The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the

The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs ❴KINDLE❵ ❅ The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs Author Andrew Wilson – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Sometimes you end up living the life you never expected When Andrew and Rachel found out that one, and then both, of their children had severe autism, their world was turned on its headThis is a book We Never PDF ´ Sometimes you end up living the life you never expected When Andrew and Rachel found out that one, and then both, of their children had severe autism, their world was turned on The Life eBook ´ its headThis is a book about surviving, and thriving, when something goes horribly wrong It is a mixture of their story and God s story, and the way in which his has shaped Life We Never PDF/EPUB Ä theirsWith clarity and biblical insight, they share their experience of grief and worship, struggle and hope As well as reflecting on the specific challenges of raising children with special needs, they speak to broader questions as well the problem of suffering, building a marriage under pressure, fighting for joy and trusting in the goodness of GodThis is not just a book for families and friends of special needs children, but for all who have been thrown a curve ball in life, and need to know how to lament, worship, pray and hope.


10 thoughts on “The Life We Never Expected: Hopeful Reflections on the Challenges of Parenting Children with Special Needs

  1. Kendra Fletcher Kendra Fletcher says:

    I am the mom of a son who caught a nasty virus when he was 7 weeks old and which left 6 holes in his brain But I am also the mom of 7 kids with developmentally healthy brains, so dealing with all of the grief, issues, altered parenting paradigms, paperwork, and the uncertain future of a child with special needs has been like the wave that takes you under after an afternoon of calm seas Reading The Life We Never Expected did several important things for me Reading and pondering each section I am the mom of a son who caught a nasty virus when he was 7 weeks old and which left 6 holes in his brain But I am also the mom of 7 kids with developmentally healthy brains, so dealing with all of the grief, issues, altered parenting paradigms, paperwork, and the uncertain future of a child with special needs has been like the wave that takes you under after an afternoon of calm seas Reading The Life We Never Expected did several important things for me Reading and pondering each section slowly, I grasped that my concerns and experiences were neither isolated nor unique There s a great big world of special needs warriors out there In light of that knowledge, my resolve to see our churches fully embrace our brothers and sisters raising or living with special needs has heightened The church in America, in general, does this poorly We cast a blind eye and marginalize families fighting the hardest fight In fact, I recently spoke at a conference and a group of moms parenting kids with special needs approached me, one by one, to tell me that they no longer go to church The attempt and effort is too costly and the church, by way of a myriad of responses from a lack of resources to shunning a noisy special needs teen from worship has made it a feat not worth attempting The Wilsons don t really camp on this aspect of raising kids with special needs, but I couldn t shake that reality from my head the entire time I was reading They talk about the importance of living in community and the humility it takes to accept help, but what if you have an unwilling community with no access to a better one Pray God is faithful to give us what we need, which they communicate well and leads me to God has this He was not surprised when our son slipped into a coma and weathered all that He did He knows the future, and there is grace there, too


