2019-04-12 / Chaplain's News

Exceptional children

Chaplain (Maj.) Jimmy Ballamy Jr.
513th Military Intelligence Brigade

All children are exceptional because they are all given their own special gifts from God. Some excel at playing baseball, others excel at music, and some just excel at making you smile. God loves them all and sees no imperfections or limitations, but we often do.

People are quick to recognize when a child doesn’t behave as they feel children should. Some children are different. They may be in a wheelchair, unable to speak, unable to focus, or have some physical features that are different than other children. In the Army, we do not point out their differences or call them disabled. All children are able. These children are our Exceptional Family Members.

This article is coming from a Christian perspective. God uses our Exceptional Family Members to teach us things and to accomplish His glory and purpose in our lives. (Isaiah 55- 8-9) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,“ declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Just remember, as we sometimes endure a roller coaster of different emotions, please know this, that your child is awesome and is wonderfully made by God.

I recall the summer of 2015, my wife and I were on a cruise to the Bahamas with our son when everything came to full fruition that our son was our Exceptional Family Member. Our son had a meltdown while we were eating lunch in the ship’s dining room. The episode escalated to a point that our meal abruptly came to a halt.

After returning to our room and calming him down, I retreated to the balcony. I began to pray, crying out to God to help me understand my son’s behavior and to tell me what to do. We knew all along that our son was our Exceptional Family Member, but we were in denial. I began to look into the heavens and look out into the beautiful blue ocean as if to expect a miracle. I was sitting still with a gentle breeze blowing into my face, and a thought came to mind.

Your son is normal. You are not normal because you nor the world can fathom my normal.

I immediately returned to the cabin as if to share my newfound wisdom with my wife about our son. While in the cabin, I advised my wife that our son is normal, and that we are not normal, because God’s normal is not our normal. At that very moment, our 3-year-old was smiling at me with his big beautiful brown eyes. His eyes were shining like an angel, as if he was saying, “Now you understand, daddy.” He then spoke his name, “Bellamy is OK, daddy.” God was speaking through our son to let us know that he was okay.

Parents, know that our Exceptional Family Members are normal. It is hard to think that we are not normal, because we cannot understand the true mystery of God; at least not on this side of eternity. Let us replace our heartwrenching concerns and unknown fears with trust in God knowing that He is always with us. Our children are a true gift from Him.

In closing, (Romans 8:28) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Our Exceptional Family Members have a task and purpose.

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