Beauty and the Beast

  • Aug. 9, 2018
  • #9464

The love that is self-sacrificing recognizes that we are all God’s image bearers.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada, here with special-needs Mom, Shauna Amick.

JONI: Hi, Shauna. Glad you are here.

SHAUNA: Thank you, Joni. I’m happy to be here.

JONI: Well, you know, something I often think of is that you’re not just the mother of Sarah, who has Down syndrome and the complications of a heart defect. You have other children and you have a husband.

SHAUNA: I sure do!

JONI: So how do you and Steve navigate all the challenges of keeping your marriage strong and you have these pressures that come from a family with disabilities. How do you do it?

SHAUNA: Those are great questions, Joni. You know Steve and I in our marriage, we have been through so much, just like you and Ken; different, but struggles nonetheless. And one thing that helps me get through the tough times is to remember just how much I love this man and remember all the good times. In fact, I think of one memory; you make me go back to a time when we had a family vacation and Steve just stole my heart because he showed me once again what a great special needs dad he really is.

JONI: Well he really is a special needs dad. I have seen him with Sarah – tender, caring, loving. They must have compiled some great memories together.

SHAUNA: Oh, yes and we are still doing that. One memory is of a vacation, like I said, that took us 14 hours of a drive to get to our destination.

JONI: You had to be exhausted when you arrived.

SHAUNA: Yes, and you know we got to that hotel and we just couldn’t wait to get to our room, so sure enough, Steve and my older two children and I started scanning the halls for our room number, but little miss Sarah she was dawdling behind; she could care less where our room was. All we heard was the thud of her suitcase and a gasped so loud that it made us all turn around thinking;

Oh my goodness, what’s the matter’.

JONI: What did she see?

SHAUNA: Well, you know, we looked and realized nothing was wrong. She saw the beautiful sunken dance floor the hotel used for the father-daughter dances at weddings. And I took one look in her eyes and I knew exactly what she was thinking. It was a complete reflection of the of the dance floor in her favorite movie, Beauty and the Beast!

JONI: I can see it now: Beauty and the Beast. Good for Sarah. So what happened?

SHAUNA: Well, you know daddy was exhausted. He had just gotten away from the wheel after 14 hours and he could have been exasperated with her, but instead, I watched my husband put his suitcases down, reach out his hand and say, “Can I have this dance, my love?”

JONI: Just like Beauty and the Beast!

SHAUNA: Just like Beauty and the Beast. And Sarah was totally transformed into that princess, and they danced on that floor a beautiful father/daughter dance I’ll never forget. That’s because her dad knows the truth of Genesis 1:27 that we are all God’s image-bearers and that makes Sarah the daughter of the King of all Kings and a princess in every respect.

JONI: Love, especially the love that a father might have for his child. That kind of love is self- less and it sacrifices, doesn’t it? So Steve took the time to dance with Sarah and let her know that he really sees her as beautiful and valuable, just as you’ve reflected from Genesis 1:27. Well, I think that is a good word to any special needs dad or mom. Would you give them any advice from either yourself or your husband, Steve?

SHAUNA: Oh, my goodness, I would just say, “Keep seeing each other the way God sees us.”

JONI: Shauna thanks so much for sharing that memory. And friend, this is why we are dedicated to sharing the Gospel with special-needs families here at Joni and Friends, so that marriages stay strong and families affected by disability stay together. So would you please pray for special needs parents today? And Shauna, where can they go for help to do that?

SHAUNA: You know we need to go to joniandfriends.org for more encouragement. Encouragement that will strengthen families and make marriages that last.

JONI: And friend, discover there all sorts of ways that you could encourage special needs families and marriages right in your area, joniandfriends.org is your go-to place. Singing: Beauty and the Beast. Thanks, Shauna.

SHAUNA: Thank you, Joni.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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