Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities”

Hey, Sweet Things! I am about to do something that I don’t often do. I’m about to mention a website that has no official connection to Living Proof Ministries. I hardly ever do this because we would not know where to stop. By God’s grace, there are so many great resources out there that our entire blog would be given over to a steady stream of recommendations, swallowing up our purpose here. We also don’t have the ability to thoroughly police every site, founder or author we might want to mention. I’ve learned the hard way that, to many folks out there, a favorable mention or a recommendation about someone or something means that you line up with everything they’ve ever said or, scarier yet, will ever say. The risk can be enormous.

The reason why I’m taking the risk this time is because those of you who stand to be helped could need it in the worst way. There is no doubt in my mind that many of you Siestas have a family member with what can be called a “hidden disability.” Or, it might not be a family member at all. It might be the God-cherished and Christ-chosen person you see in the mirror. The new website is called Chosenfamilies.org and its founder and CEO is Shannon Royce, a brilliant woman of God I have known for the better part of 20 years. In order to avoid misquoting or misrepresenting her, I have taken the following excerpts straight off the website so she can explain for herself what Chosenfamilies.org is all about.

Shannon Royce explains,

As a mom of a child who has been diagnosed with a hidden disability, I know the challenges our families face. These hidden disabilities — Anxiety, Asperger, ADHD, Autism, Bipolar disorder, Depression, Learning disabilities, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette syndrome, and others — are neurological disorders that affect every area of a child’s and a family’s life.

While the medical community is beginning to understand these disabilities, they are less understood in the church. As if the diagnosis and daily challenges were not enough, the burden is often made heavier by a lack of understanding and support from the body of Christ. At best, the church is silent, and at worst it is hurtful. Wrong-headed theology treats these disorders as sin or demonic possession rather than as neurological disorders affecting an organ of the body — the brain.

Families struggling with these issues are left to fend for themselves as they seek to raise their child or live with their family member who suffers from one of these disabilities.

Some of you know what she’s talking about. Here’s a brief bio on Shannon so you’ll know she didn’t just fall off the apple cart: (Again, I’m quoting off the site)

Prior to founding the organization, Shannon served in various pro-family organizations as a public policy advocate.  Among her experiences were the privilege to serve as the Director of Public Policy and Legislative Counsel for the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Prior to her work with the Southern Baptist Convention she served two Senators as a policy advisor.  She earned her Juris Doctorate from the George Washington University School of Law and is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Siestas, along the way so many of you have asked me questions concerning (what we can now call) hidden disabilities and often I didn’t feel qualified to answer them. It wasn’t because my life had been untouched by them. On the contrary, my life was effected by them in the past and is effected by them in the present. Still, those kinds of answers need to come from people with more focused education and professional experience. I am relieved to now have a place to suggest to you for information and potential support from those with a Christ-centered world view. (There may be more out there but this is the first one I’ve learned about firsthand.) I implore you to allow me to make this suggestion to you because I love you and care for you so much without holding me responsible for every conversation or article that could take place on the site.  This I can tell you: I have known Shannon Royce to be a steadfast, sound, and mighty woman of God and I don’t look for that to change overnight.

LPM exists to encourage women in their walks with Christ. I am painfully aware that many of you are walking under a burden that is far beyond our area of education. (I am reluctant to use the word expertise as I’m not sure I’m an expert at anything.) I love you so much and I want to see you get the help you need. My hope is that this connection might be extremely helpful to some of you and offer you the relief of knowing you are not alone. Allow me to strongly suggest that you seek professional counsel from qualified physicians to make sure you have or your loved one has been properly diagnosed. One last thing. Let’s be careful on our comments to this post. Remember how public this blog is. Please don’t share anything about a loved one with a hidden disability that he or she might feel dishonored by. If you want to share something under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, by all means, do, but leave off names or identities that could be (even unintentionally) damaged by it. Let’s also stay encouraging and retain our Blessed Hope!

