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You Are Worthy

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It’s New Year…

For some it can be the opportunity for a new start, for others it’s a place of expectation and excitement for the future. Both in their spiritual lives and in the rest of their lives. Maybe there are resolutions to eat more healthily, have more time to themselves, kerb their use of social media…. the list could go on.

But for some it’s been a struggle to get through 2017, and 2018 isn’t looking much better! How do you resolve to eat more healthily when your children struggle to eat things that cause sensory discomfort – cooking a totally different meal for yourself is out of the question! Having time to yourself is a distant dream, And as for lessening the use of Social Media…. it’s a life line for many of us, so people saying self improvement means cutting down on it just serves to make us feel guilty.

I don’t know where you sit on the scale of things in the New Year, or how you fared in 2017, but I pray that God would hold you and give you what you need in 2018.

As someone with a lived experience of disability (as both a child and an adult), how do I see the new Year?

Well over the years, I’ve dreaded it.

One of my conditions causes difficulty with loud noise, crowds of people and the inability to decipher faces and conversation in that sort of atmosphere. I also don’t like strong smells/perfumes. So basically, I dislike almost all of those things present at Christmas and New Year parties!

But, on top of that I’ve had the well meaning Christians who have informed me that God will give me a healthier year…. (What part of degenerative disease don’t you get was the response in my head – but I was never brave enough to say it out loud!!)

So a couple of years ago I started to ask God to give me a word or two to take me into the next year.

This year, ‘Worthy’ seems to be the word. As a child with additional needs, I never felt worthy. I was the ugly duckling, never matching up to the expectations of those around me. Those at church thought I was odd and not worthy of their time (Thankfully I changed churches!)

When you have that feeling of unworthiness as a child, more often than not it follows you into adulthood.
It’s not a good place to be.

At 50 and a bit, I’m still learning that I am worthy – worthy to be listened to, worthy of friendships, but most of all, worthy enough to be called a child of God. I have to be reminded of these things with great regularity.

I pray you too would see yourself as worthy. If you are a parent that regularly has to beg for the care your child needs, remember — God sees you and your child as worthy. Worthy of love and care. HIS love and care.

Because of Jesus, God sees us as worthy of His love, and as such cries with us when we’ve had enough, and celebrates with us in the smallest of achievements our children make. We are worthy of that relationship.

As we stumble into this new year together – remember: You are worthy of God’s love.

Even on the many days where we just don’t have time to read His word or pray, we are still worthy.

On the days where we want to bite peoples heads off because of their insensitivity, we are still worthy.

I am the ‘other’ founder of the Additional Needs Alliance, alongside Mark. Our Journeys are very different – he the father of a son with additional needs, and I the child who had additional needs/disabilities and still do, and the step parent of a (now grown up) teen with severe mental health illness. Both of us ‘called’ to make a difference for children and young people who have additional needs and disabilities in the church.

Mark travels the country training and raising the profile of those who have additional needs – and doing it fabulously. I also do the same, and some bespoke training too, but most of the time I’m working alongside other national organisations, working behind the scenes to get the message out at the highest level that these children and young people are worthy too, don’t ignore them. One of those organisations I work with is the Evangelical Alliance, where I am a council member. I have been so encouraged by their response to raising this more, and the practical plans they are putting together. Pray for us as we work together to get this message out there.

May God hold you and bless you in 2018

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