Sandra People’s book, Unexpected Blessings, is a wonderful and insightful resource and guide for anyone touched by special needs. Whether you have a child with special needs, are an extended family member, or a friend. This book gives an inside look at the spiritual and emotional journey parents of a child with special needs will likely travel.
The title is Unexpected Blessings, but Sandra acknowledges and directly addresses the very real and very hard things about the journey. She ties it all back to Scripture and brings out passages and stories that show how the Bible and Biblical characters are relevant to our daily lives and our journey in disability or special needs. She provides answers to the questions and struggles parents of kids with special needs face and points to the hope and answers that are desperately needed.
“Jesus doesn’t condemn us for feeling a full range of emotions, and we shouldn’t condemn each other. It’s okay to not be okay. There is grace to meet you there.”
- Sandra Peoples
Sandra hits on the main topics relevant to the parent’s side of the special needs journey, including: diagnosis, heartbreak, grief, struggle with God and false belief systems, guilt, shame, fear, rest, restoration, daily how-to’s to simplify life, finding a new purpose and path forward, God’s purpose for disability, how to navigate relationships within the immediate family as well as extended family and friends, and the need to build new relationships.
As the parent of a son with autism and a sibling of a sister with Down’s Syndrome, Sandra writes from multiple perspectives on the issues. I appreciate Sandra’s down-to-earth communication style, authenticity and transparency with the journey she and her husband have traveled.
Yet, Sandra doesn’t stop with the challenges that come with special needs. She has found that both on the other side of the struggles and within the challenges, there are great blessings, unexpected blessings. She not only has found them, she lays out the path so other parents can find them too.
While the challenges may always be part of life with a child with special needs, those unexpected blessings bring joy to the journey and purpose in the pain. Unexpected Blessings is a wonderful guide that lets parents know it’s okay to struggle, God loves them and is for them, and there are great blessings waiting for them along the way.
“Our suffering has a purpose. It is not accidental or circumstantial. His loving, powerful hand guides us through even the hardest times. It’s on this detour you come to realize the true depth and breadth of God’s love.” - Sandra Peoples
Written by Sarah McGuire, Co-Founder of Hope Anew