Joy Prom 2016

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)Drew and Cow

Amazing! Life changing! Spectacular! Beautiful!

These are just some of the comments I have heard describing the recent Joy Prom hosted by our church family, Western Avenue Baptist. What is a Joy Prom you ask? The easy answer is that it is a prom for those individuals with special needs. However, it is so much more!

First of all, it is a night where the body of Christ comes together to share the love of Christ to some incredibly special people within our community. And we do it ALL for the glory of Christ.

DevinOur special guest range in age from 14 to 70, and many of them have never attended a prom. So this is their big night to shine and have the spotlight directed on them. People with special needs like my son Drew are treated like kings and queens as they receive the royal treatment. They are the star of the show as we bend over backwards to show that we both love and care for them.

The Joy Prom is also a ministry to the families of our special friends. Many of these families face daily challenges that you and I cannot imagine. The daily tasks may involve assistance with feeding, bathing, dressing, etc. These tasks can be exhausting for these families. Therefore, we want the Joy Prom to be a night for these families to sit back and relax as they experience the joy of watching their loved one have the time of their life!

Finally, the Joy Prom is a ministry to our wonderful volunteers. This past weekend we had almost 400 volunteers pour in many hours of sweat and tears into making the event a huge success. They came with hearts prepared to serve and bless others. Jesus tells us to “let your light shine before others,” and that is exactly what all of our volunteers did.

While Jesus was on this earth, he said “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). But now that he has ascended to the right hand of the Father, we are to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:16). While Jesus walked on this earth, he was like the sun pouring out light. But when the sun goes down, the moon rises putting forth light as well. We the church are like the moon. Sometimes the light from the moon is bright, other times it is dim. But the light we see from the moon does not originate from itself, but rather is reflecting the light from the sun back to earth. And that is exactly what we as Christians are to be doing: reflecting the light of Christ back upon this world. And though the world can appear to be very dark at times, remember that the darker it is, the brighter the light.

13240149_10208208334639788_6972827022317099832_nAt Joy Prom this past weekend, the bright light of Christ was on full display, bursting forth in the dimly lit ballroom. You saw high school students throwing their pride in the trash as they danced the night away with our special guest. You saw people parking cars, preparing and serving food, investing long hours in decorating, fixing hair, shining shoes, taking photos, and cheering our guest as they walked the red carpet. Oh, the light of Christ was shining bright!

And the bonus is that not only did our volunteers have a chance to bless others, they in turn were able to receive a blessing. Lives were changed as our volunteers got to witness firsthand the works of God on display within our guest.

You see, I think the Joy Prom is an opportunity for our volunteers to see people in a whole new light. After spending several hours in fellowship with our special guest, the visible disabilities that were at first apparent faded away as our eyes were opened to see our special needs friends as people like you and I, created in the image of God. No longer did we see the wheelchair, the walker, or the disability.  Rather we saw the man and woman who is loved and cherished by God.

The challenge for each of us is to do this on a daily basis. Serving and loving others in need at a big event is wonderful, but my prayer is that it would be a lifestyle that affects how we treat ALL people daily, not just those with special needs. Russell Moore, the president of the ERLC, makes the point that the gospel is what allows us to see others in a whole new light, as individuals born in the image of God.

Jesus said that “to the least of these my brothers you did unto me” (Matt 24:40). That means we need to think seriously how we treat the single mom struggling with an addiction who poured our coffee at the restaurant, or the individual of a different nationality who makes you uncomfortable, or the person in front of you at the grocery store buying their beer and cigarettes with food stamps. Do we look the other way and walk to the other side, or do we treat them with compassion? Do we hide behind our theology and promise to ourselves to pray for them, or do we see in them the face of Jesus and remember that they are the “least of these” and seek to truly help them?

The Joy Prom was a wonderful experience for so many in our community. It touched the lives of our special friends and their families. It also impacted many of our volunteers. My prayer is that the long-lasting impact of the Joy Prom would be that it serve as a reminder that the Lord providentially places individuals in our path every single day. If we truly understand the gospel as the power of God that leads to salvation, we will be compelled to see those that cross our path with new eyes as we “let our light shine” before others by showing the love and compassion of Christ.


