We are created by God to learn and be educated. Perhaps God placed a “yearning to know” in all of our hearts, so, in our learning, we would seek to find Him. One often wonders, if being educated is so important to God, why would He allow learning difficulties? Why would He allow in our “mother’s womb” disabilities, or weaknesses to exist? We can start answering these profound questions with what we do know. One, God is sovereign. Two, He makes no mistakes. Three, in Jeremiah 29:11 we find God has a plan for each of us that is good, to give us a future and a hope. Perhaps, we need to travel a little farther upward to gain a greater perspective from heaven. The apostle Paul states that God allows weaknesses to exist to show His power and glory. It states, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” 2 Corinthians 12:9.
I believe everyone has weaknesses as well as strengths. But it is in the weaknesses, that we can become vulnerable and dependent on what helps us in these areas, positive or negative. This is where my passions begin: with the high hope, prayer and expertise that I can be used by God to help individuals know that “in Christ Jesus, when we are weak, we have the opportunity to be strong through Him.” When we lean on the Lord, in His power and strength, we align ourselves with a reliance on God who CAN do all things! We can recognize our limitations, and understand that God has NO limitations. We can overcome our challenges, and this is a healing and empowering Truth.
Educating others so they can break free from the “lies of hopelessness” (Proverbs 13:12) fuels my passions. God’s sovereignty covers all, including learning challenges and disabilities. We are identified not by what we do, or how we learn, but in who He is, and what He has done. We CAN, because He CAN through us. There is strength in perseverance, creativity in seeking other ways, and character development in the lessons through the process.
Building Kingdom perspective with those with special learning needs through homeschooling is one of many keys provided through my seminars this November at the CHEA Convention in Hakuba. Other keys involve strategies for successful learning, accommodations for weaknesses, teaching through strengths, accuracy in diagnosis, and the importance of seeing Jesus Christ through each step in the process to meet the individual needs of your homeschooled child or children.
I was trained and in the field of teaching those with Learning Disabilities before I became a Christian and was married. At the age of 25, I accepted the Lord as my Savior, and my journey as a Christian became committed to love God, love others, and make a difference. I became married at 28 and I had my first son, Garrett, at 30 years. My second son, Darren, was born when I was 32. God had His mighty hand upon my life, and blessed me with three beautiful children, Garrett, Darren and Christin. When they were in elementary school, I was able to diagnose two of my three children as having “hidden disabilities”. This means their disabilities could not be seen, or medically diagnosed, but they had difficulties processing information. My eldest son, Garrett, had a visual processing disorder, which means he had no trouble with sight, but had weaknesses in processing in the brain what he saw. My second son, Darren, in his early elementary years, had both an auditory processing deficit with a visual processing disorder that greatly affected his learning in elementary school.
I understand as a mother, the heart and pain of hurting when your children hurt when learning is hard. I understand the frustration when they feel incapable, and when you want to “water their souls” because the school day has made them parched and dry. This was very challenging for me, as I was the expert in the field. In hindsight, and after many years of remediation and training for them, God revealed to me, that if I was to minister to families, it would be critical for me to understand beyond my expertise to what goes on when someone you love has difficulties in learning. Walking with them through school was not easy, but it was very necessary. I would love to share my experiences to bring you hope. Today, both boys graduated from the top ranked colleges in the United States. Garrett graduated from Westmont College, and Darren from the Art Center College of Design. Both also graduated high school with honors, and both sons found their calling in life, and are doing very well. Garrett, you may meet. He is a long term missionary born to minister here in Japan. Darren, is impacting the world with his God given gifts in the Arts, and moving toward entertainment to bring glory to God, the Holy Spirit and His Son. And my daughter is being educated at California State University of Long Beach to eventually continue my practice in the areas of ministering and teaching those with learning disabilities. My husband, Richard and I are so blessed. (3 John 1:4).
We battle against the growing lies that there is no hope for students with unique learning needs. This battleground is universal, as students with learning challenges exist across the nations, in all cultures and in every age. God, in His divinity and sovereign ways, have placed our children with their unique gifts, strengths and weaknesses for high purposes to glorify Him. These purposes not only minister to their needs, but also to their parents/homeschool teachers, families, their extended families, local communities and to the ends of this earth. God will use their learning triumphs and failures to bring the “best”, alongside the “worst”, in all involved. God wants us to recognize, renounce and be healed from what is our “worst”. He will rise up and bring out our “best” for His glory. Greater things are yet to come…
(Click to download article in Japanese)