When You Can't Make It All Better

My precious son was writhing in pain, screaming, bashing his head, couldn’t talk and tell me what was hurting or what was going on. He wasn’t hitting developmental milestones. He got sick for three weeks at a time if I took him out in public once per week for church. He would meltdown if we went to a store, if I put my hair in a pony tail, if a car-carrier semi drove by, or any other of seemingly 100 other reasons.

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I was heartbroken by my son’s pain. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to take it away. I was heartbroken by the trapped world my son lived in with a body and brain that didn’t function normal or well. I wanted to fix-it. I wanted him to be set free. I wanted to know who he really was, not just the altered state of pain, agony, confusion and misunderstanding I saw in his eyes daily, on the days he was “there” and not “absent”.

I hear from other moms with similar feelings. Kim’s 13 year old son is still wetting the bed and she doesn’t know how to help him. Anne’s 5 year old son, who was severely injured at birth, needs 24-hour home nursing care while another son is a danger to the family and has needed to go live in a group home. Christy doesn’t know where to turn for her adopted daughter’s unknown trauma and personality disorders. Tiffany’s daughter is scheduled for her 23rd surgery. Their children are in so much pain. They have so many challenges. They want to help. They want to make it better.

Are you there? Do you feel the pressure? Sometimes, the desperation? The pressure to help, to fix it, to make it all go away?

I’ve met moms of kids with disability and special needs who say their child is perfect just the way they are and they wouldn’t do anything to change it. I think their challenges must have been different than mine, because if I could have taken away the extreme amount of pain my child was experiencing, I would have in a heartbeat.

Dear pressured, desperate mom, here is a truth we need to grasp onto for dear life. These children are not ours. They are God’s. We are the stewards of this child for this lifetime, but ultimately, they are His.

He created them. He gave them to us to love, guide and care for them. He has a plan for them. When we feel this pressure to solve, to help, to fix and we cannot or don’t know what to do, we must bring the child (along with our pressures and worries) back to Him, lay the situation in His lap and ask for His help, guidance, insight and intervention.

You, dear mom, don’t need to carry a burden He never intended for you. So, give that part of it to Him, that’s His job. Yours is to love well.


Written by Sarah McGuire


Sarah McGuire  is the Mom of two boys and co-founder of Hope Anew, a nonprofit that comes alongside the parents of children impacted by disability on a spiritual and emotional level. You can follow Hope Anew on Facebook here.