Joy Prom 2015

The church I attend, Western Avenue Baptist, hosted its first ever Joy Prom last night.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with a Joy Prom, it is a prom specifically for those with special needs or disabilities.  It was an incredible evening as we saw our church family and community joined together in showing the love of Christ to some truly wonderful and special people.

As today is Mother’s Day, it occurred to me that on this Mother’s Day, there are many mothers who awoke this morning with the gift of having witnessed their child attend prom for the first time. I know for my wife, no flowers or chocolates could replace the gift of the smile on our son Drew’s face last night as he walked the “red carpet.”

Since I am too tired at this point to sleep, I’ll just add a couple of observations and reflections that are floating around my mind about Joy Prom.

  • First of all, our special guest love to dance! I was worried that they may not be that interested in the dance part of the evening.  Boy was I wrong for as soon as the music was cranked up, they immediately flooded the dance floor.  It was awesome!
  • The youth at our church and Statesville Christian School (and other schools as well) were simply amazing. I had parents coming up to me all night long asking “who are these kids?”  They were blown away by how engaged these youth were as they dined with, danced with and just enjoyed hanging out with our special guest. I also heard many of the youth say this was the best prom they had ever attended for as one youth shared with me, everything about this prom was so “genuine.”
  • When the body of Christ comes together, some incredible things can take place. We had a tremendous amount of volunteers not only from our church, but from other churches as well. They all came with hearts willing to be flexible and serve wherever they could best be utilized.  No grumbling, no egos but rather hearts intent on doing whatever was needed to shine the light of Christ upon our guest.  Also, there were some in our church who took on some huge roles to make this event spectacular (and I’m hesitant to name names for fear of leaving someone out…though you know who you are).
  • Though our goal was to share the love of Christ with our guest (and I feel that was done), it was so incredible to see how our guest in turn blessed each of us. I’ve already had so many tear filled conversations, emails and messages from individuals telling me how they were impacted in some amazing ways by our guest.
  • Finally, I am so happy for those moms on this Mother’s Day (and for the dads as well) who got to experience their child having the time of their life last night. One mother told me her child had a “counter” and had been counting down the days to Joy Prom, talking about it every day!

Well, the decorations have been packed away and Joy Prom 2015 has come to an end, but the memories made and lives that were changed continues.  What a great night and what a wonderful display of the love of Christ.  It was also a reminder that God loves each and every one of us, just as we are.  I am already looking forward to Joy Prom 2016.



Drew’s List of Gratitude

Well, its 3:43 am on Thanksgiving morning and Drew has decided he wants to get this day started!

Drew with Calvin's commentaries

The saying between my wife and I is that “when Drew’s up, we are all up”.  By the way, check out the picture of Drew where he got in my office and was walking around with a couple of volumes of Calvin’s commentaries (my little theologian).  Anyway, since there is nothing on television and I am too tired to read, I thought I’d just reflect upon some things that I know Drew is thankful for.   While he can’t tell me what he is thankful for verbally, I know him like the back of my hand and am quite sure if he could speak or write, these items would be on his list.  Enjoy!

Drew’s List of Gratitude

I am thankful for plastic grocery bags.  It may not be the coolest toy in the world,
but I just love turning on every ceiling fan in the house and watching how the
air causes those bags to dance around, almost like magic.

I am thankful for music.  I love the way this music raises my spirits and comforts (and calms) my soul.  I am especially thankful for the song “The Alpha and Omega”.

I am thankful for my “very cool” younger brothers, Devin and Christian.  They love me so much and have never been embarrassed to be around me, even in front of their friends.  In fact, I think they would lay a whopping on anyone who ever tried to make fun of me!  Love you guys.

I am thankful for Dora the Explorer.  Yea, I know it may seem strange that a 16 year old boy like Dora, but you’ve got to admit she is pretty cool.  And hey, I may have my issues but you have yours!