  2. Chris Chris says:

    One of my best friends is a Christian and he gave me a copy of this book as I have a child with special needs.This book has been written by two members of a network of evangelical, charismatic churches known as Newfrontiers I am not a fan of these churches, particularly their complementarian approach however since my friend gave me the book as a gift I felt obliged to give it a go.The authors a married couple have two young children with Autism The book is marketed as a guide for Christian One of my best friends is a Christian and he gave me a copy of this book as I have a child with special needs.This book has been written by two members of a network of evangelical, charismatic churches known as Newfrontiers I am not a fan of these churches, particularly their complementarian approach however since my friend gave me the book as a gift I felt obliged to give it a go.The authors a married couple have two young children with Autism The book is marketed as a guide for Christian parents living with children who have special needs with particular emphasis being on relying on God s love, guidance and, of course, your church community Whereas there is nothing wrong with these ideas in themselves in fact, they are great ideas if you are inclined to believe in God the way they are put across is absolutely, mortifyingly terrible.Let s begin with practical information and the good things about the book The book is short at 152 pages long and I got through it within two days The layout is simple and so is the message It is not difficult to understand what this book is saying which makes it very accessible Also, as mentioned earlier, the basic idea for the book is sound lean on God in times of distress and trouble not exactly original advice but there you go Now the bad the couple who wrote the book seem to view their children less as two beautiful individuals who deserve their unwavering, unconditional love and support andlike two child shaped mill stones around their necks dragging them into the abyss of self pity and cries of Why God Why The authors spend a good deal of the book effectively complaining that it is really really hard looking after two children with Autism but they accept what is obviously a challenge sent by God They complain endlessly about how very difficult and stressful it is for them and how, at times, it makes their lives unbearable whilst simultaneously disregarding and ignoring any misery and difficulty suffered by their children who have to live with a very difficult neurological disorder for which there is no cure and which makes life very frightening and difficult to cope with The authors literally make no mention of how it must make their children feel From reading the book I felt overwhelming pity not for the parents but for the poor children that their parents are so vacuous and selfish.The book made me angry because of the authors attitudes There are so many dreadful parts of the book it s hard to know what to highlight A particularly awful chapter was when the father decided to compare having Autistic children with receiving a real orange instead of a chocolate orange at a dinner party To quote You ve been given an orange Not a chocolate orange an actual orange Eleven segments of erratically sized, pith covered segments, with surprisingly large pips in annoying places, requiring a degree in engineering in order to peel it properlyYou pause to reflect There s nothing wrong with oranges you say to yourselfBut your heart sinks, all the same An orange was not what you expectednot only that but it wasn t what you wanted Just imagine how that mans poor children will feel when they get old enough to read that It s a ridiculous comparison anyway Basically Son, you re like a shit dessert at a dinner party that no one wants, sorry His wife isn t any better She wrote a new updated version of The Beatitudes a famous part of Jesus Christ s Sermon on the Mount just for people with special needs because the original doesn t apply to them, right Blessed are the autistic, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Blessed are the tube fed, for they will be comforted No, I m not kidding It really is that crass Frequently.The book goes on like this with both authors complaining about how all their aspirations for their children are gone because of autism They write about how much they ve wept over it Again it is all about self pity with these two In one chapter they mention the importance of thinking of others instead of yourself and I nearly died from a sudden overdose of irony.Perhaps the worst part of this awful stain of a book was the subject of healing Now I knew this would come up sooner or later as I know Newfrontiers is the kind of church big on laying on hands but when the subject did rear its ugly head I was shocked by the way the author seems to view his own children as something to be fixed He talks about different types of Christians and how they view faith healing and he uses a Winnie the Pooh analogy This could be for simplicity or it could be because the guy has the imagination of an ameba Either way it s daft We have Tigger types who bounce around insisting that God will always heal us if we just have enough certainty that he will, and we have Eeyore types who mope around mumbling that disabilities are just part of the way things are, and asking God to heal us is a waste of time Being a Winnie the Pooh type in the middle, believing that God wants to heal but trusting him when he doesn t, can be exhausting The Tigger types make you feel guilty the Eeyore types make you feel grumpy And you re still the one with the disabled child It s difficult to describe the anger I felt when I read this offensive tripe This conceited, awful person wrote this about his own children The disgust and disappointment that his children weren t fixed by God practically drips off the paper This is how he views his own children like some broken laptop he s returned to Argos There s obviously been a mistake, my children are DISABLED God Please fix them and return them ASAP so I can have an easier life It seems to have never crossed his simple mind that God created and loves those children for who they are Autism isn t leprosy or cancer or some other disease to be cured of His children aren t freaks or misfits and they are fine as they are Created perfectly and loved by God.Believe me when I say I could go on giving examples The whole 152 pages are full of this type of nonsense Oh one last thing I forgot to mention in the positive section If you have children with special needs and you are having a down day and feel like a bad parent just have a quick read through this book I guarantee when you realise there are parents out there like these two you ll realise you aren t so bad after all


