One of the tools the Lord used to save the author was the providential gift of their last child, a boy, a “high needs child”. The first two children were mild, happy children that brought joy to the parents. But, problems had been ongoing from the beginning of the marriage: her explosive emotions and his dragging of feet to come up to her emotional speed, as the difference in personality types between parents widened. This marital free-for-all continued for a decade or more after they decided to seek God.
So, even with joining churches and her taking part in the Bible study and church events, the marital battles persisted, which were the main cause for her seeking to God for help. However, light of conviction began to break into the dark and confusion, when she wanted to lead out in the discussion at the women’s group meeting. But the facilitator didn’t feel that she was ready. This gentle rebuke began the process of shattering her self-assessment as a good person, a good Christian, and a Spiritual seeker after Jesus.
Then, in the middle of the marriage war, Providence turned up the heat; she got pregnant with their third child. Out came an explosive atomic bomb of a baby. The little bouncing baby boy would never be still. Always crying, always screaming! They took him to the doctor to know of any physical or mental disorders, and everything about him checked out fine. Finally, they went to a specialist who told them that the only thing different about their baby was that he was “high needs”. He needed special attention; he naturally craved attention; he must have lots of love and affection. And he probably would for the rest of his life. Screaming for attention for the rest of his days!
She had to carry him around all day, when cooking, when doing house work, at church, shopping for food. And she had to do it all because her husband’s small business of movie film recording demanded long days as he competed with other companies. Her husband’s absence she constantly resented because she got no relief with their high needs child. On top of this was her regrets to give up her own career as an energetic bright, news reporter who had worked with Dan Rather as his co-anchor, and had great promise as a celebrity among TV personalities.
All this grinded on her, the loss of society’s applause, having a self-centered husband and now a high needs child. But, it was all working together to drive her to faith. It led her to examine herself in light of the character and life of Jesus. The Spirit of God, moving on different pastors, finally helped her realize her part in their failing marriage. The last pastor was a widely acclaimed counselor. When he told her that she was the key factor in all of her troubles, she was floored and heart broken. She was certain that all of the blame lay on her husband and that this pastor was a male chauvinist and colluding with her husband. It couldn’t be possible that she bore the greatest weight of blame after all of her Bible study church going, Christian burden bearing, her eventual leadership in the women’s group, raising her children to love Jesus. No way could she be the one in the wrong. Just no way!
She locked herself away in the end of the house used for guests, and wrestled and prayed, cried and studied her Bible, and wrestled and prayed and cried some more, with her Bible secluding herself from her family for days. In between her bouts with self, she looked across to the other end of the home where she noticed that at night when her husband was home, the light of their bedroom stayed lit into the wee hours of the night. She knew he was praying too, that he was praying for her. Her resistance began to break.
But, she still had more wrestling to do, wrestling with her self, her pride. But, afterward, the Spirit of God slowly brought her to acceptance of the truth, and to surrender to the truth. It was perfect surrender. And after she surrendered to God’s will, everything made sense. Her husband’s belligerence and seemingly uncaring responses to her complaints and cries for love, her women’s group’s disapproval to facilitate in the discussions, the high needs boy—it all was because of her unwillingness to be humbled and to admit to sin, to her self-centeredness.
So, the evening she ended her cloistering, she went over to the other end of the house where her husband had been during the whole week of her wrestling, and she asked him to forgive her for all the years she had clawed at him and his reputation, which she had done in public among friends and in the privacy of their home in front of the children. Even though she had been the greatest inspiration for the family’s involvement with the Lord, she unburdened her whole soul because the Spirit of God had so convicted her of her wrongdoing with her husband.
Especially was her baby effective to break her down even if he didn’t provide the clincher for her surrender. She loved him as a mother can’t help to do. In him, God gave just the right medium for her to wrestle with and not to give up on. Love wouldn’t let her throw away this secret tool of the Most High.
She must wrestle on with her selfish, fallen nature, until He could break her down and baptize her in submission. Beautiful! This is as good as the Jacob and Job and Nebuchadnezzar accounts. Every surrender today is on a par with theirs; they are the Lord’s patterns for all who would afterward give up on the old man and be born again into the new creature. Surrender and the Lord’s fruit of humility and perfect honesty! Thank God for His salvation! Those Bible heroes have been worshipped as saints rather than heeded. But, everyone who has fallen on the Stone and broken has been their spiritual children—the true Israel.
Afterward, the marriage lived happily ever after—literally. The high needs boy eventually calmed down and turned into the calmest, happiest young man. The thirst for Christ and hunger for His word intensified. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! There are Jobs and Jacobs in this our day!
Because of God’s absence we are left with high needs. All of us, until we can regain that connection with our Creator, as the author eventually did, are like free radicals bouncing around in the body, damaging DNA and bringing cancer cells into existence, as we bounce around in our relationships at work, in our early home and later in our married home, in our church family or secular group.
Everything we touch turns to death.
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom. 3:16-18).
High needs infects every living soul, religious or atheist. Everyone needs to surrender to God through Jesus.
Our heaviest burdens, whether it be a spouse, a child, a sibling, a co-worker, a church family member, a leader of the nation, etc. are all high needs children, they all have a God-sized hole in their heart. And all need His mercy and understanding. Does that mean that no one should ever be disciplined, punished, corrected, or reproved? No, not at all. Those aspects of justice are all part of bringing a world of high needs to terms and to recognize its need that is so extremely high that only an infinite God can tangle with them and put down their lashing out at those around them. And we are required to tangle with these uncontrollable souls in mercy, acknowledging that we also are high needs. If we know that God could wrestle us to the ground, He will and must be the one to wrestle them and give them surrender.
“And when He saw that he prevailed not against Him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with Him. And He said, Let Me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me.” (Gen. 32:25,26).
“Hear, I beseech Thee, and I will speak: I will demand of Thee, and declare Thou unto me. I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:4-6).
And we have the privilege to cooperate in their reconciliation to their Father.