In Encouragement

You Are Loved: Setting a Foundation Stronger than a Diagnosis

A diagnosis doesn’t define you. I think that’s one of the most amazing parts of our opportunity in interviewing families that have found hope in the midst of their medical journey. Each of them, through the ups and downs, has held onto hope that there was more to life than the words used to describe the disease or condition they faced.

One of the characteristics of each family we’ve interviewed is they’ve been sure about God’s love for their child facing the diagnosis, and they’ve been committed to giving their child a strong sense of identity in their story. Children aren’t defined by the circumstances they face, but they are shaped by them and the way we as parents lead them.

So how do we as parents help to strengthen the identity that our children carry? I was thinking about this recently, and I was reminded about how God the Father declared his love for Jesus at His baptism:

“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” – Matthew 3:17

As a dad, the weight of God’s words hits me every time I read this verse. Identity for our children starts with our own sense of identity. There’s a sense of awe that God declares His love for and pleasure in me in the same light because of Jesus’s sacrifice. I have to remind myself throughout the day to keep this truth in front of me. It’s out of that realization that we can help our children uncover who they truly are.

And a diagnosis doesn’t lessen God’s love for them.

Reading this verse, it’s as if God is saying, “Audra isn’t defined by her diagnosis, but by My extravagant love for her. Help her to understand that in her heart.” That’s a powerful dose of identity in the midst of our broken world. That’s the call that we have to answer for our children.

Just as God the Father declared His love for His son, Jesus, He is declaring it over you and your children today. The truth is that our kids are looking for someone to declare their love and pleasure over them. I want to help them see their Heavenly Daddy as the primary source of that, and certainly I want to be a reflection of that kind of love for them, too.

Let’s talk openly about those deposits of grace and strength in our kids, let’s pray for their hearts to be open to receiving God’s love, and let’s set a foundation of love — unconditional and extravagant love — that our kids can stand on.

Related Post: “A Diagnosis Isn’t Everything: How to Live with Hope in the Face of a Chronic Illness

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