The prospect of a new child brings with it a sense of joyful anticipation and plans for their future. But for 1 out of 5 US families, those dreams are changed by an unexpected diagnosis of disability.
Even the most stalwart Christian parents may be left with broken hearts and wounded faith at the diagnosis, but author Diane Dokko Kim wants to reassure these parents of one thing – by working through their feelings with God, healing for their families and acceptance of their new normal is possible.
Unbroken Faith: Spiritual Recovery for the Special Needs Parent (Worthy Publishing, April 2018) contains insights from Kim, who has been personally entrenched in the fear and uncertainty that comes with a special needs diagnosis and come through the other side. She offers scriptural support for parents along with the wisdom gleaned from her own experiences as a special needs mother.
Kim suggests that God is the strength needed to face the situation rather than the cause to be blamed. She does not, however, ignore the challenging emotions that special needs parents are sure to face. Instead, she assures them that there is room in their faith for doubt, fear, and even anger, and that denying those feelings only worsens the situation.
As Joni Eareckson Tada writes in her foreword to the book,
“Diane reassures you of God’s goodness, reminding you that it’s okay to grieve,
weep, doubt and to ask the hardest of questions.”
Unbroken Faith identifies and treats the crippling fear, guilt, and inadequacy that parents of special needs kids can encounter.
Kim courageously articulates deep-seated, unspoken doubts and fears you may have but are afraid to voice: Will my child still have a full life? Can I do this? Where is God in all this? As you are adjusting to your new normal, Kim’s biblical-based encouragement will help you understand that you are not alone, that God gets it, and that God’s Word is entirely relevant to the raw and messy yet hallowed spaces of special needs parenting.
Praise for Unbroken Faith
“Unbroken Faith is offered as medicine for a hurting heart. Diane pulls back the curtain on some of the toughest faith-questions asked by parents of children with special needs. She points you to the Word of God in hopes that you will experience heaven-sent comfort and compassion. She will help you grasp how God understands your pain and how He suffers with you. In this extraordinary book, Diane reassures you of God’s goodness, reminding you that it’s okay to grieve… weep… doubt… and to ask the hardest of questions…. An excellent resource for support groups or Bible studies, it is a valuable tool for any church leader, friend or family member who wants to better nurture the hearts of special needs parents…”
~ Joni Eareckson Tada, Author, Speaker, Disability Advocate, CEO Joni and Friends
“I do not understand why God’s world contains such deep suffering, nor why shared suffering often brings the deepest community and such inspiring goodness. Unbroken Faith names both the darkness and light in ways that will comfort, challenge, and re-awaken the ache of hope.”
~ John Ortberg is senior pastor of Menlo Church, and author of I’d Like You More If You Were More Like Me
~ Kathi Lipp, Writer, speaker and best-selling author of The Husband Project, Overwhelmed, and Clutter Free
“Unbroken Faith has exceeded above and beyond my expectations. Diane shares the scriptures which have spoken to her heart in the deepest, darkest moments, and her everyday moments. She is willing to expose her pain, her weaknesses, share what she learned as she has spent time listening to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. As Diane relates how God uses Jeremy’s disability to reveal the shortcomings and limitations in her own life, we see how this has led to a deepening faith. But do not think that this book is about disability. No, in fact – it is a book about God’s faithfulness in and through ALL circumstances. What Diane has discovered through this journey of disability is a valuable lesson for us all, one that can lead us to the same, “Unbroken Faith.”
~ Kara Ferris, Executive Director, iamviable.org
“With authenticity and deep understanding, Diane writes from her heart to ours. The special needs journey from broken hearts to unbroken faith, from vague diagnosis to vigilant care to victorious living, from demolition to renovation, from failed hopes of the ideal to the reality of the real….she covers it all and brings us the hope we seek!”
~ Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini, Authors of Unexpected Journey, When Special Needs Change Our Course
“Unbroken Faith is not just for special needs parents, but anyone devastated by loss or crushing disappointment. A masterful journey through processing grief, it moved me to tears about my own suffering, limitations, and ‘repurposed pain.’”
~ Anna LeBaron, author of The Polygamist’s Daughter
“Unbroken Faith meets a profound need. Scripturally sound, it is a fantastic tool to help facilitate validation, emotional healing, and most importantly, spiritual growth. I am thrilled and proud to recommend this resource to churches who want to help special-needs parents grow in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
~ Amy Fenton Lee, author of Leading a Special-Needs Ministry: A Practical Guide to Including Children and Loving Families and blogger at theinclusivechurch.com
About the author, Diane Dokko Kim
Diane has served over 25 years in bi-vocational church ministry. In 2004, her first son was diagnosed with autism at age two and ADHD, which triggered profound personal, professional and spiritual crises.
In 2008, she began serving the disabled community as a special needs ministry consultant, equipping churches to become fully-inclusive faith communities, leading parent support groups, and speaking at churches and conferences. She is honored to partner with the ministries of Joni and Friends as a national speaker and ministry ambassador.
In 2012, Diane launched an online ministry, with a passion to comfort others with the comfort she received from Christ (2 Corinthians 1:4). Her writing has been featured in Orange’s Parent Cue, Parenting Magazine, Dandelion Magazine, and SpecialNeedsParenting.net. She strives to empower weary parents to experience the timeless relevance of God’s Word applied to the gritty realities of special needs family life, and to view their journey as a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and discipleship.
Whether by diagnosis, a death—or the death of a dream— everyone gets “crippled” by something. No one escapes the jagged edges of a broken planet, unscathed. All believers struggle to reconcile faith with disappointment. Sin and brokenness may steal, kill, and destroy indiscriminately. But Jesus is an equal opportunity Healer and Redeemer.
Diane and her husband, Eddie, live in the heart of Silicon Valley with their two young sons. Connect with her on Facebook or hang out here on her website where she blogs about being wrecked, redeemed and repurposed.