Life can be hard, can’t it, Sisters? But our God is good and our God is so faithful. He tells us to “be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24 HCSB)

And, how about a shout of praise for God enabling my very small but mighty staff to fill EVERY SINGLE ORDER for SSMT spirals! And over holidays! The resource department is completely up to date in your orders which well surpassed 6000 spirals. (Some have just gone in the mail so that doesn’t mean all your orders should have reached you by now. Only that they are filled and soon on their way.) As you can see from the January 1st post, 8000 of us are memorizing Scripture together. PRAISE YOU, LORD!!!! Listen carefully with ears of faith and you just might hear the sound of Swords slicing through the air to the glory of God the Father.

You are loved here and counted into every week of ministry that takes place within these doors.


379 Responses to “Possible Support for Families with “Hidden Disabilities””

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  1. 201
    Marcella says:

    OH BETH! Thank you so much for recognizing this issue! I haven’t even looked at her website yet (but will). I had goose bumps as I read your post. It is refreshing to know that someone out there in ministry understands that depression (and the others listed) are not demon possession but a physical ailment just like diabetes.
    Thank you for your sensitivity to this issue!

  2. 202
    Kelly says:

    As parents of a young boy with autism, my husband and I know about many of the challenges faced by families with special needs kids.

    We are fortunate to be very involved in a welcoming church, but we also recognize that more needs to be done. This post was yet another “gentle nudge” from God that we need to get over the worries about how hard it will be and get working on helping our church grow a special needs ministry!

    Bless you, Beth, for sharing on this topic, and bless all those who shared their comments so far. I read all 270+, and it really inspired me to get moving on some ideas we have been considering for some time!

  3. 203
    Joyce Watson says:

    If ever a little child needed love, Lord
    It is a handicapped child
    If you can take a child
    who is handicaped and
    give meaning and purpose to that child’s life
    How much more can You do with our own lives
    who are not handicapped?
    For this child reminds us of Your Hope,
    because we see You in every aspect of this
    child’s life
    We find areas in our own lives that are
    sometimes handicapped too.
    Lord, bless the little child
    Hold us and keep us close to You
    For we may not know that we are
    sometimes cripple, blind or deaf
    and may be handicapped in other ways,
    yet we are like the little child who
    needs Your love.

  4. 204
    Lee says:

    Thank you all for sharing and Beth for the wonderful website. We also have a FAS adopted son who is now 28. He recently has deteriorated in behaviors to the point that we can no longer bring him home for visits. It has been a long 25 years with him and at this time we are feeling very sad as no medications seem to be working for him. His behaviors are destructive towards others, especially children so the rest of our family (including our 3 grandsons that he truly cares for) are also unable to even visit with him.
    We have had wonderful support from our church at times and we have had many hurtful things from church people as well. My husband is a pastor and I am a school nurse. We have been able to use our situation to help others at times but have also felt very ALONE in our struggles. Thanks again for this wonderful resource. I have already shared it with numerous coworkers and families who have kids with these “hidden disorders” Beth,you and all the siestas are such a blessing to me!!! I praise our Lord for you and your ministries.

  5. 205
    Stefani L says:

    Thank you!

  6. 206
    cindy says:

    Dear Beth
    It is about time someone understands that mental illness is a disease. I have lived with bipolar and bdp all my life, my 23 year old daughter is sitting in jail for drug addiction and mental illness. This family is plagued with burdens from health, mental and finical issues and its overwhelming that I feel God has given up on us. When in fact he is all we have, I have never felt so alone in my life. Please Dear God have Mercy on This family. Please pray for us that we will soon find the peace in our hearts to live a Godly life and that God will heal our wounds and hearts and give us the Joy that I know he so wants his children to have. God Bless and Have Mercy on our very dysfuctional lives.

    • 206.1

      I will be praying for you and your family.
      In His love,

      • Renee says:

        I will never Leave you or forsake you, Jesus says. Be hopeful there are others who have had similar situations.
        Hang onto Jesus, even if it by your toenails. Don’t ever, ever give up:) He is faithful, He knows your heart and has seen all the pain you and your family have endured.
        He is the Faithful God who will rescue you.

