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 Jonathan and Sarah McGuire. Today’s featured Wednesday Warriors. 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?
Our son was allergic to all food except for sweet potatoes and was severely autistic. This meant that as an infant and toddler, he was in pain and screamed much of the day and night, only sleeping 15-20 minutes at a time. His sensory issues were such that taking him to a public indoor space, like a store, would result in a multi-hour meltdown. He was nonverbal and didn’t bond with anyone except for me (Sarah). We were missionaries and had moved just after his birth, so we had no friends, family or support system.
How has God helped you “Reframe” your perspective along the way?
When Jordan was 18 months old, due to severe sleep deprivation and the stress of caregiving, I (Sarah) had a physical and emotional breakdown. That time really helped me take hold of 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” I finally saw not only spiritually am I not enough, giving everything I had physically, I was still not enough. Trying harder and working more wasn’t enough. I needed to fully depend on Him. I needed Him to do what I could not.
What is your super-power?
Sarah – Insight. Learning. Seeing the obstacles to overcome in accomplishing a goal.
Jonathan – Big-picture visionary. Peace-making. Discerning.
What good has come out of your trial?
Jordan – Everything I learned about health in order to save Jordan’s life and bring healing to him has helped many other people with their health as well.
Ministry – We have founded Hope Anew, a non-profit organization that guides parents of kids (all ages) with special needs toward Christ-centered hope and healing through a blog, podcast, online curriculum-based workshop, and an online community.
How has your faith changed along the way?
We have both had a strong faith in God since we were young children. My (Sarah) faith and understanding of God was challenged like never before during this time of my life. I had to go deeper, ask more questions, hard questions, wait, wrestle with God, at times I quit asking and just lived with a polite distance in my relationship with God, knowing I didn’t understand but not knowing how to move past that. God coaxed me back to Him and while He didn’t answer all of my questions, He helped me to see Him and His heart in ways I hadn’t before.
How has God used your story?
Both Jonathan and I have our backgrounds in counseling, having personally been through the questions, struggles, challenges, doubts, fears, etc of having a child with special needs, we are equipped to come alongside other parents walking this journey in a way we never could have otherwise. Through the unique combination of our counseling education, Jonathan’s trauma-healing training and work, and being the parents of Jordan, Hope Anew was born.
What is a highlight of your story?
When Jordan (our son with allergies & autism) was around 1.5-2 years old he wouldn’t seek out toys, investigate things on his own initiative, and was nonverbal. If I put a toy in his hands he would turn it around and look at it, but when his brother (older by 2 years) would run by and grab his toy, he would shut off. He eyes would turn down to his lap. His hands would go still. His shoulders would slump. There was no cry of outrage and no looking around for what happened to that toy that was in his hands a second ago. As we worked at bringing healing to his body, there was a day when big brother ran by and grabbed his toy. The whole household heard, “NOOOOOO!” What a great day that was! Sibling squabbles entered our house that day and hasn’t left since.