I am thankful for my church, Western Avenue Baptist.  To me, it’s the greatest church in the world! Everyone there is always so nice to me and have always made me feel part of the family.  After all, we are all part of God’s family and these are all of my brothers and sisters in
Christ.  I am especially thankful for the choir, as the highlight of my week is getting to worship our Lord with them through music.  My crazy dad used to get worried that I’d be a distraction to others in church, for I admittedly really “get into” my worship, but he has gotten over his insecurities.  Yes, I’ve  been known to scream out loud during a song.  But as someone once told my dad (and set him in his place), I just worship like I know so many others want to worship and express themselves (but unfortunately are too worried about what “others” might think).

How I feel when I go to church!

But isn’t our heavenly Father worthy of such praise!!

I am thankful for McDonalds, and especially for strawberry banana smoothies.  My dad has a discount card and gets me a “free” one almost every day.  Its part of our father/son bonding time, which of also includes our time of walking around Wal-Mart.  People think I am different, but you should see some of the folks there!

I am thankful for football.  Need I say more?

I am thankful for without a doubt the best mom in the world!  She has sacrificed so much for me and loves me so much.  Most folks have no idea what she has had to deal with in raising such a cool kid such as myself, but I know she wouldn’t trade it for the world.  And the good Lord, while now giving me the gift of speech, did manage to give me the ability to say “momma”.  I think that was one of God’s little gifts to my mommy.  Mom, you are the best and I love you!

Finally, I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  While I can’t verbally express my faith and love for Christ, I can show it.  The apostle James said “I will show you my faith by my works” and that is what I try to do.  Thank you Lord for allof the incredible ways you have blessed me and my family.  I do love You and thank You and praise You.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Raising the Roof – Lessons Learned in Guatemala

Hello from the Lackey family!  I just returned from Cubulco, Guatemala on a medical mission trip and it was an incredible experience.  However,I must say I was glad to be home to see my family for I am a “homeboy” at heart.  I received some big hugs from my wife and boys, and Drew (who my dad calls the “kissing bandit”) was especially glad to see me!

“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” These are the words of the late John Wooden and I would agree with him that the family is very important.  However, what exactly is a family?  I mean, is it just a group of people living under one roof?  Or is it people who are related to each other such as mothers,  fathers, sons, daughters, etc.?  And for us Christians, what does it mean to be a part of God’s family?  These are some of the questions I came to see in a whole new light in Guatemala.  And I think some of the lessons I learned can be helpful to all families, but especially to those who have a special needs family member.

On my trip to Guatemala I was  joined by medical professionals from across the United States and Canada.  This incredible team went to the small town of Cubulco, which is about a 5 hour bus ride from Guatemala City, and treated those people with physical and spiritual needs.  Our team prayed with their patients and cared for them in the name of Jesus Christ.  There were many highlights of the trip, but for me personally one of the highlights was getting to meet two wonderful families, both who had a special needs child.

Silvia and Family

I met Silvia, a young girl who though she has some special challenges, has a big heart and a gentle spirit.  And then I met Mardoqueo, a young 10 year old boy who though he could not speak with his mouth, he could warm and move your soul with his incredible smile!  Both Mardoqueo and Silvia’s families graciously welcomed me and Lidia (my translator and sister in Christ) into their homes.  And though their homes are very different than our homes (check out the picture of their kitchen) and though their skin is a different color than mine, they made us feel welcomed and a part of their family.


Which brings me back to this question of family.  What the Lord really impressed upon me this week was that regardless of where we live, what we look like, how much food or money we have (or don’t have), whether we are disabled or are temporarily abled (I don’t think this is actually a word), if we are followers of Jesus Christ, then we are all God’s children and part of His family.  We are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28).

