Today’s guest blogger is Kim Cusimano. Kim is a wife, mother, writer and teacher. Kim has taught in public and private schools, and spent a few years homeschooling her own children. Her love for teaching has been extended beyond a school setting, leading numerous women’s Bible studies and small groups at churches and in her home.
As a mother to two special needs, young adults, she has a passion for encouraging everyone around her to live life to his or her fullest and use the abilities God has given them.
Kim is married to her supportive husband, Joe, and they have four beautiful children. In the early years of marriage, they made a decision to build their family through international adoption. Years have passed since parenting toddlers and toting diaper bags so they are living in a new season of ushering their children into young adulthood.
Kim is the founder of Full Joy Ministries. Her vision was to create a space that brings joy and hope to other special needs families through words of encouragement. Visit her at Fulljoyministries.com
One evening a few years ago, I sat around a table with friends. One friend had always been an encourager to everyone around her. Countless times she had specifically spoken helpful words to me. But, on this evening, my usually strong, well put together friend let down her guard. She began to share from a deep place of vulnerability, about her mistakes, fears and things out of her control. Tears flowed down her face. The rest of us sat in silence, a little taken back. I had known her for years, but learned so much about her in those brief moments. I felt a sensation of being comforted, a feeling of not being so alone in similar struggles. As I left her home, it was apparent she had encouraged me in that expression of vulnerability on a much deeper level than any words she had ever spoken to me. It wasn’t that she cried, even though that was unusual for her, it was that she let us see she was much like each of us around the table. We had always respected her strength, and often feared she had more of it than us. On this night, we still recognized her strength, but it looked much more like what it looked like in each one of us.
To my special needs mom friends, I see even more how we can give such a gift to each other by being honest and authentic. Not that we don’t keep privacy boundaries to honor our families, but we shouldn’t hide behind an “I got this” mentality. Most of us “don’t got this.” Oh, we may have a fleeting under-control moment, but it is fleeting and other not-so-controlled moments will come. With our trusted circle of people, with other special needs moms and with ourselves, we should let our strength be reflected in authenticity and honesty.
Tears Can Talk
Most encouraging words go unheard,
We let the enemy continue to steal,
kill and accuse.
We let well intended words fade away.
But, that day, you had something we could use.
Tears opened your heart in a fresh way.
What flowed out wasn’t a funny or empty muse.
Your painful honesty had much to say.
A deep need in your eyes spilled down your face.
You’re like me I could hear and see.
Now a different, more honest you,
could make for a different, more honest me.
The story on your red, wet face,
spoke to me about God’s grace.
A grace I couldn’t argue was only for you,
but one I forget is for me and others too.
God in love reminding me He took my place.
Feeling our pain, baggage and insecurities,
we can trade for seeking His face.
Your tears so raw, looking for relief,
authentic encouragement I found in your grief.
Like a reflection of my needs and own false beliefs, but-
What is true for you is true for me.
We have to choose His eyes to see!
Categories: Devotion of the Week