Hope Was Born

I want to introduce you to some new friends of mine, Mark and Bethany.  I have known them for close to two year now.  We have laughed together, cried together, ate together, sipped wine together, sang together, and poured out our stories together.  We share a common bond in that they too are parents of a child who is severely disabled.

Their daughter is 10 years old and to this day no one has been able to give them a diagnosis for her disability.  This means there are no support groups that they fit in, there are no other parents they can call to ask if something is normal or not, and they have slowly become isolated from almost everyone.  While she goes to school no one invites her to their home and no one comes to visit her.  They took her to a school concert one day and a parent of one of the other children asked them, “Why do you have to bring that to a concert.”  Can you believe the audacity and stupity of that question? What made it even worse was Mark and Bethany were just celebrating how well their daughter was doing sitting still during the concert, only to get slammed once again.

Mark and Bethany felt alone.  They realized they were in a vicious and downward spiral and determined they need to branch out and see if they could connect with someone so they decided to go to a community health fair offered by an agency called Advocates.  This is where we met them.  We listened to their story; we shared a little about ours, and gave them a brochure and invited them to check out David’s Refuge.  Mark was leery so Bethany signed them up for a two night stay at David’s Refuge without Mark knowing it.

They came wondering if there was a catch, if we were trying to sign them up for Amway, or wanted them to drink a special batch of cool aid.  What they experienced was hospitality, comfort food for the soul.  As we loved on them with unconditional love barriers began to breakdown.  Hospitality communicates unconditional love and it becomes a conduit for us to share our stories and to walk our journeys together.  Mark started to relax.  He slept on the hammock, he played his guitar, we ate dinner together, and Mark started to share his story.

A couple weeks ago Mark and Bethany had a chance to come back to David’s Refuge for a second weekend.  Once again we offered them hospitality.  This time the sharing was a little deeper.  They shared their fear of once again trying to connect with people, wondering if they would ever be able to find someone who would simply listen and accept them for who they were.  They were raw.  Mark said he has never had someone to talk with about his daughter’s disability and the effect it has had on their marriage, their faith, and on them as individuals until he came to David’s Refuge.  All we did was make ourselves available and vulnerable with our own story.  We listened.  We cried and laughed.  The more vulnerable we were them the more vulnerable they were with us.  And life change took place.  Hope was born.

0 comment on “Hope Was Born

  1. […] that by practicing hospitality hope was born.  Who do you know that needs hope? Links to the orig... blog.easternhills.org/?p=890
  2. Ruth Moulton

    Thanks Warren and Brenda for the love you are sharing with other couples. This is great. I’m so glad this is going well for you. Would love to know more, if there are any prayer requests you might have. I would be willing to pray for anything you would be will to share with me. Love the work you are doing. Thank you for loving these people who are parents of a child with a disability. Wish there was someone like you years ago when we were going through things with Beth. I thank the Lord for her as a gift from God. She today is a very Godly woman and she and her husband have adopted 3 beautiful children. Love you both. Ruth

  3. anna

    This post spoke to me. Like mark and Bethany we have a nearly 9 year old daughter with a disability that they call an unexplained movement disorder only because they really don’t know what it is. For the past 7 years my husband and I have struggled to get help for kasie and help for ourselves. Not knowing what is wrong with her has taken it’s toll on our marriage and we had grown apart. Thanks to Davids refuge, this past weekend my husband and I were able to reconnect a little at Marys meadow. In the meantime, lee and I will continue searching for answers and people we can turn to.

  4. davidsrefuge

    Dear Anna and Lee, Brenda and I are so happy you had a chance to get away and be recharched at David’s Refuge! I hope one day we will meet. We will be praying for your marriage and for a diagnosis. Fred and Ellie spoke well of you both. Keep pressing on and don’t ever forget you are not alone, that what you do matters, and that God loves you.

  5. anna

    I will remember that. Sometimes it is hard. I feel so alone. I feel like a failure as a parent because I cannot help kasie. I am constantly filled with fear for kasie. I enjoyed meeting Fred and Ellie. It felt good to have someone genuinely care about our struggle. What you are doing with Davids refuge is truly a blessing. Thank you.

  6. Christina Stearns

    I had the fortune of meeting Bethany and Mark. Bethany reached out to me when she saw that we were raising funds for our son to receive a service dog through the same group they got their daughter’s service dog from. We would not have come this far if it were not for their support and guidance! I learned so much about their life and struggles and think of them often. So glad that they have received such great love and support from both of you at David’s Refuge! My husband and I look forward to our second visit in November 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *