The seeds of faith and fortitude are watered by honest and deliberate living. You’ve heard it said, “slow and steady wins the race.” Caregiving for a loved one with complex health or developmental issues is like that marathon.
Even if we come to it kicking and screaming, sooner or later we face hard truths and succumb to the slower lifestyle that disability and special needs insist upon us. Yet, along the way of disappointments, sacrifice, service, and surrender, we find highly purposed living filled with generous graces and unanticipated blessings.

My anxiety escalates quickly when I try to hurry my daughter Carly through something — a meal, to the car for an outing, a trip to the bathroom. Her frustration escalates too, of course. I am often driven to be efficient, fearful of missing something important and caught up in what feels urgent, rather than cherishing what is actually important.

My activity level is no measure of my value any more than Carly’s level of function with Angelman Syndrome is a measure of her worth.

There is strength and peace in learning to live more gently with ourselves, and others.

The weights of sin and shame have slowed down the best of us. Only repentance will bring freedom from that kind of slow. But not all slowness is bad. Imprisonments interfered with the Apostle Paul’s travels yet the Gospel has gone farther and endured longer because of his letters. He leaned into his circumstances and reverently endured. He did what he could, given the limitations. He didn’t fret. He didn’t procrastinate in denial. He worshipped.

By living with intention — choosing the way he responded to circumstances — Paul found peace and God’s purposes were fulfilled through unexpected methods. And guess what. Those unexpected methods often involved other people. Paul leaned in to worship and letter writing. Both kept his eyes on the Lord and included others in the fruits of his deliberate choices. If you haven’t seen this kind of fruit unfolding in your life yet, hold on and lean in. God wastes nothing.

Our theme for 2024 is growing together in faith and love. WRIM’s ministry team caught this vision in December as we considered our mission and prayed about God’s focus for this caregiving community in 2024. That season of reflection turned us to Ephesians 4:16 and other passages like Colossians 3:12-17 and Romans 15:5-7.

Little did we know how quickly this community would experience that promise in a poignant, painful, but beautiful way. On January 28th, 2024, one of our families experienced a great loss when their dear little boy, Lewis, passed away.

They worshipped and leaned in — and they included us. They are taking their space to grieve but they have also chosen moments to be with us online. They have listened and they have shared what they are comfortable sharing at this point. We have all been strengthened together by that courage and vulnerability.

It it’s hard for me to describe what it has been like to watch the caregivers in this community rally together. It has been a time of sorrow and of appreciation. Not only are these friends sharing comfort with each other through our friends’ unimaginable experience, but there is powerful personal reflection happening that is growing us all up in our faith.

It’s teaching us how to love others in fresh and more honest ways.

We are learning and relearning how to be utterly reliant on God. We are asking God together to show us how to slow down and live intentionally. We’re absorbing new confidence in truths that can seem at odds with our chaos and realities.

Through loss, we are also discovering gifts within the tension between sorrow and joy. We are seeing a real life picture of redemption and God’s multiplying power of faith and love — a little boy’s love, a family’s love, the church’s love, a community’s love. 

WRIM families are teaching each other how to celebrate stillness and simplicity. I am personally learning so much, and will forever be grateful. Though I serve here, I too receive here. I am blessed to slow down and grow in faith and love among amazing parents, grandparents, spouses, and siblings.

Lisa Jamieson wearing gold jacket and white tshirt

Lisa Jamieson is an author, speaker, special needs family advocate, and ordained pastoral counselor. She is co-founder of Walk Right In Ministries where she trains and counsels family caregivers to walk abundantly in life, faith, and relationships. Lisa and her husband, Larry, live in Minnesota with the youngest of their three grown daughters, Carly, who has Angelman Syndrome.


  1. Joy

    Did a word study on patience, starting in James. There are 2 Greeks words, one for patience with people (makrothumia), and one for patience with life circumstances (hupomeno). In reading each verse where the latter is found, including in letters to the 7 churches in Rev., I was struck by the intentional attitude required of us. There is no hurrying through the life of holiness to which God calls us. Our finite minds may go at the speed of light sometimes, but that is not the same as being productive, loving. Quite the opposite. Slowing down, making lists, prayerfully prioritizing, doing one thing at a time is the fruitful pace – we don’t stop by apple trees that have no fruit, expecting fruit to appear just because we’re there waiting like at Burger King. No fast fruit. Lifelong lesson!

    • Lisa

      So absolutely true! Thank you for sharing those details and insights from the Greek. It’s very enriching and affirming to see how God’s word includes valuable nuances and helps us not to miss them when we pay attention and make room. You are a faithful and wise friend!

  2. Charlotte Peterson

    So blessed by this Lisa!!! Thank you for always speaking and writing so clearly and deeply the lessons deep in my soul

    • Lisa

      You are so welcome! It is truly a privilege to do life with you and your family — and to grow together in faith and love. Truly. You are all profoundly loved.


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