The Life We Never Expected is a memorable book for me! I can relate quite well to what the authors talk about since my husband and I have one special needs kid. We, too, have lived the life we never expected and never prepared for. Children with special needs bring not only unexpected challenges but also unexpected blessings! Andrew and Rachel Wilson share their story of being parents raising two autistic children. They share about their painful, dream-shattered struggles with raw emotions (grief, disappointment, confusion, etc.) and refreshing honesty while pointing readers to God, the only One who can give us hope, peace, and joy through trials and sufferings. We get to read thoughts and reflections from both Andrew and Rachel. They explain the cycle they go through: weeping, worshiping, waiting, witnessing, and breathe. They encourage readers to choose joy and thankfulness, embrace grace and faith, and see the importance of prayer and community. They offer their perspectives on healing and marriage. The book also includes a list of helpful resources.
I really appreciate their transparency. I admire them for being authentic, not claiming to have all the answers. Many times, they admit they do not understand why/what God's doing or how hard it is for them to accept their situation. If you have a special needs child, this book will be like an empathetic friend who makes you feel understood and helps you feel you're not the only one who goes through this difficult, unbearable (at times) journey. I found this book insightful, hope-filled, comforting, and encouraging! I highly recommend this gospel-centered, Biblically sound book to anyone, especially those who have special needs children or know families who have special needs children.
"But we are not the storyteller (God is). We don't have the power to resolve the twisted plot and bring triumph out of tragedy. Only God does. And his timing is often very different from ours." (p.88)
"Somewhere, somehow, God is preparing a gift for us that we don't yet need--a person, a payment, a provision, a skill, who knows?--but which will bless us dramatically when it arrives in 2026 or 2041 or whenever it is. Gifts change, but the Giver doesn't. So we can live, daily, by faith in future grace." (p. 132)