When our oldest daughter was born, we looked forward to what she would become. She had so much potential.

Teacher. Scientist. Fire Fighter. Business woman. Doctor. Lawyer. Engineer. Mechanic. Nurse. Caregiver. Hero. Writer. Leader.

We were filled with dreams, wishes, and hopes for her. But then we began to notice differences in her development. She didn’t speak, walk, move, or connect as well as the other children in our lives – her siblings, cousins, classmates. We listened in secret pain as our friends and siblings crowed about the achievements of their little Einsteins and future athletes. She walked late, talked late, and reacted in strange ways to the events around her.

Because of our concern, we had her evaluated multiple times and we finally received the diagnosis of autism, learning disabilities, and brain injury at birth.

In the necessarily clear-eyed and realistic assessment of her needs, we had to focus on her challenges; the features that differentiated her from normal kids. Knowledge, even if painful, was required in order to provide what she needed. We traveled the road less traveled of speech and occupational therapy, IEP meetings, more evaluations, and support groups.

In the process, it was easy to lose sight of her potential.

It was easy to forget that she was created in the image of God for a purpose.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10, NIV

She was created, just as we are, to do the good works which God prepared in advance for her to do. So our daughter went on a spring break mission trip and painted windows at a camp in Tennessee with the high school youth group. After college she volunteered at a homeless shelter in the accounting department for over a year. She is kind and considers the needs of others.

Not only has she performed good works herself; but good works have also been generated in those around her. Kindness has been extended. Help has been offered and accepted. Many good works were done behalf of our family, which God prepared in advance for others to perform.

She is God’s handiwork…the art of creation poured has been poured out in her life.

This is true of all children. They also have also been created in the image of God to do good works as they blossom forth into the world.