Someone in our group sent me a very helpful illustration about “family”.  Some people would define family as a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head.  However, if we push the roofline high enough, then we are all one family living under the same roof with God as the head of our family.  The same God that cares for the so called “normal” families also cares, provides for and loves those families that have been affected by a disability.  God loves and cares for Silvia, Mardoqueo, my son Drew and your child as well.  If you are feeling alone and isolated in dealing with a special needs child, then I’d urge you to “raise the roof” and realize that you are not alone, for you are part of a much bigger family than you may have ever considered.  And our God, as the Father of this family, loves you more than any of us can ever imagine and comprehend.  So just do it, raise that roof today and live under the banner of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the love of our heavenly Father.



Drew’s 16th Birthday and a Lesson on Shadows

On June 8, 1996 my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our first son Drew.  I can’t believe that he is now 16 years old.  Where did the years go?  It seems like it was yesterday when we left the hospital and brought Drew to our home in Charlotte.  I think we still have that “It’s a boy” stork sign that was placed in our front yard.

At our church, our family usually sits on the front row and Drew stands beside me.  The way the sun shines through the church windows, it casts a shadow right in front of us so that I am able to see Drew’s shadow beside my shadow.  Several months ago while standing with Drew in Sunday worship, I looked down at the shadows and noticed something that caught me off guard.  Drew’s shadow was catching up with my shadow! That little shadow that used to be at my waist was now above my shoulder!  It dawned on me how much Drew had grown and that the transformation of Drew from a little boy to a young man was taking place right in front of me, right there in the shadows.

I remember when Drew was very young; I would often imagine how things would turn out for him as he grew older.  At that time, his prognosis was still uncertain as he had suffered a stroke at birth and the recovery from such a brain injury can vary quite drastically.  I wondered if he would he walk, talk, be “normal”, play sports, go to college, get a job or if he would ever get married.  There were just so many unknowns.  I know for many parents of young special needs children, you have these same questions.  These questions are quite natural to ask as we all have hopes and dreams for our children.  And when that child has some type of disability, those hopes and dreams begin to be questioned and often turn into fear and concern.

But looking back at Drew’s 16 years of life, I can say that despite some of his limitations, Drew has turned out exactly like God wanted him to be, for I know that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).   He has been such a blessing to our family and friends and as parents, India and I could not be prouder.  And for those parents of young children that are still facing these questions about the future outcome of your child, I would invite you to rest in God’s sovereign purposes and plans, knowing that your child is a blessing and a true gift from God.  Look for all of the life lessons that lie within those shadows.   While the shadow of our Drew’s life has been growing before our eyes, he has taught us that true joy and happiness is not based upon the size of one’s house, bank account, the number of vacations taken or the car we drive, but rather by the size of one’s heart and the capacity to enjoy the presence of their Savior. 

Thank you Drew for all of the life lessons and now I get to imagine what the next chapter of your life will be like.   I love you son and I hope you have a Happy Birthday!!


Poem About Mothers of Special Needs Children

Here is a poem which was written by Erma Bombeck back in 1993 and published in Today magazine.  I don’t think it is a perfect poem by any means, but there are parts of it that are quite moving (there is one part that it talks about a mother hearing her child say “momma” for the first time that was especially meaningful to my wife).   I hope that some of you mothers of special needs children find the poem to be a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Did you ever wonder how mothers of handicapped children are chosen? Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

“Armstrong, Beth; son; patron saint, Matthew”

“Forrest, Marjorie; daughter; patron saint, Cecelia.”

“Rudledge, Carrie; twins; patron saint…. give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.” Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child.”

The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.””Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.”

“But has she patience?” asks the angel. ”I don’t want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she’ll handle it.” ”I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence. She’ll have to teach the child to live in her world and that’s not going to be easy.” ”But, Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”

God smiles. “No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.” The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?” God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she’ll never survive. Yes, there is a woman I will bless with a child less then perfect. She doesn’t realize it yet, but she is to be envied.

She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says “Momma” for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.” “I will permit her to see clearly the things I see—ignorance, cruelty, prejudice— and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”

“And what about her patron saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in midair. God smiles.  “A mirror will suffice.”