  3. Shelley Shelley says:

    You don t have to have a child with special needs to benefit from The Life We Never Expected Though the focal point of the book is the authors experiences parenting two young children with Autism, anyone who has ever wondered or pleaded , Why, Lord in the wake of hardship will find refreshment and comfort in its pages.I hope prospective readers of this book won t be put off by the critical review written by a fellow Goodreads user named Chris, which has, unfortunately, garnered the top p You don t have to have a child with special needs to benefit from The Life We Never Expected Though the focal point of the book is the authors experiences parenting two young children with Autism, anyone who has ever wondered or pleaded , Why, Lord in the wake of hardship will find refreshment and comfort in its pages.I hope prospective readers of this book won t be put off by the critical review written by a fellow Goodreads user named Chris, which has, unfortunately, garnered the top position as of today After finishing and enjoying this book, I read Chris s review carefully, and, while I appreciate his engagement with the book and his alternative view, I found his assessment of the Wilsons to be uncharitable, paradoxical, and potentially informed by personal bias He begins his review by sharing his distaste for the authors religious affiliation, and I suspect that distaste, at least in part, prejudiced him against the Wilsons from the start.Yes, the authors are honest about the ways in which they ve been taxed mentally, physically, and spiritually by the challenge of raising two young children with Autism, and, while their love for their children is clearly evident, they don t view an Austism diagnosis as something to celebrate To suggest that the Wilsons are somehow callous toward their children because they lament their children s disability is disingenuous and rather a low blow What parent wouldn t be broken and in their weaker moments, angered by the prospect that their child may suffer serious developmental delays and other health complications and perhaps never enjoy many of the daily simple pleasures healthy individuals take for granted The authors believe that this world is not as it should be, and their hearts are aggrieved because of that I don t see how this makes them vacuous and selfish parents Meanwhile, our world increasingly puts pressure on pregnant women to abort foetuses who are discovered to have serious medical conditions like Down s Syndrome, and it s people like the Wilsons who contend that every person, regardless of what they can or cannot do, is God s image bearer and is, therefore, worthy of respect, protection, and dignity After reading Chris s review, I couldn t help but ask myself, Are we talking about the same book, the same people Selfish, crass, vacuous, terrible These are not the words I believe most readers of this book would reach for when describing the Wilsons Chris lambasts the Wilsons for never contending with the misery and difficulty suffered by their children who have to live with a very difficult neurological disorder for which there is no cure and which makes life very frightening and difficult to cope with But then he turns around and criticizes them for lamenting their children s diagnoses and for longing for healing in their lives Their children aren t freaks or misfits and they are fine as they are Created perfectly and loved by God If Autism causes so much suffering in the lives of children diagnosed with it, as Chris rightly points out, how are those children then fine as they are and perfectly created, as he says Are the Wilsons bad parents for not celebrating and rejoicing over the fact that both of their children have difficult neurological disorders Is it not understandable that a diagnosis of Autism would cause a parent to suffer inways than one Is a mother necessarily a bad parent simply because she honestly shares the ways in which life is uniquely challenging when parenting children with special needs I empathized with the Wilsons situation and never once perceived them as selfish To the contrary, their heartfelt humility and long suffering put me in my place onthan one occasion I also feel that, in a small way, I have a better understanding of what it means, and what it costs, to parent a child with special needs, and I m thankful for that.At the end of the day, if one is looking for reasons to dislike a book, those reasons will never be in short supply If taken a face value and read with a spirit of openness, however, this book has a lot to offer readers, especially Christian ones This book was written for Christians, after all


