Your child’s greatest advocate is not you

Written by Jen Forsthoff
Published on December 10, 2021

As parents, there is a word that carries much meaning and significance as we strive to fulfill our calling to lead our children into the fullness of their God-given purpose and will for their lives.

This word is advocate

I strive to advocate as the mother of my three children, Charlotte (9 years old), Owen (6 years old) and Nora (4 years old). I advocate for all of my children. But of my three children, my oldest, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome shortly after birth, has required a level of advocacy that has left me feeling, at times, like I’m not enough. 

Limitations as a mother

Charlotte’s needs go beyond my emotional, physical, and intellectual understanding. I have needed to look beyond myself to find one greater than myself to advocate for my children. 

You might have heard it before, just as I have, “You are your child’s greatest advocate.”  This may be true to some degree, as we pray and fight for our children, but I want to shine a light on the truth of who the perfect, limitless advocate is for all of our children. 

I believe with all my heart that I am called and chosen to be the mother for my children. However, the weight of who they are and what they become goes beyond what I can carry, or what I have been asked to carry for that matter. 

Though I advocate for my children every day, there is one who is the ultimate advocate who fights for them. 

He goes before them. He follows behind them. He is all around them each and every moment of every single day of their lives (Isaiah 52:12). He has no weakness. He makes no mistakes. He is the perfect advocate. 

This ultimate advocate I am describing is Jesus Christ. 

Friend, counselor, defender

Jesus is the best advocate for Charlie. As we look back on these past nine years with Charlie, we have seen her ultimate advocate open doors for the right doctor at the right time. 

We have seen him heal her body. We have seen him protect her. We have seen him fight for her. Her perfect advocate gives us wisdom as parents when we needed to make difficult decisions. We can rest in the truth that she has the absolute greatest advocate fighting for her. 

Charlie’s advocate is constantly working on her behalf and directing our steps as parents. Charlie’s advocate is the perfect friend, counselor, provider, and defender. 

Jesus is the one who advocates in ways we never could, in places we will never be, among people that we may never see. In my human mind and body, I am limited in what I can do for Charlie. But with Jesus, there is no limit to what He can do. 

The ultimate champion

I run out of patience and grace, but Jesus’ love reaches deep and wide and has no end (Ephesians 3:18). There are places I cannot go with Charlie, but Jesus is right by her side—in her classroom, on the playground, in the lunchroom, on the bus (Psalm 16:8). 

He is right there with her, the ultimate champion who never leaves and won’t let her down. I will disappoint, I will make mistakes, but Jesus is perfect in all of his ways (Psalm 18:30). 

Jesus is the ultimate advocate for Charlie. When Charlie is grown and looks back at her life, I want her to not only see parents that fought for her, but I want her to have an understanding that Jesus was the one who truly loved her, fought for her, and has carried her every step of the way. 

Jesus is the ultimate advocate for Charlie and for your child as well.


Consider a few extra resources:

Trusting God’s plan for my kids

When you wish it were different: A special needs mama reflects on the joy and the uncertainty

Shepherding the heart of my special needs child

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Jen Forsthoff

Jen Forsthoff is the author of Chosen for Charlie: When God Gifts You With a Special- Needs Child and Champion For Charlie: Rise Up and Advocate For Your Child. Jen and her pastor-husband, Lucas, live in Michigan with their three children. Their oldest, Charlie, was diagnosed with Trisomy 21 at birth and has opened their eyes to the needs of families just like theirs. Raising Charlie, along with her experience as a classroom teacher and in ministry, has fueled Jen’s passion to positively impact families who face the challenge of parenting a child with special needs.  She writes, speaks, and advocates for families who need a message of hope and biblical truth to shape the everyday perspective of their role as the parent and champion for their child. In both ministry and educational platforms, Jen is a voice for parents raising a special-needs child. As God has opened doors through radio, television, community events/organizations, and ministry partnerships, she continues to bring a message of hope to families. You can connect with Jen at jenforsthoff.com and on Instagram @jforsthoff.

Read more about Jen

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