  7. 207
    Cynthia says:

    As the parents of two adopted children with reactive attachment disorder (now 17 and 19), we know the isolation of understanding (thoroughly) the pain personally —yet not receiving the support of friends and family because of the hiddenness (?) of this mental disorder. In fact, we have had to cut most family ties because of the childrens’ manipulative skills and unknowingly persuaded adults. Our hearts are broken daily yet God has provided a wonderful church family through which we have many, many spiritual children.

    Thank you for spotlighting the challenges of hidden mental disorders.

  8. 208
    Kathy Knoblock says:

    Dear Beth, Thank you for posting this website. I was impressed with it and it was very helpful as it led to some resources I had not checked into to. I have a couple of family memebers that struggle with anxiety disorder and it is a challenge. I’ve cried rivers of tears to God and He keeps teaching us along the way. May many be strengthened and blessed by what they learn. In Jesus’ Love Kathy Knoblock

  9. 209
    mykidsmom says:

    Beth, I will definetly check out this website. We suffered this summer what my husband has referred to as “the summer that never was”. My beautiful 12 year old daughter struggled the entire summer with unhealthy thoughts, terrifying thoughts of death and thoughts of molesters, child killers. She also struggled to deal with thinking she may become one of these because she could not stop thinking about it. The thoughts disgusted and terrified her all at the same time. She didn’t sleep, eat or do anything else and young girl would do on a summer vacation. We finally sought out help at our local hospital who set up up with pediatric phychiatrist who diagnosed her with OCD pertaining to thoughts. We started thinking back to her childhood and little things she would get so upset about and we just shrugged it off as being strong willed, or a worry wart. What a weight was lifted off our shoulders, and as soon as she realized this was a ligitimate condition she calmed down immensly. She is on the road to recovery and I am thankful to God for putting people in our path that were able to help us.

  10. 210
    Alice - Seguin,Texas says:

    Correction – Joshua 1:9.

  11. 211
    Jessie says:

    Thank you Beth for putting a path toward and shedding light onto this website, and these very real struggles. I haven’t read through the site yet; just your post so far. It is so important! I struggle with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) that began manifesting it’s ugly self in my life when I was 9 years old. My symptoms were uncontrollable irrational thoughts, repeating hand-washing, dressing, and compulsive irrational fears. Looking back I know that the enemy was hard at work taking advantage of a weakness that was probably hard-wired into my brain. I carried this burden alone as a child for many months before sharing with my mom. I was plagued with guilt, shame and this sense that something was wrong with me. I am so grateful that my mother had the presence of mind to bring me to a gentle counselor to help me work out these issues. I was not in a Christian household at that time, as my mother and then myself came to Christ in the early 2000’s; but I see that the Lord was involved in working out the details and preparing me for an even greater degree of healing of this issue (and many others…and many yet to come to light…) I am grateful for the support I did have in my mother and father, and I know that if they had this resource it would have been an easier and more understandable situation for all of us. THANK YOU, BETH. THANK YOU & THANK YOU. PRAISE YOU JESUS.

  12. 212
    Donna Benjamin says:

    From the heart of a mom with a “hidden special needs” tween daughter…thank you for this info. You are so correct in how others judge not only the child/person, but also the families. We have learned to “rise above” and love them through Jesus. =D Thankfully, we have found many wonderful friends through the years, and continue to do so in our new town. Will be looking into this new link this weekend.
    In His Love…Donna B.

  13. 213
    Jen W. says:

    I have suffered from clinical depression since I was a child. It has been a long battle to find, receive, and implement lasting help. After being on tons of medications, I am now on one that seems to be helping (on it 2 months so far).

    I refuse to be silent about my illness. I’ve been told by some that I should not be open about my depression. Sadly I am often met with much judgment from Christians. And offered “help” from well-meaning yet ignorant Christians who focus only on the spiritual aspect but do not seem to grasp that depression can be caused by physical reasons as well.

