You need to meet these people. They have incredible hearts, incredible testimonies, and incredible challenges. They are all featured in a new video called "Special Challenges" that was created by my dear friend Katie Steed. Katie was my roommate at Brigham Young University, and is now a professor of special education at BYU. She is an inspiration to me. From the time she was in high school she has felt a special calling to be an advocate for individuals with special needs and their families. She has been a voice for those who are often unheard or ignored in our neighborhoods, schools, and congregations. She has taught me over and over again that love and faith can move mountains and heal hearts.
This video features three families that have children with special needs. It highlights their unique joys, but also paints a very realistic and heartbreaking picture of their pains and struggles.
As Katie shared this video with me a few weeks ago I wept. I wept because I felt inspired by the deep love these parents have for their children. I wept because I recognize in them some of the pain I have felt as I struggle through my own life. But mostly I wept as one mother shared her connection to the song "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." The title of this blog comes from the second verse of that very song. This sweet mother talked about her new understanding of the lyrics in the quiet heart is hidden, sorrow that the eye can't see. As I listened to her share her connection to those words my heart connected to hers and I knew I needed to share her message, because it is my message too.
Love is the answer. We each carry our own personal heartache and yet we each have the capacity to choose love. We can each learn the healer's art and reach out to those around us who carry sometimes deep and often unseen sorrow.
Katie has taught me about love. She has mourned with me, listened to me, and comforted me in my darkest hours. She is an incredible example of Christlike love, and the love she feels for these families is evident in the powerful message this video shares.
Please take a few minutes to listen to these families and their experiences, share this message with others, and let it guide your actions.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35