By Del Duduit
Everyone faces challenges.
I was never promised a daily walk through the rose garden, although a stroll through a Tim Horton’s coffee shop might be a little better.
There are times when I feel happy – especially when I am around my grandkids. They have a unique way of showing unconditional love.
Happiness is a choice, but there are circumstances that might influence your emotions.
It’s not a happy time when a loved one passes. It’s difficult to be happy when you lose your job.
I could go on, but you get the point.
My friend, Clint Hurdle, retired last year from a long career in Major League Baseball. He was a player and a manager during his tenure and saw plenty of ups and downs.
He was traded and fired at times, but overall, he loved the experience.
Clint has a daughter from a previous marriage and two children with his current wife, Karla. They have a daughter who was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome. People who have this genetic disorder don’t know when their stomach is full of food.
It’s quite the challenge.
Here is a portion of Chapter 27 from my new book, Dugout Devotions II: Inspirations from MLB’s Best, which will launch in March:
“They feel hungry their entire life,” Clint said. “From the time they wake up, until they go to bed, they are hungry.”
This is because the 15th chromosome, the one that regulates hunger, is missing.
As a result, some who suffer from this syndrome have delayed growth and motor skills.
“My daughter didn’t walk until she was 20 months old and didn’t run until she was four,” he said. “We had to get our heads around this early.”
She needed complete structure in her life, and Clint and Karla prayed for guidance.
“We all have challenges,” he said. “I’m a recovering alcoholic, and we all have needs. God is omnipresent, and in His wisdom, He gave her to us to take care of.”
Through it all, Clint’s relationship with his wife grew stronger. They had to play as a team for their daughter’s sake.
“That’s the unconditional love you have for each other, and we have that,” he said. “You stand in the gap for one another.”
There are many things that can lead to the breakup of the family such as financial troubles or job relocations. But taking care of a child with special needs is a huge hurdle for a married couple to face. But in this case, it brought them closer together.
Clint was right when he said we all have special needs.
His need was to overcome alcohol addiction. Mine lies within my own insecurities.
His daughter’s need is different but just as important.
No matter what you face, the first thing you need to do is to make sure the Lord is batting in the leadoff position in your lineup. Clint and his family put Christ first, and they know He will meet every need they have. Whether it’s getting up early to help their daughter catch the bus or coming home early to do the laundry so the other can take a nap, teamwork is the best solution. It’s important to have a strong support system. But what if you don’t? That’s when you need to lean on God and let Him show you the way. You are special in His eyes, and He will help you through any situation you have.
Ask Him to put godly and wise people on your team. Here are some ways Jesus makes you feel special:
- Through forgiveness: This is available to anyone who asks.
- By meeting your needs: This is different from what you want. The last several months, I’ve faced some battles and questioned God at times. But in the end, my needs are always met.
- Through unconditional love: Just like my grandkids. They love me no matter what. The Lord loves you too so much He died on the cross for you.
- With hope: There is a place prepared for you in Heaven if you accept the invitation. But what about today? What about your job or your marriage? Clint can attest that the Lord restored his marriage, and he looks forward to his new home after he passes. But he is in no hurry to get there. He enjoys his life but knows a better place awaits. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31: 24)
I appreciate my friendship with Clint. We communicated last week and are hoping to make plans to get together in Florida for a book signing this summer.
We all have special needs because we are all special. What is your need? What needs to be restored in your life?
If you don’t think you have an issue, then you are either perfect or lying.
Pre-order is available here.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.