For Amy Julia the birth of her daughter smashed some of the idols in her heart. Intelligence and academic achievement had been so important to her and now she is blessed with a baby who may struggle to make it through high school and may never be able to live independently. She struggled as she felt God calling her to follow Him where she never wanted to go.
She also shares the inner spiritual struggle she faced as she had difficulty talking to God in the months that ensued the birth of her daughter. Amy Julia finally gets to the place where she can say:
Penny is neither a rebuke nor a reward. She is a child, not a product of sin or of biological happenstance or of any lesson we needed to learn. No. This happened that the glory of God might be revealed. (pg.141)She confronted the pride in her own heart as she feared what others might say about her handicapped daughter. As any parent does, she found herself comparing Penny to other children with Downs Syndrome. Yet as Penny grows and develops with the help of numerous therapies, Amy Julia and her husband become more accepting of the gift God has given them. The lostness is gone. Soon they are offering support to new parents of Downs Syndrome babies.
If you or a friend you know have a special needs child, please read this book. It helped me better understand how to approach my friends. It also gave me empathy for those who God has blessed with a special needs child.
Please note that I do not agree with all the author shares in the book. She comes from an Episcopalian background and mentions preaching a sermon and does have Penny baptized several months after her birth.
Disclaimer: Bethany House provided a complimentary copy of this book to me. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”