Suzannah's Story

  • March 20, 2015
  • #8580

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Suzannah is a single mother of a special needs child and she needs your prayer and encouragement.

Suzannah's Story

Hi, I’m Joni with a heartfelt plea from a special-needs mom. Yes, my heart goes out to mothers – especially single mothers – of kids with disabilities. And I received an email recently that broke my heart. It came from Suzannah and describes so well the plight of single moms who are trying their best to raise their kid with a disability along with their brothers and sisters.

Suzannah wrote me, she said:

“Joni, I've known of you since your first book and have always been inspired by you and have kept up with your ministry. As I type this, I still can't believe that I am a discouraged mom of a special-needs child. I've raised four healthy sons and when my fifth child was born with Down syndrome five years ago, I honestly thought I'd just take him home and love him and all would be fine. Instead my already troubled 20-year marriage crumbled, I got divorced and then found myself overwhelmed by my precious Jackson's needs. Friends and family mean well and want to help, but he's hard to manage. I lately find myself dreading Sundays because taking Jackson to church is so challenging. I feel guilty even talking about it because I'm well aware that so many others have much greater challenges. I had NO plans whatsoever to send you this message, but when I listened to your broadcast tonight, I don't know, I just felt compelled to.

“I'm sure there must be different support organizations where I live, but I have never looked for them. I've always had this rosy outlook that I could handle taking care of Jackson and that the Lord would provide for the challenges. I do count my blessings all the time, but reality is that day after day my back hurts (Jackson is 60 lbs at five years old); I'm tired and I'm lonely. It's not correct to say that I'm isolated, I have a wonderful church family and great friends and yet I still feel so isolated. I'm scared about our future and finances. I'm exhausted by the constant supervision Jackson needs. I guess just writing this is relieving a bit of the stress. There are things I know I need to do like reveal my strain to my church family so they can pray for us, and Joni, I'm rereading this message now and asking myself, “Suzannah why are you writing this??? Get a grip! People all around you have real problems!” Yet, I still think I feel the Lord urging me to send it. Prayers would certainly be appreciated. You're a blessing to me all the time and I'm thankful for you and your ministry. I still find it unbelievable though, to be honest that I am writing to you as someone who has a child with special needs. After five years, I think this is just sinking in.”

Well, I am so very glad that Suzannah wrote me, because this precious woman needs your prayers. She’s definitely going on our Joni and Friends staff prayer list, but I wanted you to be aware of her challenges so that you too could intercede. And don’t worry, I will be writing Suzannah, encouraging her to come to one of our Family Retreats next summer – it’ll be a place where I know she will not feel isolated. Psalm 12 says that because of the groaning of the needy, the Lord will arise. So join me in praying that a brighter perspective will arise in Suzannah’s heart as the Lord pours out His grace on her through our prayers. Because she’s not alone; there are thousands of single moms like her who need that same encouragement from Psalm 12. And friend, if you would like to know more about Down syndrome, I’ve posted a really heart-warming video on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org in honor of tomorrow’s World Down Syndrome Day. Again, that’s joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

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