My darling husband and I were told shortly after we were married that having children would be nearly impossible. But God said otherwise. When you’re first told you’re pregnant, you experience two things immediately: immense joy and utter fear. There is joy at the prospect of creating a life full of blessings for your sweet little one. Then there’s fear that you won’t be able to fulfill that life for them.
When Bennett was born everything was wonderful. He was completely perfect and healthy. I loved this little miracle from the moment I heard his heartbeat. I knew that God had a plan for his life. I prayed God would use him to do mighty things.
By age two, Bennett knew all his letters and phonemic sounds, could count to ten forward and backward, knew all the colors and shapes. He could maintain an external beat in a syncopated rhythm on the drums. Like all young mothers, I was convinced that Bennett was brilliant. But as a teacher, I was concerned. We enrolled him in a children’s soccer class and I noticed his coordination wasn’t up to par with children his age or even those younger. When asked, he couldn’t tell me his name.
At age three, Bennett was evaluated and found to have a developmental delay. We immediately placed him in an early intervention program. At age four, he was officially diagnosed with autism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Fast forward: Bennett is now six years old. His progress has been astounding to his teachers, therapists and guidance counselors at school. He is making straight As in kindergarten, reads at a second grade level and is going to first grade at grade level in all other areas. His occupational therapist recently re-evaluated him and he is at the average age level for all skills, except one, which he will continue to receive services for. His social skills are soaring and his language comprehension is growing every day.
The day before his final diagnosis, God gave me a dream and a promise which I cling to on the hard days. That promise is that God will raise him up to be a minister of the gospel to the world. Bennett’s diagnosis does not limit him and it certainly does not limit God! If you think your child has a developmental issue, don’t be ashamed. Don’t be scared. Talk with your pediatrician. I’m so glad we did it when we did.
Regardless of your situation or circumstance, God has a plan for your child. Find a promise in His Word and cling to it with all that is in you.
I’m so thankful that God chose me to be Bennett’s mommy!
Written by: Michele. She is married to Jason Cole and they have two children: Bennett and Judah. They attend Church of Pentecost (pastors Rick & Alexa Olson) in Jacksonville, Florida where they serve together as the leaders of the Hyphen ministry: The Bridge. They also serve as district coordinators for Campus Ministry International in their district. Michele is a certified teacher and speaker.