The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
It was days before my twenty-sixth birthday and I was sitting at Bob Evans having lunch with my husband. Our eight month old foster son was spending time with Grandma and we were enjoying eating our food without haste when my phone rang. I recognized the number and took a deep breath as I prepared my heart for the possibility of another child. I had just completed my final day of work and I was now officially a stay-at-home mother, but I hadn’t anticipated being a stay at home mother of two so quickly.
I answered the call and my suspicions were quickly confirmed as I was introduced to an infant, three days old, that needed a placement. After some hushed whispering with my husband, we said yes and finished our meal to head to the hospital and meet our newest addition. It would be three days before we were able to bring the tiny infant home with us, but we were encouraged to spend time with him in the NICU bonding and feeding him.
I vividly remember the first time I fed him. I was slowly rocking in the uncomfortable wooden rocker, marveling at how tiny his little fingers and toes were when he suddenly sneezed and formula shot out of his nose! This had never happened with our older son and I was horrified! I was sure that I broke him and we would be banned from any more infants, but thankfully that was not the case. This tiny bundle of blue was simply preparing us for the surprises he would continue to present.
At age three we began seeing a developmental pediatrician because his outbursts, fear and general behavior were beyond our comprehension. Some days I felt defeated and like a failure. I felt alone and as if no one quite understood how to help him or me.
By age four we were in full-blown medication trials with a litany of diagnosis. I wondered if I could do this and how I would get through each day. I wondered if I truly was the right home or mother for this child who continued to throw us curve balls.
God spoke to me through Deuteronomy 31:8, reminding me that he goes before me, he is with me, will not leave me nor forsake me. He commands me not to be afraid or discouraged. No matter how difficult my day had been, I knew that I was not alone. No matter how many tantrums or meltdowns I endured, I knew there would be an end.
Satan enjoyed toying with my emotions, stealing my patience and exasperating the turmoil. He took pride in making me exhausted and convincing me I was walking this path alone. Satan will work daily in your lives to feed you discouragement and fear, but God’s promise is stronger! God’s promise to walk with you and not forsake you will always overshadow Satan’s lies.
If you’re feeling discouraged or fearful about your current situation, grasp tight to Deuteronomy 31:8, knowing full well that God is on your side. He has called you to this path and He will walk it with you!