Practicing with Children

Love Your Parental Neighbors

I have a love/loathe relationship with Facebook.  I love Facebook for the opportunity to catch up with old
and friends around the country and the world – those with whom I never would have had a connection otherwise.  I loathe Facebook for being my very own personal time-suck.  I love Facebook for the ability to survey bunches of people at once about home improvement questions, or restaurant is the best place for dinner.  I loathe Facebook for magnifying the tendency in all of us to create a persona whose life and everything in it is going perfectly.

Not that we didn’t have that tendency in our lives before….our environment teaches us to present our best side to those around us….and that we shouldn’t air our dirty laundry.  However, I think that this tendency gets in the way of us being God’s hands, helpers, and teachers for the world around us.   What more could God want of us than to love our neighbor?  And, how can we love our neighbors if we aren’t real? Authentic?  Present?

When our older child was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome a few years ago, I felt all the emotions. Relief.  Sadness.  Panic.  Hope.  Jealousy.  Confidence.  Fear.   Moreover, I felt the pressure to keep it to ourselves.  This definitely fell under the “no-one-wants-to-hear-about-this-and-I-shouldn’t-talk-about-anything-that-isn’t-rosy” category.  As a result, I felt stressed and tired from carrying this weight around by myself.

However, God worked on me.  Slowly, He brought me around to realize that I wasn’t allowing His people to minister to me…to be the carriers of His grace and love that He has for me.  When I woke up in the middle of the night to this overwhelming thought that I should start writing about my son, it was clear it was Him who was guiding me.

Now that I have written posts and shared about my son and our family’s progress on Facebook, the love we have received in return has been overabundant.  Just like God promises.  I think all of us parents need this from each other.  I hope that we can allow God to help us during our harder times by being open, honest, present and loving with each other, whether that is on social media or otherwise.  I hope that I can continue – and therefore encourage those around me – to share with others in a way that we can all have the opportunity to show God’s love to everyone around us.

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