    Praise God, there are Christians like you and Shannon who show Christ’s love! And those I know that have sent me cards of encouragement, simple emails of love (that mean so much!), pray for me, etc…

    These issues need to be addressed in the church today!

    Thank you Beth for posting this. Thank you. You have no idea how much this means to me and countless others.

  14. 214
    Nichole H says:

    This is why we love you. You get it. I pray that whoever needs this will feel the loving embrace of the Father. I swear He thinks about us all the time.

  15. 215
    Cindy says:

    Thank you, Beth. I have found my greatest battles as a special education administrator to be in helping other education professionals understand the REALITY of hidden disabilities. If a student is blind, they get it. If a student has a physical disability, they get, etc… This is my 24th year in education and am still astounded by the number of people who don’t see that the hidden disabilities are real and require very specialized attention. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Parents and families need all the possible means of support that they can find.

  16. 216
    Bethany says:

    As someone who struggles with a hidden disability I thank you for posting this. Being to often told that there really is nothing wrong with me and that I just need to keep praying, to being told that there is not such thing as mental illness and that taking medications means I am just not trusting God enough to heal me. I have finally come to a place where I KNOW God will be glorified in this, I KNOW it. I didn’t ask for it, I often yell at Him and wonder why I go through this. But I KNOW in the end He WILL be glorified. Knowing that there is a ministry out there like this makes me heart very happy and I cannot wait to check it out.

    In Him

  17. 217
    marlinda flynn says:

    Thanks for sharing Beth I will indeed check that out! My daughter has autism. I was so scared when she first got diagnosised. But God is so faithful. He gave my mom a word “She will be My Hand-Maiden” I have held on to it with my life! As a family we have worked so hard in both biological and educational interventions and with God she has made get progress. Typical class, typical work, but not typical yet. One day at a time, one goal after another we have moved forward. Is is hard? Oh Yeah! She is 12 now and her hair matches her personality RED! But God has watered and she has bloomed. The most beautiful thing is when God shows me glimpes of what He is doing; when she sings in harmony, when she kneels in prayer during prayer time, when she lays hands on her brother and prays for him to feel better, when she decides to be the conductor from the first row during the worship! Just as we parents had to seek out understanding and be trained in the field so should our churches seek understanding and training in the disabilities and impliment programs to support and meet the needs of each individual and their families. Thanks Beth we need all the help we can get.

  18. 218
    Mandy says:

    “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
    Colossians 4:2 NASB

  19. 219
    Tina says:

    Thank you, Beth! I have sent this along to my sister-in-law who is a courageous mom to a presious son with a hidden disability!

    Blessings for sharing with us!

  20. 220
    LindaWD says:

    Thanks so much for this resource, Beth… I have 3 wonderfully made children whose brains work a bit differently… 2 are on the Autism spectrum and 1 with ADHD. Church has been a struggle, especially for our middle child, (more severe than the other 2). After his diagnosis, we got more support from our non-Christian friends than our church family. That has changed over the years, somewhat, but we still struggle. I hate telling people we’re fine, when we’re really not – but they don’t want to hear the honest truth either. I sometimes feel like inviting people to come to my house for a day so they can see the insanity that happens from time to time!!
    However, doing Breaking Free last year showed me areas of bondage that related to my children and their needs and I’m working on breaking those walls down and truly feeling the love my Saviour has for me.
    Thank you for doing what you do!

  21. 221
    Taani Follis says:

    SWEET BETH – BLESS YOU! It is by the GRACE OF GOD, that He led me to the blog today. You are truly a beacon in this dark world, courageously sharing His Light and His WORD. You speak The Truth so eloquently that His Glory IS revealed and captives are set free. The LORD has entrusted you with a REMARKABLE GIFT and empowered you, through the Holy Spirit, to touch countless lives. I pray the richest of blessing on YOU Mighty Warrior of God! “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16

  22. 222
    Brenda says:

    Thank you so much–I look forward to checking out her site!!! I have a son with Aspergers and was so blessed that at 17 he started ball-room dancing lessons–which our school is paying for. Being an advocate for special needs is not always easy. The church is no exception–but I do trust that God is paving a path. Praise be to Him!!!

