The theme of this year’s Answers for Women conference is Embrace: Compassionate Answers in a Fallen World. As I explained in my earlier post on the conference, we want to help women understand the effects of sin in our fallen world (in addition to confronting people about their sin) and offer practical help and hope based on God’s Word and found in Jesus Christ. I am very pleased that Stacia McKeever, project manager for AiG’s Answers VBS, will present her story about her son and his disability and how to help the families around us who have disabled loved ones. This is what Stacia had to say about her testimony and ministry:
Stacia is one of my best friends and I am grateful for the impact that her family has had in our lives. My daughter Elizabeth and Stacia’s son are great friends. I can now say confidently when I look at people regardless of their abilities or disabilities that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Register today to take advantage of the early bird special (ends February 1st) and remember the price includes a two-day Creation Museum admission for attendee, spouse, and children.
In 2009, our oldest son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that leads to physical and intellectual disabilities. With just a few simple words from the geneticist, we were forced headlong into an entirely new world—a world with different vocabulary, doctor visits, therapy sessions, more insurance paperwork than we knew what to do with, and one that ran at a much slower pace than what we had anticipated for our firstborn.
It was a difficult time for us as we tried to get our bearings in that new world. And I’m very thankful that our friends and family were so kind and loving toward us—true extensions of Christ’s grace to His children. Sadly, not everyone in the world of disability experiences such support. Too many times, we’re quick to rush in with what we think is an encouraging word (e.g., “God won’t give you more than you handle!”). In reality, we’re just adding to the heaviness of disability—throwing yet another weight on the shoulders of those who carry so much already.
Almost one in five Americans is dealing with some type of disability. That means you or someone close to you has been affected by disability. And if you don’t know someone with a disability right now, you soon will and you’ll want to be ready to welcome them into your fellowship with open arms. Are you ready? Is your church ready?
In my session “What NOT to Say: Truthfully Helping those With Disabilities See God’s Goodness,” we’ll explore some of those frequently heard platitudes and will learn what we can say instead to those walking the disability path. Not only that, we’ll discover many practical ways to offer assistance that go far beyond the quick—and oft-forgotten—“I’ll pray for you” and “Let me know how I can help” phrases we toss out so easily. Many Christians in the disability community may know God is good, but it’s our responsibility to help them see His goodness as we minister physically to them.
Disability is a hard path, but God’s grace is ever-present. And, as followers of Christ, we need to be tangible expressions of that grace to our brothers and sisters. I’m looking forward to sharing how we can do this with you at the Answers for Women conference!
Stacia McKeever is the project manager for the Answers VBS program and has worked for Answers in Genesis for almost 18 years. Her book “Why Is Keiko Sick?” helps children understand that there is a God of love in this fallen world. She has co-authored several books and written articles for various publications. She and her husband live in the Greater Cincinnati area and have two young boys and six chickens.
Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!