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Lights of hope

November 11, 2019
Maria Smaldo Spencer , MOV Parent

Sometimes on this special parenting journey we feel like we can't see anything that lies ahead of us. We are taking steps in survival mode, not knowing where it will lead us. We know we are trying to move forward, yet it feels like we are standing still.

Last month I was driving up a very busy road that is filled with many things to see-shops, stoplights, and bumper-to-bumper cars. But on this particular day, I couldn't see a thing. Fog that was as thick as sheets of ice covered everything in my view. On a street where I would, under typical conditions, be driving at a speed of 35-40 mph, I was crawling at about 10mph. The other cars around me were also moving at a very slow pace-all of us struggling to get to the next intersection. Each inch was scary, and I couldn't see any end in sight.

This is how we often feel on our special parenting journey. We are taking steps in survival mode and we don't know where they will lead. We want to feel like we are making progress, but there are no reinforcements along the way. We have to go on what we do know, and what we have learned about the road thus far. It is often a blind attempt, and we feel like the fog will never be lifted.

But because we were chosen for this amazing task, we press on. Even though the road may be totally new to us, we can still move forward, even though we can't see anything in the future that may be positive. We trust our special instincts, and we do what we feel is best for our child at that particular step on the road.

After what felt like an hour on this road (even though it was probably fifteen minutes), at the top of a very familiar hill, I saw a ray of sunshine. It's light was peeking through a window from a house on the way, and it felt like I was imagining it-that's how suddenly it appeared. If someone had told me a minute before in the dense, thick fog that I would be seeing the sun ahead, I would've never believed them.

My prayer for you this month is that no matter how stifled your visibility on your special road is today, that you will know there is a ray of light ahead. To me, the light represents hope. Hope for our children, and hope that will carry us through the next patch of fog we come to.

We've all felt hopeless in the midst of a crisis or a setback in our child's progress, and we often think it will never end. I know it may seem impossible to you today, but we must always try to focus on the fact that God has set up the ray of hope for your child's future. He has it all planned out. We must continue to believe that no matter hard your days seem, we can hold on to hope.

When you have experienced this kind of hope once-maybe in the form of a word, a step, a good day at school-you look forward to the next one, and more importantly, you know there is hope in the future. No matter how small the accomplishment may be in the midst of your child's day may seem, know that there are more ahead.

The next time you find yourself right in the middle of a day filled with fog, and you can't see anything in front of you, know that there is light in the future. You won't have to search for it--just at the right time, suddenly it will find youand fill you with hope.

Maria Smaldino Spencer is a special mom, special needs consultant and the regional coordinator for the Early Childhood Resource Center. Contact her at



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