WABC’s “It’s Christmas” – A Divine Appointment

Last night, our family enjoyed an incredible performance put on by our church called It’s Christmas.  However, getting to the show for Drew and I was not so simple.  We had not taken  Drew to this show in quite a few years as the last time he went, he got a bit upset and we were worried that the production might be “to much” for him.   This year we decided to take him and see what would happen.

Taking a special needs child anywhere is not always as simple as hopping in the car and taking off.   Parents with special needs children often have to plan and plot in advance.  That is what we had to do with Drew last night.  My wife went to the church and our wonderful staff helped arrange the perfect seat for Drew (thank you August Mayberry!).   Drew had an aisle seat where no one would be in front of him, thus, there is no hair to pull and we had an easy escape route in case things didn’t go well.  So we were all set, right?  Well, not so fast!

We left at 6:30 for the 7:00 show and a few miles down the road, we had a flat tire.  I thought, I’ll just change the tire and we will be on our way.  Not so fast!  I tried and tried but could not get the lug nuts off.  Okay, I’ll call my dad and he can get them off (he can do anything – I want to be my dad when I grow up!!).  Well, not so fast!  My dad couldn’t get them off either.  He had to go to the farm and get some other tools and we eventually got the lug nuts off and the tire changed.

Ah, now we are all set to make the show.  Not so fast!  As I pulled of the exit, my car started shaking violently and a light came on that said ‘”engine powering down”.  I coasted into the Sheets parking lot and shut the car down.  Eventually, I was able to get the car started and we headed for the church with a shaky car.  Now we were finally at the church at about 8:15, and though we had missed the first half of the show, we settled into our “perfect” seats.  I was still a little flustered but was now ready to sit back and enjoy the program.  Not so fast!  I looked over at Drew just as the show was about to begin and he had a look on his face that I knew spelt trouble.  I looked down at Drew’s pants and they were soaked!   I suppose he had gotten a little bit too excited.   I wanted to pull my hair out but unfortunately, that was not an option for me.  My wife was the calm of this storm and ran to the car and thankfully had another pair of pants for Drew.  I got him changed and we made it back to our seats.  AND, there were no more “not so fast” moments!  We got to enjoy a wonderful time of music, dance, pageantry and worship.  Our church is incredible.  And “how great is our God”!

Rodney Harrison, our director of music, stated at the conclusion that all of us in that room tonight were there by divine appointment.  I just looked over at my wife and smiled because as Drew and I were having our problems getting to the show, I was ready to throw in the towel and go home.  But my wife was insistent that we still come.  She told me once we arrived that she really felt that God wanted Drew  to be there, despite what the “enemy” was trying to do to thwart our efforts.   She said that is why she had been so insistent that we make it.  She was right!  Drew was supposed to be there.  It was a blessing for him as he had a wonderful time.   It was a blessing for me as I heard a wonderful message of hope that I really needed to hear by my good friend Jeff Spry.  It was a blessing for my wife as she got to worship and sing with her family.   It was a blessing for Drew as he got to hear incredible performances by our choir, Mike Cline, Faith Matthews and Jessi Shannon.  And I think it was a blessing for those sitting around Drew.   He and I left as soon as the program was over, but my wife told me that many folks came up to her afterward and commented on how wonderful  and inspirational it was to see Drew enjoying the show.

Thanks to all of those at WABC that participated in the It’s Christmas program.  It truly was a divine appointment that I am so glad we are able to keep.


Guest Post by Devin Lackey

This month, we have a guest post by Drew’s younger brother Devin.  I thought about editing his comments but decided to post it exactly as he wrote it.  He is brutally honest and speaks from the heart.  I hope you enjoy.

Hi, I am Drew’s brother Devin and I am 10 years old (11 on December 1).  I would like to tell you some things about me and Drew.