  23. 223
    Yukiko Ishikawa says:

    Yukiko from Niigata, Japan

    O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.

    Psalm 130:7 (NIV)

  24. 224
    MANDY says:


  25. 225
    His Princess 1 says:

    Our God is soooooooooooo! awesome. Thank you Beth for doing something you don’t do often. God was right on time when you blogged this information. In the last week I who am in my 40 through a set of circustances has found out that I have a hidden disability. This information has really rocked my world. God has been comforting me and doing some very real things to show me that He is in this and that He is going to see me through. I did visit Shannon’s website and what I needed was the encouragement that God doesn’t say oops I messed up when I created you. He made each individual as He intended. The verse that I got off of the website was just right Psalm 62:11-12a
    “One thing God has spoken two things have I heard that you O God are strong and that you O Lord are loving.”
    Thank you Beth for listening to God. Your obedience has helped me greatly.

  26. 226
    Kelly says:

    Beth, thank you so much for recommending this website. I have a son with a hidden disability. His is so rare; there is minimal information available. It makes it difficult to “explain away” his bad behavior. Your ministry has touched my life in so many ways. Thanks for answering His call!


  27. 227
    JH says:

    Thank you so much for this website information. New resources are always wonderful to have. Hidden disabilities are extremely hard on our family. I appreciate your care for us in this regard!! Blessings to you Beth!

  28. 228
    Dawn Deare says:

    God’s timing amazes me every day! We were in a meeting on Monday for my 13 year old son and they are suggesting that we test him for aspergers. Then of all days I check the blog and Beth, you do something that you would not normally do. That can only be a God thing!!!

    We have struggled for 9 years and had numerous different diagnosis. We have tried so many different treatments for ADHD, too much mercury in his system, etc. I have struggled with the guilt of if only I would have done things different. My favorite scripture is when the man takes his boy to Jesus and pleads with Jesus to release him from any unbelief. I am that man most days.

    To everyone who has commented, thank you so much for being bold enough to put your story down. Each one of them has been truly encouraging to me. I am so thankful to know that I am not alone in this and I will be praying for all of our children and family members who are suffering.

    God is good ALL of the Time!!!

  29. 229
    Rexanne says:

    Dear Beth,

    Wow ,it is amazing how the Holy Spirit works through you. I just stumbled on this at the very moment I needed it.
    I love all your bible studies , I have accomplished all of them except your latest one. Some I have done with Church groups but many by myself…Just you , me and the Lord. You have a special gift and you continue to bless so many and change the lives of many more, simply by listening to the whisper of the Holy Spirit.
    I find it ironic the spirit moved you to write this on your blog the day before Jan 6th, The Epiphany of Christ.
    Thank you for taking this risk to recommend ” chosen families” Your risk was worth taking. Sadly, many do not walk through the church doors simply for the fear of being judged.
    I suffer with a few of these disabilities severly and have a child with a few severe ” hidden disabilties” which makes it even more frustrating when you and your child have the same or similar disabilities.
    I have cried many of nights because I dont have the expertise to teach my children the sacred teachings of scripture that he could understand; and the Church and school system in our city do not have the resources either.

    Ohh, I forgot I have three of the ” hidden” disabilities you mentioned forgot about ” anxiety disorder”…I “worry” too much.
    If you add addiction and homosexuality to this list, I am sure every one of your readers has a loved one that battle a few of these issues the church is reluctant to address ( which is understandable)

  30. 230
    GodIsHuge says:

    Beth, thank you for recognizing and acknowledging the fact that there are many individuals out here with hidden mental illnesses. Not only is it misunderstood which makes it hard to explain to someone, it is a very lonely place to be.

