It is my privilege to share the testimony Sidney is giving at youth group on Wednesday. Each one of my kids has a wisdom beyond their years, and I know it is simply part of God’s plan to prepare them for the road ahead. I am amazed at how God has and continues to use them for His glory. When I was in junior high and high school, I didn’t have anything remotely close to the mature life perspective these kids have. Our road may be marred with hardship and uncertainty, but God has blessed us in the things that really matter – faith and family. I am completely humbled by what you will read. I pray it moves you as well. What is your “Ryan”?
Topic: What Ryan has taught me about God and life.
Background: He was born with special needs and is diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy. He has gone through 8 surgeries in his life and he is now 10 years old. He is like a 1 year old in a 10 year old’s body. Ryan can’t talk and he has over 100 seizures a day.
What Ryan has taught me about life:
-Not everything in life is fair.
I used to and still do at times struggle with comparing my life to my friends. A lot of them live in big houses and have name brand clothes. They get to take big nice vacations often. With Ryan we can’t do that because of his medical needs.
Other times my friends ask if I can hang out or go somewhere and I can’t because I had already committed to watching Ryan while my parents either worked or went out with friends or had to go somewhere else. Honestly I used to wish he was normal so I could do some of those things. But when it came down to it I have realized that Ryan is a huge blessing to me and has taught me so much that I would never ever want to trade him for anyone else.
Isaiah 58:11- The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Through everything with Ryan God has brought our family a lot closer. My brothers and I almost never fight and we love to hang out with each other. We have learned that we have to because if we don’t Ryan gets stressed out. I know that I can trust them with anything and we know we can turn to each other in any situation.
What Ryan has taught me about God:
I didn’t really know or trust God until Ryan had his 3 major brain surgeries. It was always what my parents believed and told me. I felt alone during this because I didn’t feel like I could turn to anyone to talk about how I felt and I didn’t feel like my friends would understand and I didn’t expect them to. It was my first year of going to dare2share in 6th grade when I realized that I did have someone I could turn to and that God would always be there listening and caring for me no matter what. It was that weekend I accepted God into my life and started a relationship with him as my own and not for what my parents believed but for me. I feel like it was Ryan being in the hospital then that helped me seek a relationship with God.
Ryan has also made me realize that God does everything for a reason.
He put Ryan in my life for a reason
He put him in our family for a reason
He put him through the surgeries for a reason
Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Prayer is powerful
I prayed with my family and constantly during the day that God would help everything go smoothly and it did.
Ryan has big seizures and fell on his leg and wouldn’t walk and I prayed that nothing major was wrong and nothing was (he just sprained his ankle).
He has also taught me to trust God that he knows what he is doing
I often ask myself: Why Ryan? Why my family? What did he do to deserve this? Why couldn’t it have been me and not him? Can’t I trade spots with him?
Psalms 25:9- He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them in his way.
Everyone has a Ryan in their life. Mine just happens to be my brother. What is your Ryan? Is your Ryan you getting bullied at school? Or your parents getting divorced? What about you struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide?
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.