Faith and Heartbreak as a Special Needs Mum: Yuni 

Ahead of Mother’s Day (Sunday 12 May), we will be sharing stories of Christian mothers and what this day means for them. Whether Mother’s Day brings feelings of joy, grief or a mix of both, we hope that this series can be a celebration of all the mother figures that God has blessed us with.  

In our very first interview, Yuni shares the joys and challenges of becoming a Special Needs mother and how her son’s initial diagnosis led to heartbreak, confusion and guilt. She then shares how she found answers and comfort in God’s word, and how He has continued to use her circumstances to increase her faith and joy in Him. Finally, she shares a word of hope and comfort with other mums of Special Needs children. We hope you are encouraged by her story!  

Yuni with her two children
  1. Please introduce yourself!  

My name is Yuni. I am a stay-at-home mum with 2 kids, but before I had my second child, I worked as a Trainer and Culture Specialist at an Insurance company. I enjoy Pilates and reading. I currently go to Allawah Community Church where I serve in prayer and reading the book of 1 Peter with a younger girl at church.  

  1. How does knowing God the Father shape the way you parent your two children? 

Knowing God has taught me that His goal for all of us is Christlikeness. As I read the bible to my children and teach them, I am also thinking about my own relationship with God and whether I’m growing more to be like Christ in my life, personal values, and character. I ask myself if I’m practicing what I teach to my children.  

At home, I see daily how much I fall short, and my children can also see it and imitate what I do. Therefore, becoming more Christlike is something I want to continually work on with the help of the Holy Spirit who I can pray to for help. 

  1. How has God challenged and grown you since becoming a mother of a child with Special Needs?  

When my son Austin was born in 2020, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition; Pettigrew Syndrome (only 1 other family in Australia has 2 sons with this rare genetic condition). I was heartbroken and confused hearing the news that my son was going to have a lifelong and mainly intellectual disability.  
My husband and I grieved when we first heard the news. We were not prepared, but we also reflected on God and where he fits in the picture. For me, when I turned to God, I felt guilty as though I had sinned in a terrible way for me to end up with a disabled son. I thought perhaps it was my sins that caused him to become this way. I went to God in prayer, listed a whole lot of things for me to repent about, and asked God to forgive me and to help me.  

I drew closer to God during this moment as I anticipated the road ahead is going to be hard. There will be lots of unknowns, lots of difficulties and lots to learn from various people and resources. I gave up my job to dedicate my time to help my son with various therapies; Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Feeding therapy along with all the specialist appointments and tests he had to undergo. 

Through all of this, I felt God leading me to join BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) where I grew in my relationship with God. I felt more drawn to God in my state of being lost and overwhelmed with the changes in my life. At BSF, I was comforted when I studied the passage John 9:1-5, when Jesus healed a man who was born blind: 

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus replied; “Neither this man nor his parent sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me.”  

When Jesus corrected the disciples wrong thinking, he also corrected mine. I unconsciously assumed that good works bring God’s favour and that my suffering suggests God’s indignation to me. This kind of thinking could have made me go down the road of having the wrong assumption that my good works would contribute to God’s blessings, and even salvation!  

But I was reminded from BSF that: “the root in all human suffering and damage is caused by sin’s curse, and Jesus clarified this by declaring the man’s blindness did not result from my specific sin.” In fact, it helped me recognise that God can display His glory through my situation. It gives me such comfort to know this. It’s not about me, my sin or my life. It’s about God and how we can use our situation (and suffering and pain) to glorify Him and seek His higher purpose. 

God has shown me day by day how my increased faith in Him can drive out fear.

God has shown me day by day how my increased faith in Him can drive out fear; fear of the unknown future, not being able to have full night sleep because Austin has disturbed sleep (almost every night), whether he can eat independently one day, or speak, or play with others, his lack of energy to walk longer distances, his self-injury behaviour, whether he’ll ever have friends and so on.  

We have no choice but to slow things down and take one day at a time, and I am getting better at acknowledging God’s mercies to us each morning; such as Austin’s gradual progress in development, gradual increased understanding of things around him, his gentle nature, his sweet smiles and having Christian support workers to help with his therapy homework and providing relief (so I can also spend time with my daughter and serve the rest of my family). 

God is good and He is very gracious to me. I know I can trust Him no matter what challenges come my way. I can go to Him.  

  1. What words of hope or comfort would you give to other mums of Special Needs children this Mother’s Day?  

Know that God is sovereign. God’s sovereignty was over the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ death and His sovereignty is over our circumstances too. He knows what you are going through, and He wants you to come to Him.  

God can display his glory through our difficult situations, suffering and pain. God is always with His children and knows our struggles. God has a higher purpose for everything that happens to us. He may not always reveal how our pain or circumstances bring Him glory, nor does He owe us such an explanation. He can be trusted no matter what challenges life delivers.  

Speak to God, cry to God, grieve with God, and let Him speak to you in your circumstance. He will not turn you away. God is our Heavenly Father who cares and loves His children deeply that he offered His son as a sacrifice, to die for our sin. 

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