Made in God’s Image, Grace & Truth

November 6, 2020 |
Grace & Truth

I’d like to introduce you to a special friend of mine from college.

His name is Darold, and we worked together in a group home as I studied for my degree in human development and psychology.

Even though it’s been almost 30 years, I remember his lessons like it was yesterday. He taught me real-life stuff you can only learn through experience. 

But Darold wasn’t my boss or seasoned caregiver.  

Darold was a resident – a middle-aged man who had never spoken an intelligible word or fully potty-trained through the night.  

So, what could a young, ambitious college student possibly learn about from some someone stuck in the mind of an 18-month-old? 

Love.  

Darold taught me about love.  

He sat in his kitchen chair and made eye-contact at every possibility so he could wave and smile.  

And, oh, what a smile! I can still feel the warmth of that smile, even in this very moment. 

And I can still see the sparkle in his eyes, too. The same eyes that I’d see rolling into the back of his head during one of several nocturnal seizures later that evening.  

Have you ever wondered how you could be made like God and yet be so flawed?   Click To Tweet

But when he was awake, Darold smiled.  

The best thing about Darold was when you got within his reach. Just as a child seizes his desire, claiming “mine,” so did Darold to anyone who got close. The only thing about Darold more genuine than his smile was his hug. 

So when Made in God’s Image – Down Syndrome Awareness Month reminded me of Darold, I knew I had to share it with you so I could tell you about him.  

How Can People With Disabilities Be Made in God’s Image ?

By the very label of “disability”, the world defines people like Darold by what they can’t do.  

But God made Darold just like Him.  

He made Darold to show the world love.  

There’s another, even more personal reason I chose Beth’s post for today. 

Just one year ago this week, I was diagnosed with cognitive disability and memory impairment caused by prescription medication taken during a rare brain disease. 

It’s tough to add “disability” and “impairment” to your own medical history. I had a few questions for God, including this one from Beth’s post: 

What does it mean to be created in God’s image when there is something wrong with me? 

What does it mean to be created in God’s image when there is something wrong with me?  Click To Tweet

After I stopped whining, the diagnosis provided a path for me to cope and adapt. For example, I thought I struggled with a lack of idea development as a writer because I can’t seem to compose long, complex pieces like other writers. 

But now, through Candid Moments, I use my words to show God’s love in brief devotions. And honestly, I want everyone who reads my words to know I have a cognitive disability, so they know where my words, my strength, and my hope come from.  

As Beth said, we’re all disabled in some way. Have you ever wondered how you could be made like God and yet be so flawed?  

Head on over to As He Leads is Joy to find out more about what it means to be Made in God’s Image.  

How can you be made in God's image if you are less than perfect?

Click Here To Read This Week’s Featured Post
Made in God’s Image – Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Are You Up For Some Family Fun This Holiday Season?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re looking for something to do with your family over the holiday, consider teaching them how to make their own t-shirt or decorate a coffee mug. Everyone will walk away with keepsakes and memories, which will make this holiday a hit.

For This I am Thankful

Check out Heather’s Etsy store to see even more designs.

Now For This Week’s Link Up!

Let’s bless and encourage one another in our walk with the Lord…

Grace and Truth Link Up

We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each week. If you are a Christian blogger, we invite you to link up and meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader, we encourage you to visit new bloggers and discover women who love Jesus as much as you do. Whoever you are, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Join us each Friday for the Grace & Truth Link-Up!

Grace and Truth Link Up Hosts

Heather Hart & Valerie Riese

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Maree Dee

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Lauren Sparks

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Lisa Burgess

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Grace and Truth Link Up Rules

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent Christian Living posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

In order to be featured next week:

4.) Grab a button and/or link back to one of our hosts to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

Each host will choose one blog to feature in their Grace & Truth Link-Up post and promote via their social media channels next week.

Grab a Badge & Link Back to this Post

You can download the image below and upload it to your site, or use the html code provided to display the Grace & Truth badge on the sidebar of your blog, at the bottom of your post, or on a “link-ups” page. Again, this isn’t required to link-up, but it is required to be featured.

