The Question

The QuestionSome questions are priceless. The other day, someone asked me when am I most proud of Jon, my son with disabilities. I quietly pondered. In this world of ours, most parents could quickly provide plenty of pride-filled moments: blue ribbons, being the star athlete, social recognition, good grades, good looks, or a bit of charm. All of these qualities can make parents feel proud. There is nothing wrong with awards and accolades, yet there is something wrong when such praises define what makes a parent proud.

My List

There was a time when some of the attributes listed above would have answered the question. But in raising Jon, I have evaluated what is most important; finding what I am most proud of is rarely measurable or defined by social standards.

Here is my answer to her question. I am most proud of Jon when I observe . . .

  • His effort to form his first four-word sentence, “I love you, Mommy” . . . at age 3
  • His courage to go to school each day, knowing he will be ignored or made fun of
  • His resolve to play a game, even though he’s been picked last and knows he won’t win
  • His patience as he works to tie his shoes each day
  • His endurance of painful tics and sore muscles
  • His devotion to others, despite their rejection or betrayal
  • His spiritual sensitivity . . . saying “let’s pray” every time we see an accident on the road
  • His authenticity in sharing his thoughts and feelings without shame
  • His acceptance of others, regardless of what they can do or how they look
  • His genuine care for others

Christ’s Words

I often return to Christ’s words in Matthew chapter 5:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . those who mourn . . . the meek . . . those who hunger and thirst for righteousness . . . the merciful . . . the pure in heart . . . the peacemakers . . . those who are persecuted because of righteousness. . . . Blessed are you when people insult you . . . and falsely say all kinds of evil against you. . . . Great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:3–12 NIV)

What Are You Proud Of?

How would you answer the question? Are you proud of what can be measured or accomplished, feeling like a failure if you struggle with an addiction, weakness, pain, or a disability?

Let Me Hear from You

I would love to hear your thoughts as you ponder what you are really proud of.

  • Mary Elizabeth Tait

    Isn’t this true…No one has ever bothered to ask me what I am most proud of in Robert…He is so severely disabled; there are so many cannot-s: can’t walk, talk, feed himself, or speak. He is our perpetual 4 year old and he sleeps with a monkey named Albert at the age of 22 years. However, I am intensely proud of him for, what I feel are the really important things in life. He has a strong sense of fairness, he is compassionate towards others, he loves the Lord and know the Lord loves him, he loved going to school and appreciated all of the opportunities given to him, he always says “Thank you” with kisses, he has a good sense of humor, and he is oh so patient with his mommy and daddy. No Ivy League education, no driving lessons, no wedding, or babies…not the usual things parents list, but much deeper.

  • Theresa Peavey

    I’m so proud of Who my son is.. I see Christ in him every day.Christ has changed me and so has Jonathan changed who I am.
    Please go on you tube broadcast yourself, and look up the name Jonathan Peavey and meet my son..Our Beautiful Secret.

  • Charise Cole

    I am proud of my son’s ability to physically express love to others. There have been many a time where we have gone to the park and my son will find some random man looking kind of sad and forlorn, and my son will sit next to him and give him a hug or kiss. Without fail, EVERY single man accepted his expression of affection and I will see a softening. I believe God endowed my son with the gift of expressing love to the unlovely, and quite honestly, I applaud my son’s ability to do so. I have no doubts that even in his limited state, God is using him in BIG ways to touch the hearts of the broken and lost.

  • Susan Zipf

    I am proud of my teenaged son, who is autistic. He has made decisions to overcome fears and anxieties by forcing himself to confront the fears head-on. And he’s done it. He makes good grades, and understands Biblical concepts better than most adults. All my kids are special, but Matt is special, in more ways than one!

  • Colleen Thompson

    Mary, now my face has tears running down…to hear your words is so touching. It’s the things most never see…the courage, the consistent effort to try to live in this world when one’s body struggles every step of the way, fo love without condition, find comfort in his sleeping buddy Albert, patience and tolerance…don’t we have so much to learn from our special kids! I praise you for looking beyond the ‘stuff’ and loving the son God made for you. What a blessing your comment has been to me. Colleen

  • Colleen Thompson

    Theresa, what an amazing mom…you have your son broadcasted on you tube…that is fantastic!!! How many folks hide their kids, feeling social judgment and isolation; but to hear of your “Beautiful Secret”…I am delighted with and for you. Keep celebrating. Colleen

  • Colleen Thompson

    Oh Charise, your note is precious. These are the timeless treasures we get to exprience…God’s love shared through what most view as of lesser value. So many times, Jon sees someone hurting and is moved to ask if they are in pain, need help, whatever…then says “I love you”. It’s an experience few get to see; and it is God who allows it all to happen. Your son if made and carried by God, used for a magnificant purpose…not measured by numbers but by love. Can there be anything better than that? Thanks so much for sharing your words with us all. I’m deeply moved. Colleen

  • Colleen Thompson

    Susan, isn’t it utterly amazing how much courage our autistic kids have! How I value their authenticity, their vulnerability, their willingness to try and face what may come…huge fears included. If given the option, most would never attempt such challenges; but our kids hit them head on. Way to go and what a wonderful story to be told. Have a great weekend. Colleen