“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” (Psalm 62:5).


Exchanging Our Expectations

God has given our family a unique opportunity to experience the truth of this Scripture. May we share with you some practical ways God is helping us to learn what the psalmist David has learned?

In the spring of 1982 we had been married almost two years and were expecting our first child. As most first time parents, we had idealistic hopes for this child. But in April, when our daughter, Esther, was born with Down Syndrome and a serious heart defect, we abruptly had to exchange our expectations for the reality of a handicapped child. Our lives were soon filled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and visits to various medical specialists. The Lord was very effectively illustrating the truth that ALL life is a gift from Him.

By 1984, when we were expecting our second child, we had met many other families with a Down’s child. Each family we knew who had a child subsequent to their Down’s child was blessed with a “typical” child. We certainly expected this would be true of us also. Nevertheless, the Lord had other plans. On May 29, 1984, our son, Jared, was born, also with Down Syndrome and a serious heart defect. Once again we exchanged our expectations for God’s perfect choice for us. God was graciously teaching us the futility of comparing ourselves with others since none of us has anything we haven’t been given by Him.

There were many hectic and difficult days as we cared for two handicapped preschoolers. In 1985 Esther had open heart surgery. By the following winter, Jared suffered from chronic pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary hypertension. He desperately needed open heart surgery, yet had only a 40% chance to survive the surgery. In early May 1986, he was finally able to undergo the surgery and we saw a wonderful answer to many prayers as he fully recuperated and became an energetic little boy!

Our next family crisis occurred when the children reached school age. Because of the humanistic philosophy of public schools, God had convicted us that our children should attend a Christian school, but no Christian school where we lived in central Indiana was equipped to meet their special needs.

We had heard about a unique ministry of special education founded by Dr. John Vaughn in Greenville, South Carolina, called Hidden Treasure Christian School, and we believed the Lord was leading us to move there in order to enroll the children. Yet the obstacles were overwhelming, humanly speaking.

First we needed to sell our home. Our area was quite depressed economically; we could see houses for sale on nearly every block, yet buyers were scarce. However, our house was sold at the asking price within two weeks of the “For Sale” sign being posted. We knew that was the of the Lord. In every detail of the 600-mile move, the Lord had so clearly prepared the way that we were continually amazed at His providence.

Since their enrollment, the children have thrived in every area of their development. We still deal with their frequent health and behavioral problems, but the philosophy of Hidden Treasure Christian School is a great encouragement: “God has given each of us everything we need to do His perfect will.”

Two wonderful days were August 1, 1991, when Esther trusted Jesus Christ to be her personal Savior, and February 9, 1994, when Jared was also saved. What a blessing it is to realize that God made the way of salvation so simple that even these children with their mental limitations were able to understand Christ’s gift of eternal life. They understand that every person is born with a sinful nature which separates one from God. The only way any of us can come to God is through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross.

Perhaps some circumstances in your life, too, are not exactly according to your expectations. Are you frustrated or bitter about those circumstances, or can you accept them as being allowed and even designed by God to teach you something? Do you believe God makes no mistakes? Although we can do things against His will, nothing can happen to a Christian outside of His will.

If you, too, would like to become a Christian and have eternal life through Jesus Christ, please visit Promise of Hope.

Some photos are available to view in the photo section of  No Tears In Heaven.


All textual and pictorial content on this page taken from the “Exchanging Our Expectations” tract by the Bunce family.  For additional information about the Bible or Hidden Treasure Christian School, or if you are in need of encouragement, contact via the following e-mail address:  jemdteam@juno.com.

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