Grace & Truth Link Up

Now Let’s Link Up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Have you linked up your Christian blog posts with the Grace and Truth link up? I did! Click To Tweet

Let’s Talk About Jesus…

We are putting together an anthology that’s all about putting our faith into words.

Sound interesting?

Click here to find out how you can join us.

To receive a weekly reminder of when the link-up goes live subscribe below

P.S. We will never send you SPAM. We don’t have time for junk, and we know you don’t either.

Click here to read our Privacy Policy

You Might Also Like

10 Comments

  • Reply Karen Friday November 6, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Valerie, you convey such a powerful message. Not only does Darold’s story move my heart, but also your beautiful story. Because it shows how God rescues and uses misfits–all of us in some way as Beth notes. And we are all spiritual misfits in need of a Savior to remind us we are fashioned in God’s image and for His glory.

    • Reply Valerie Riese November 6, 2020 at 7:05 pm

      Amen, Karen! And thank you! I sincerely believe the saying that God doesn’t need your ability – just your availability.

  • Reply Donna November 6, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Valerie, a most beautiful post! I love that you emphasized the disabled ARE made in the image of God. Darold personifies so many disabled people for me. Everyone I have had the privilege to encounter has taught me about love. Thank you for sharing Beth’s post!

    • Reply Valerie Riese November 6, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      Thanks, Donna! It’s funny you say that every disabled person you’ve encountered has taught you about love, because I actually had to decide whom of many clients to write about! I chose Darold because he truly has always held such a soft spot in my heart. I remember him as one of the most severely disabled people I worked with, and yet the most loving – without ever speaking a word.

  • Reply Theresa Boedeker November 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Love this post, Valarie. We are all made in his image, disabilities, weaknesses, differences, and all. We all have things to teach and ways to show God to others. Thanks for telling us about Darald, and using your words to reach others.

    • Reply Valerie Riese November 6, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      Thank you, Theresa! Your encouragement means a lot to me, and I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Darold.

  • Reply Tea With Jennifer November 7, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    This post really touched my heart this morning Valerie, I have a granddaughter with special needs & yes indeed she is full of God’s love.
    I have autoimmune conditions including chronic pain & brain malaise (cognitive dysfunction aka fibro fog) but I as you have found my strength & enabling in this time of ‘disabling’ comes from my heavenly Father.
    Bless you,
    Jennifer
    Tea With Jennifer recently posted…What does gratitude actually do for us?

    • Reply Valerie Riese November 10, 2020 at 8:12 am

      Jennifer, I’m so glad this post encouraged you on such a personal level. Doesn’t it feel good to reach out to others with similar struggles? I’m learning that we don’t have to hide our “disfunction.” Instead, we can celebrate our common strength and support one another in our struggle. We’re never alone.

  • Reply Lisa notes November 8, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    We used to visit a home for special needs adult every summer. The residents always made a huge impression on us adults who were chaperones as much as they did on the teens that we took. Darold sounds like a beautiful soul!

    • Reply Valerie Riese November 10, 2020 at 8:08 am

      It’s wonderful that people like you take the time to spend with the residents and to give the teens that experience. I’m sure the experiences those kids had changed them. Thank you for visiting and for sharing your experience, Lisa.

  • Candidly Christian is designed to be a safe place to where Christian women can get candid. We won’t be publishing any harsh comments directed at other commenters or our bloggers. We retain the right to moderate our comments as we see fit. By submitting a comment below, you hereby grant us the irrevocable, non-exclusive right to edit, delete, copy, adapt, modify, publish, broadcast, and/or distribute the submitted content on this website and/or other material created by us.

    Remember: From our side of the computer screen, we can’t see your tears. We can’t see your beautiful smile. We can’t hear the emotion behind your words or the tone of your voice. All we get are your words. Write them with love.

    Leave a Reply

    Link to your most recent blog post

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Read previous post:
    The Spirit of Fear
    3 Signs of a Spirit of Fear

    Fear can keep us safe and remind us to revere God. But a spirit of fear is an unhealthy taskmaster....

    Close