Knit Together {Awesome Guest Post by Gillian Marchenko)

Oct 19, 2012Heal from the past

I’m so grateful to have Gillian Marchenko here today talking about how cool we all are, no matter what shape we’re in.She is a Christian, wife, mother, writer, speaker, and advocate for individuals with special needs. Check out Gillian’s website at

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

(Psalm 119:13 NIV)

My mother knits

I see her in a chair in my childhood home in pajamas, hair wet from a bath, a Coke sweating on a flimsy paper napkin next to her on the side table. Her hands move, click, click, click, click. Sometimes she’d unravel a sweater or a scarf because of a mistake. I didn’t see the point. Why start over because of a few mistakes? “Who wants something with mistakes?” she’d say.

How my child was being knit together?

Before the birth of our third child, I read a book about a woman who had a baby with Down syndrome.  “I couldn’t do it,” I told my husband. “I could never mother a child with special needs.” Ducking to dodge lightning, I yearned to retract my words.  Our baby, probably no bigger than a lima bean, tumbled inside me.  A life paddled around growing fingers and toes. God was knitting her together in my womb. I trusted him, and yet I worried. What if she has special needs? I don’t think I can handle that, Lord.

Down syndrome

Months later our baby was born with Down syndrome. I grieved. She was not who I expected. Being a special needs mother was not the life I wanted to live. I believed in a theology that God doesn’t make mistakes. But our daughter’s birth brought us home from the mission field, and broke my faith. It all seemed like a mistake.

God gives us more than we can handle

People say that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”

I call bull.

At first, I absolutely could not handle a child with special needs. But with time, God pointed out that I was not to handle this new path of motherhood. I was supposed to hand it to him.

I’ve been a special needs mom now for six years

The child I thought I could never parent is a daily anti-depressant in my life, and the best object lesson for living un-caged. With her entrance into the world, God picked me up, shook me, and sat me back down in a totally different place. My faith was broken and rebuilt. I started writing. A few years later we adopted another little girl with Down syndrome from Ukraine. God gave my family a thriving ministry in Chicago geared towards special needs.

What I’ve learned

God knits with purpose. Always.

I don’t have to handle life on my own. Instead, I try to hand it to Jesus.

We all have holes in our lives. Through Christ, they can be filled.