have all your books and love the ones I’ve gotten to finish so far! God bless you and your child. I know what you’re going through too. Love. Lorie

    • Lorie,

      Prayers for your sister, family and Ella. May God work out the details and help you all find the right school and people to assist you all in this transition.

      Father God,

      Please help Melinda, hubby and especially Ella as she has to transition to public school soon. Make it a smooth transition where the teachers understand that Ella has trouble learning and will give her the assistance she needs. Bless this family with patience, and contentment to deal with bureaucracy.

      AMEN!~ 🙂

  69. This story opens my eyes to my adopted granddaughter. My daughter and her husband has four children of their own all young at home ages new baby of a month old. They took upon themselves to adopted Elizabeth with special needs. This child gets so excited over things no one else would. And every time she brings us smiles. She is a child that will never have a worry and the most happiest child over everything. She is a blessing to our family. Thank-you for sharing your story.

  70. Lysa,

    I just love how “special needs” people can show us the exciting world around us. We tend to rush rush rush everywhere and miss out on God’s beauty right in front of our faces.

    Blessings 🙂

  71. Thanks so much Lysa! Your words were so inspiring to me this morning. I am an educational assistant with special needs kids, and your BJ story really touched my heart this morning! These kids just fill me up! These special children have truly helped me to move forward after my 24 year old son was killed in a car crash last year. Very special gift indeed!

  72. Thank you for sharing this amazing story of BJ and all the comments. He had the joy of The Lord, something we all hope to have. What a gift he is & what a gift he possesses.

  73. My daughter and I loved hearing this inspiring story! Our disabled grandson that GOD has given us has shown this exact thing! Amazing how GOD shows us what we need to know! Because of what of the amazing LOVE we have found I have started a ministry in our church for adults with severe disabilities!

  74. Lisa, Thank you so much for posting your God given moments. I totally understand and am blessed as we have a daughter that has Down Syndrome. I can relate to all that you have said. The most wonderful part is that God gives us gifts beyond our understanding, Kristen has been our own little angel…She has such a huge heart for others and does not care whether she has a disability, she just knows that she is a person that God put on this earth to let others know that she is a person just like everyone else. She has taught our family more about faith than I could ever preach. I believe that people with disabilities are angels that God has sent to show us how to trust in Him. She does not have Down Syndrome, she has Up Syndrome….

    Rev Jim Camacho

  75. Lysa, et all,

    Not sure what has hit home more, your blog or the comments from all the parents that have commented. I pray for my son and his behavours daily, but I feel I need to pray for all you moms in the smae spot. “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
    Thank you Lysa, it was probably refreshing for that mom that you did that the day you met BJ, I pray I may do the same daily. You are an inspiration and may He bless your book (and moms reading it) & initiative for the churches.

  76. Thanks for this beauty of a reminder to have eyes that see… I’m a momma of 5 and 2 other “honerary” children. my oldest son had many many struggles of which I had many tears-streaming -sleepless nights. And he is now 20… And this world is so much better because he is in it. I needed this reminder so much. The demands lately have been screaming and the beauty just sits quietly around me waiting for me to notice…. The wonder of the ONE who sustains me in it all… So grateful for your heart and your life and calling you share with us. It matters….