  4. Matthew Manchester Matthew Manchester says:

    This year, in the midst of all my heroes publishing new books, I would ve swore that my favorite books this year would be from one of these popular men and women, but once again I ve been blindsided by a truly remarkable book The Life We Never Expected might be the book I recommend for new parents, struggling parents, or just parents in general from now on While our experiences and kids are amazingly different none of mine are special needs , I found a couple who understood me and that seem This year, in the midst of all my heroes publishing new books, I would ve swore that my favorite books this year would be from one of these popular men and women, but once again I ve been blindsided by a truly remarkable book The Life We Never Expected might be the book I recommend for new parents, struggling parents, or just parents in general from now on While our experiences and kids are amazingly different none of mine are special needs , I found a couple who understood me and that seemed to understand my wife s struggles as well I cried, I laughed, I was encouraged, I was broken Being firstmost a book for special needs parents, the book is thankfully divided up into five repeating sections weep, worship, waiting, witnessing, and breathe I am grateful for these rotating repeating sections It kept the book balanced and not too heavy or happy I also loved how Andrew and Rachel take turns writing the different sections and take turns as they repeat writing others though Andrew never does do a Breathe section WHY DON T YOU BREATHE, ANDREW lol.My wife is about to start reading this book and I m overjoyed for that I m truly grateful for this book The book is also a quick read too Grateful for that as well Parenting doesn t leave too much time


  5. Emily Emily says:

    I can t thank God enough for this book and its authors.


  6. Janelle Garrett Janelle Garrett says:

    My husband picked this up shortly after our first son got diagnosed with autism I refused to read it initially, mainly because I couldn t handle what I knew was going to be an emotional roller coaster But when our second son started to regress and show signs of being evenautistic than his older brother, I became desperate enough to read it in spite of how hard I knew it would be.I m mostly glad I did The authors did us the service of writing in the midst their struggle This takes cour My husband picked this up shortly after our first son got diagnosed with autism I refused to read it initially, mainly because I couldn t handle what I knew was going to be an emotional roller coaster But when our second son started to regress and show signs of being evenautistic than his older brother, I became desperate enough to read it in spite of how hard I knew it would be.I m mostly glad I did The authors did us the service of writing in the midst their struggle This takes courage, for a myriad of reasons But what struck me was their willingness to say Yeah, we don t really know what we are doing But God is good and we trust him It s exactly what I need to hear I m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have two special needs kids And so are they The isolation I feel at being in a place that literally NO ONE will understand unless they have experienced it too, diminished, if only by a little bit There were only a couple things I disagreed with, but that s to be expected There s no manual for how to raise autistic kids simply because no autistic child is the same I m grateful this was clear in this book from the outset My disagreements were mostly theological, but it certainly didn t detract from the immense help I received from reading this book I highly suggest parents of special needs children read this, especially if they re a Christian


  7. Flora Flora says:

    Insightful for anyone who feels life is not quite what they expectedThis is a wonderful, honest and spiritually focused book reflecting on the challenges and spiritual formation that this couple experience through bringing up two children with special needs However, I would recommend it to anyone who has ever felt a bit knocked off balance by life s curve balls.


  8. Sarah Sarah says:

    I read this book to hopefully better understand the lives of several friends and acquaintances who have children with various special needs, but I also found spiritual encouragement for my own journey.


  9. Victoria Victoria says:

    This is a book I am sure I could have benefited from when my daughter was first diagnosed with autism Andrew and Rachel Wilson, who have two children diagnosed with regressive autism, discuss fighting for joy, thriving in the midst of trials, grief, healing, prayer, andThrough it all, they point readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.If you are a parent of a special needs child, this is a great book to pick up It is a book of short reflections that reveal the rea This is a book I am sure I could have benefited from when my daughter was first diagnosed with autism Andrew and Rachel Wilson, who have two children diagnosed with regressive autism, discuss fighting for joy, thriving in the midst of trials, grief, healing, prayer, andThrough it all, they point readers to Christ, the One who promises to make all things new.If you are a parent of a special needs child, this is a great book to pick up It is a book of short reflections that reveal the real thoughts and real feelings of the authors They use their own experiences to help others process the various stages that come with parenting a special needs child.BUT even if you don t have a child with a disability, this book can be good for you, too It is actually good for ANYONE, because it covers things like loss, hope, contentment, and joy Plus, the chapters are short and easy to read, which is a good thing for all of us busy people


  10. Dustin Dustin says:

    Best book I read in 2017 Sweet meditation on the gospel in the face of suffering I would recommend it to every Christian, not just those who have children with disabilities.


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