  31. 231
    Amie says:

    Thank you Beth for giving us the whole week to be able to finally speak out on a subject that the church remains silent in. We all needed this. I for one don’t feel so alone.
    I also want to encourage my fellow parents to lean on God, He will NEVER forsake you, NEVER leave you, your heart may be broken, you may be so angry at Him you could just spit, and you may not be able to stand it one more minute, but I promise you, through it all He will not stop loving you or your child, He will comfort you, He will bring that special person into your life right when you need them, He will bring you peace. I am also diagnosed with ADHD and a mental illness. Some days I need God’s peace more than others, I pray for it and He has never let down, That sweet Spirit comforts me immediately. Rejoice!

  32. 232
    Michelle says:

    Thank you for this. I love how God is not coincidental but Providential. I was just sharing with my 18 year old, who suffers from anxiety, an excerpt out of the book Respectable Sins regarding anxiety being a sin. It was very concerning to him that what he considered a natural physical sickness out of his control was sin. I did not know how to explain it to him. I quoted scripture such as cast you cares on HIM and trust the Lord God with all your heart but he felt so empty and worthless. My heart became sad because I know our God is a God of Grace who Loves us dearly but was not communicating that to him very well. He feels like when he feels anxious he cries out to God but he still experiences the anxiety…..

    I am thankful for this website. Maybe we can learn something more about anxiety and how it fits into my childs walk with GOD!

    In Him

  33. 233
    Valerie says:

    I passed this along to several friends of mine who are school teachers & also to one of my very good friends who I know will benefit from this site.
    Thanks Beth!

  34. 234
    Renee says:

    I am so thrilled to hear you mention the name of this website. I experienced post-partum back in the early 80’s. People in the church told me I was demon possessed. I wss hospitalized in the Psych unit of the hospital for 3 months. My parents took me out of that city.
    They brought me home to a psychiatrist who told me that he could help and he did. I always have thought people must be ignorant. How could every other organ malfunction and not the brain?
    Thank you so much for this website, it is sure to bring hope and relief. Praise His Name! South Bend, IN

  35. 235
    Shannon Costanzo says:

    Hey Siestas,
    There is truly a great need in the church. We have a new family at our church that have 3 autistic children. My husband assists in watching one of the children one on one.
    We take going into church on Sunday to worship forgranted. This family does not have the luxury of coming in dropping off the kids to sunday school and worship in peace. Their child needs to be watched with specific needs. I am on the worship team and I get to see their faces as they worship together as husband and wife. They finally found a church to help them with their greatest need.
    Please consider these great needs. Let’s not be quick to pass judgement.
    Kissimmee, FL

    • 235.1
      April says:

      This brought tears to my eyes as I read it…God Bless the two of you and the ministering that you both are doing for this family!

  36. 236
    Lauren says:

    Lauren, Senoia: I’m late, but this is perfect! “There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deut 1:31 NIV

  37. 237
    michelle says:

    You sharing this resource could not have come at a better time for my family. My husband has a “hidden disability” and one of my worst fears was realized a couple of monthe ago when my 13 yr. old son was diagnosed with the same thing. It is through my tears that I type this response. God bless you for recognizing our need for support. We’re taking life moment by moment and need all the help we can get, thank you.

  38. 238
    Tiffany says:

    What an excellent website. Thank you for sharing this. I know a number of families who would be hugely blessed by this resource.


  39. 239
    Sandy says:

    I read this post the other day and was so happy that you were doing this for the many that it is ministering to, but didn’t get it a chance to check it out and express my gratitude to you until now. Thank you!

    I have a question about another subject. I just received an email about the James study that you will be teaching at your church. I don’t live in Houston. This study is going to be taped to make the videos that will be sold later, correct?, not a simulcast? Just need some clarification. Thank you!

    • 239.1
      Beth says:

      Hi, Sandy! I will teach from James this semester at HFBC but I will do the official taping of it in late April. Yes, it will be released some months later and, no, it is not a simulcast. Thank you so much for asking!

