There are so many amazing people in our community, going through hard stuff, navigating life, and making a difference along the way. We want to introduce them to you so you can be encouraged, inspired and above all, know that you aren’t alone.
Meet Joe and Cindi Ferrini. Today’s featured Wednesday Warrior. Read along to hear more of their powerful story and how God has been “reframing” it along the way.
What life challenges have you/are you overcoming?
ALL life has challenges and each of us will have “something” which will challenge us. The news (now 38 years ago) that our son would have special needs was a shock to us. That has been a challenge: to meet his needs, to be sure our daughters and our needs were also met along the way, and to be sure in all of those challenges that we kept our walk with the Lord the central and most important thing! It changed everything in our life…what we could and couldn’t do, where we could go or couldn’t go, how late we can stay up or not, travel, plans….everything. But we’ve not been neglected in any way. God has blessed us in so many ways!
What is something that most people don’t know about you, but you want them to know?
Joe: That he is funny. With a profession like dentistry, it’s not often you get to be silly! But with our family, he has a great sense of humor and is fun! Cindi: That I don’t like change. I wish things could remain the same: simple, easy, comfortable….but because of our challenges, change is an everyday thing! I was an oak but have become a willow!
How has God helped you “Reframe” your perspective along the way?
We have always wanted to live with a sense of purpose and with that purpose helping others. We have realized that while we can (and do) help others where and when we can, our first priority has had to be our son (his Dr. appointments, therapies, etc.) and of course our daughters. God has reframed our whole life. The picture of who we might have been or the picture of who we is surely much different than one would even recognize. God has helped us to consider others differently no matter their abilities or disabilities. We treat all people the way we’d hope to be treated and the way we’d hope others would treat Joey. No matter one’s job or status we treat everyone the same. I pray it’s with grace and tenderness.
What is your super-power?
TOTALLY the Lord, Jesus! And I’m thankful to Him for giving us strength, endurance, and stamina. We pray He continues that generosity for MANY years to come!
What good has come out of your trial?
Two lovely daughters who love their brother, help attend to his needs, but also tend to the needs of others. They are always watching after others in need, and serving without the need for recognition. Additionally, we have met some of the nicest people in all areas of the medical field, school situations, and even out in public. Joey has had the best education (for his level of ability) and had the best teachers, aides, bus drivers, etc. Our marriage has been strengthened because we’ve had to work hard to make things go smoothly on this journey. It’s not always smooth, but we try!
How has your faith changed along the way?
Because we both love Jesus and desire to be faithful to Him, we have witnessed His faithfulness to us, our son, and our family. When people ask about “what will you do someday with Joey when you’re both gone?” We say, “God has been so faithful every step of the way, we know He will be faithful even in that day.”
How has God used your story?
It’s interesting…..I believe He’s used Joey even though his verbal skills are very low. When Joey worships, people come and tell us how moved they were. When Joey does different things we often hear nice comments later. He is his own story, and we get to share it! We have been around the country speaking on special needs and special needs as it relates to our marriage. It’s powerful because what we share is how God has made a way for Joey, us, and our daughters and their families on this journey.
What is a highlight of your story?
If we can do it-you can! Caring for one with special needs is hard. There are all different levels of need and care, but most of the time, no matter the level, it’s a 24/7/365 deal! If we’d have been asked when Joey was 10, “How long will you do this?” We’d have said, “How long can we? However long the Lord allows us to get to!” Here we are 38 years later and still going strong. Joey is our son but also a great companion and “buddy”!