Diversity Divine

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.

-Psalm 139:13-15a

Most everybody knows and LOVES this verse.  I know it has been used to advocate for the unborn; I’ve used it that way myself.  While it speaks to the life that begins in the womb, it speaks beyond.  I remember thinking initially when Hayden was born, that he was perfect.  Ten perfect toes.  Perfect fingers that immediately grasped mine. That misconception was quickly killed.  I’ll never forget our shock when Hayden had that first “welcome to parenting” tarry black diaper that spilled over the sides as Jason and I (yes both of us) attempted to change him.  Jason went immediately to get the nurse; he jokes now that he thought Hayden was broken.  With each of our much adored children, we have had constant reminders that they’re not perfect, but they’re straight from God who has created them uniquely and according to his plan.  And that we can’t forget.


Diagnoses increase every year; new disorders are identified all the time. One disorder, dyslexia, has gained recognition over the last fifteen years. I have had the privilege of identifying and teaching intervention to students with dyslexia.  I never had the dream of teaching dyslexia, but twelve years ago I had a precious student who struggled learning to read and write.  He had a persistent and heart-broken mother who would stop at nothing to help him.  In my inadequacy and in fear of this mama bear who was confronting the problem, I found myself searching for the cause of his struggle and for ways to help him.  I won’t lie.  That was a rough year.  I will say though, that working with students with dyslexia, and their parents, has become a true passion of mine.  I hope to always convey some reality to those struggling with dyslexia:

  It doesn’t identify who you are.

  Though there is difficulty involved, don’t ignore the beauty that comes along with a brain that is wired differently. 

People with dyslexia are usually extraordinarily creative.  Their giftedness is many times overlooked. These children are often persistent, ambitious, curious, imaginative, with excellent reasoning; the list goes on.  The same is so with other disorders.

Going even further, whether it's dylexia ,or another disorder, a noticeable birthmark or being extraordinarily tall- those who are viewed as dissimilar are at times rejected or even pitied.    They are viewed as a spectacle; or sometimes face feeling isolated and ignored.   The way people stare and what we imagine people are thinking can get the best of us.  Whether we are discreet and secretive of our child’s difference, or we are angry at the world demanding everyone accept our child for the way she is, or both- the simple but vital question remains.

Is the way we view our child’s difference, in light of God’s good and perfect word? 

I’ve come to dislike the word disorder. One of my children has been diagnosed twice with a disorder.  I want to be familiar with the struggles that may come along with that diagnosis, and with ways to help my child, but it will not overwhelm who my child is.  She has ADHD.  He has Aspergers.  He has Bipolar Disorder.   To say that a child has a disorder can insinuate there was a malfunction in his ordering or in his formation; like something went wrong.

When we say along with the Psalm, I am wonderfully made; does that just refer to our parts which seem normal or like everybody else?

When God says he “knit us together” and that our frame “was not hidden from {him}” do we believe that; do we know it “full well”?

We may wonder what we did wrong or didn’t do right.  Or we blame God.

 Could it possibly be, that we what we see as different or label a disorder, God sees as having beautiful purpose?

My children are so diverse.  Hallie has a large space bubble; only few are welcomed inside.  I think the first sentence we taught her was "I need my space".  Hayden, on the other hand, wants to touch EVERYTHING. I have his permission in telling you all of this. When he was younger, I had to watch to make sure he didn’t touch the cake at a wedding.  He wanted to touch other people’s food.  One time at HEB he ran his hand along a shelf of small potted plants sending them to the floor, spilling everywhere.  I’ve been embarrassed at times, and other times angry, like the time someone criticized his touching all the cookies saying he put his germs on them.

I remember a specific moment when we were checking out at Wal-Mart, not that many years ago.  As my purchases were being sacked, I noticed Hayden lifting up the conveyor belt and looking under it touching what was underneath.  The lady behind us stared.  But at that moment, I felt God whisper that it was ok.  I began to think that maybe God created him to touch.  I can’t recall how many times his hug or an awkward arm around my shoulder has reminded me that I am loved as his mother.   He’s crafted some meaningful, beautiful gift with those hands. I’ve come to a thankful place where I believe God uses that gift of touch. It was in his plan all along.  God will use those hands to touch lives.  Though those hands will not always find themselves in God’s will, I will commit them to God’s use-he's the one who designed them.

If you’re still reading, you are maybe thinking of someone you know who has faced rejection because they didn't look, act or perform similar to those around them. You probably love someone who has been diagnosed with a disorder. Along with disorders and distinct differences comes struggle, I understand this.  But diversity is divine.

The child with Cerebral palsy is not like the other children.  He is not even like the other children with Cerebral Palsy.

  He is the perfectly- woven- together creation of God; knitted in unique fashion.

If those around us are to see that all children are marvelously made, we need to believe it ourselves.  You have been called to be that parent.  You have been called to pray for that parent.

Let’s ask God to help us in our struggle, be thankful for our difference, and to truly see the beauty that was made in the secret place


Pictured above:  This is a picture I got to snap playing with some girls in an orphanage in Kenya-one of the BEST times of my life.

2 thoughts on “Diversity Divine

  1. Paul Baker

    Thrive on how God made us different.  Find unique ways to serve Him with our difference.  


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