  40. 240
    Lindsey says:

    Hi! Funny that I was skimming through the blog for the first time in a couple months and this post was about disabilities. I work with a different population that in the world’s eyes are seen as disabled, but within the community it is seen as just that – a community. The Deaf community is something I’ve been blessed to be a part of since late 2005 and I now get to work as a sign language interpreter. I just interpreted at the Passion conference in Atlanta and watched God work among this unreached, forgotten group of people. (He also worked in me as He always does through Passion!)

    I was sitting here typing a letter to the Passion team and am still praying over whether to send it, but wonder if you may be able to give any advice on how best to approach the Passion team about my generation of college students who are Deaf, who desperately need Jesus, and who currently have no one showing them who He is?

    I know you all read these posts, but not sure if this one will be read or not? Trusting that the Lord will work this out as He sees fit! 🙂

    OH and I’m looking forward to joining the scripture memory this year – just found that tonight as well…exciting stuff!

    • 240.1
      Beth says:

      Hi, Lindsey! What a powerful ministry God has given you. I’m sure the Passion staff would be happy to hear your encouragement about how Christ could be made famous among a people so dear to you. And to HIM. I’d write the staff through exactly the channels they suggest on their official Passion website. They are very God-seeking, genuine people and prayerfully consider God’s direction in every avenue they take. May Christ continue to make Himself known through you, Sister!

      • Lindsey says:

        It truly has been an amazing journey full of God’s grace and guidance! Thanks for your reply…and thank you for doing what God has gifted you to do for His glory!

  41. 241
    Ann says:

    These postings have made me realize just how much I really love my Siestas. Can we all make a pact to pray for one another? Everyday? What a blessing you all are and what a blessing we are and can be to one another. I wanted to reply to each and every post, as I’m sure you all did too–instead, let’s pray for one another, deal? 🙂

  42. 242

    I just want to personally thank you for recommending this, because my son has “hidden disabilities.” We have struggled and struggled to find a place where we can get support and encouragement as we trudge along this path, and it has been exhausting to say the least, as we seldom find it. After many battles, we finally pulled him out of school in favor of homeschooling, and recently had to pull him out of kids church, in favor of being with us. I so appreciate that there is a place where these issues can be understood!! Thank you so much. I could say so MUCH more…


  43. 243
    Paula says:

    I know that there are many out there that are feeling isolated because of their own or their child’s hidden disability. I know of one church in Birmingham, AL that began a monthly Parent’s Night out for parents of children with disabilities. They were a church that was blessed with nurses, social workers and other members that chose to use those gifts to minister to a group that is often overlooked. The attention of the general community was caught because of their undertaking.

    I had the privledge of having a child in my Sunday School class for 2 years with autism. It was challenging (and a few terrifying moments!) but the rewards were amazing as the whole class of very young children were ministered to because of that child. I am so glad to learn of this new resource that is Godly based. Thank you for sharing.

  44. 244
    GodIsHuge says:

    Thank you Beth for bringing this issue to light. Having a hidden disability is not only difficult to explain but it is very very lonely.

  45. 245
    Lori says:

    I wanted to say thank you, too, Beth. I know the pain of struggling with bipolar disorder and clinical depression, and of not being comfortable enough to feel that church was a safe place to share it. I believe it is imperative that those out there who realize this is a problem do share it, so that light can be brought to the issue I struggle with and to those other “hidden disabilities.” Nothing helps more than a Christian “support system”, and knowing that we are not alone. Thank you for your sensitivity to this issue.

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    April says:

    It was an answer to prayer to hear of this organization. I cannot tell you this enough! We were blessed to have a son that has autism and people look at us like we’re crazy when we say this. I don’t want this to get too long so will summarize the best that I can. When our son was finally diagnosed, it was a relief and yet, hell at the same time. I had just started a woman’s bible study at a church that we didn’t belong to and was invited to a Christmas tea. There, the woman speaking, talked of idols- cancer had become hers and as she said this, I was convicted of how autism had become mine. We still become overwhelmed by autism at times, but instead of feeling sorry for myself (another idol during this time), I rely on the Lord in a way that I never thought possible or could dream of. Thank-you for this post and for being so loving to all of us that have a hidden disability whom we love with our whole heart.

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    Gloria says:

    Gloria in Houston. God be merciful unto me, for I trust in only you. For in the shadow of your wings I will find refuge until all calamites have come to pass.
    Psalm 57:1 NKJV

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    Karen says:

    Thank you Beth for bringing this to light! We have a son with asbergers/autism. He’s 18 years old and an absolute precious man of God. We were told, when he was diagnosed, of all the things he’d never be able to do. Heartbroken, I drove home that day just crying out to God. I told him, I’d live with whatever else we had to, but I desperately wanted assurance that he knew Jesus as Lord and Saviour. He was 9 at the time. Well, long story short, he was saved within a year of that. What God has begun in him, I know he is going to be faithful to complete! The young boy who we were told to never expect anything from, has an absolute passion for God! He gave his testimony when he graduated high school last May, when he told of his disabilities. But he spoke more of the love of God and how he loves him and prayed for his graduating class that they would all know him as Saviour! He is absolutely precious to us, he is a true “God thing!”..and for me, I will always remember the prayers I prayed to my God that day, on my way home from the Doctor..He answered..but in such a bigger way than I could have ever imagined..isnt that just like my God? I do love him so 🙂

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    Tami says:

    My son’s ADHD (innatentive type) was diagnosed soon after he began to have seizures in the junior high school years. He is now in college and the struggle continues, but he is doing it! At 6’3″ and a former football player, epilepsy and ADHD are truly hidden disabilities for him. Even though I see the struggles he endures with trying to keep it all together and deal with sometimes severe side effects from the seizure meds, I am so guilty of being the mom who expects him to be more “normal.” God help me! My heart is breaking for this young man I love so much, but even more so because we just had a big argument about all the details he isn’t taking care of. I know the struggle is his, and that if he turns to Jesus for strength, he will find the answer. God, give me grace and the wisdom to know when to keep my mouth shut!

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    Tanya says:

    I read this post last week but didn’t comment….I didn’t feel comfortable posting anything. But it has kinda simmered on my heart all week. I have a dear dear friend whose son has Asbergers and I have friends who have ADHD and other hidden disabilities. I never gave any of it any deep thought until I was diagnosed with a “syndrome” in July of 2009. It is not even considered a medical problem by some doctors and I hear of people being told it is “in their heads”. I have found that this diagnosis has changed my whole life. And in the church I have been brushed off as “complaining” and I no longer bring it up for prayer. Before I was diagnosed I knew something was wrong. There were times I could not stand the sheets to touch my legs or feet because it hurt to have the weight of the sheet on me. I knew something was wrong when I would need to take a 3 to 4 hour nap after work just to be able to cook dinner. Something was wrong when my digestive system changed. Something was wrong when my cognitive abilities changed and my eyesight changed yet my prescription did not. Something was wrong when I would find myself in pain and I had done nothing to bring on any pain. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I do not look as though I am “sick”…but I am not the same woman I was and this illness has changed me. I have gone to my Lord and He has given me an understanding that He is not going to take this from me but through it will make me more like His Son. So I praise God for it…I ask for prayer. This has changed my whole life in ways that I can’t even go into here but by the same token I do not want to let it define me. I am NOT the face of fibromyalgia. It is not who I am. But it does change some things. Even right now I am struggling with making some choices. I have found out that I might have funding to go back to school. I would love to do that but I am now at a place where I can’t just take on everything that I like. I must choose very carefully. There is no room for anything in my life that is not God-ordained for me to do. I just realized that that sounds silly…..none of us should do anything that God doesn’t plan for us to do but I think I have allowed many many activities in my life in the past that I didn’t take to God first and ask about. I just do not have any extra energy to spend on anything that is not God-approved. He has a plan for me and I want to live that plan. Sorry to keep going on….I have realized a few things just through writing this and I want to wish each of you God’s blessings today.

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