Drew is fun but challenging.  He can be a pain in the rear!  However, I love him with all my heart.  One thing I will always remember is the time when my mom was sleeping upstairs, and there were all these clothes out for mom to dry.  Drew started throwing them up in the air.  I started doing it also for some reason (it was fun).  Then we started wrestling and playing, and then at the end of it, we just hung out together on the recliner.

Another thing I would like to share is about the song Alpha and Omega (Drew’s favorite song).   It gets on my nerves.  This song goes on and on and on and on and on, well you get the point.

One thing that gets me really upset is when other people make fun of Drew.    I sometimes will stare at people staring at him and I just want to say to them “what are you looking at?”  But luckily I don’t.  They are the one that has the problem, not Drew.

I chose Psalm 100:1 as our head verse because it reminds me of Drew’s love for singing (editors note: Psalm 100:1 is the verse  listed above in the heading for this blog).  Even though he can’t talk or sing, he sings louder than anyone on earth.  Sometimes at night, I cry thinking about hearing Drew in heaven singing in the choir standing right before God!   I know one day I will get to hear Drew say to me “I love you Devin”.   And I will say “I love you too, Drew”. 

Thanks for reading this guest blog by me about my brother.

By Devin Lackey


Just As I Am

Hello from the Lackey family!   It’s been quite a while since our last post and I apologize for the delay.  However, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who shared with us comments and words of encouragement about this blog.  We have been a bit surprised at the number of people who have stopped by to visit Drew’s blog and by those who have encouraged us to continue with updates.  We hope that you will continue to find these posts interesting, helpful and inspirational.

This month, I wanted to update everyone about a disability ministry that has been started at our local church – Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville, NC.  The name of the ministry is Just As I Am, and the mission of the ministry is to glorify God by ministering to those families that have been affected by a disability, recognizing that Christ loves all people, just as they are!  We officially kicked things off back on September 4th with our first Sunday school class.  We began with three and are now up to five amazing students!  All of these individuals are wonderful to work with and it’s incredible to see how God is working in them and through them for His glory.  I tell about everyone I talk to that if you are having a bad week, just stop by our class.   After an hour with these special students, you will have a smile on your face and a fresh outlook upon life. 

One of our students, Ben, always goes out of his way to offer compliments and words of encouragement.  He tells my wife he “loves her pretty brown hair”, or that “she is just a wonderful story teller”.  This past Sunday, he even told me that he thinks my hair is growing back!!!  Then we have Logan, who is always smiling and telling us about all of his adventures throughout the week – he is a storm chaser and a golfer (and he loves giving Mrs. Lackey hugs).  Then we have sweet little Gavin, whose face lights up like a Christmas tree every time he sees Drew.  It’s the funnies thing to watch him observe Drew, and he just smiles and smiles at all of Drew’s antics.  Then there is Chad, our newest member, and he comes in with such good manners.  His sister Joy helps out sometime with the class and it’s been great to see how he interacts with the other students, and he seems to really enjoy the class.  

Drew with the puppet Mel (short for Melchizedek)

I think the beauty of these individuals is that when they come to church on Sundays, they are coming with no pretenses or hypocrisy.  They are not seeking to impress anyone by pretending to be someone they are not.  Who they are on Sundays is who they are on Monday through Saturdays….and boy couldn’t our churches use more of that!!  They show up to church “just as they are”, fearfully and wonderfully made (see Psalm 139:14).

The goals of the Just As I Am ministry go beyond working with the students as we also want to offer assistance to the students families.  Several specific goals that we are seeking to accomplish are:

  • To reach out within our community to those families affected by a disability and offer a safe and loving environment where they may come and experience the love of Christ through the hands of the church.
  • To make families affected by disabilities feel welcome and included as a part of the body of Christ.
  • To raise awareness within our church body about the needs and challenges faced by families affected by disability, and to recognize that we are all God’s children, uniquely created by Him.

One way we are assiting the families is by offering a monthly “parent nights out”.  This will give the parents four hours of alone time where they can relax and enjoy themselves, knowing that their child is being taken care of.  Speaking from experience, having a special needs child makes it very difficult to have “date nights” and we feel this will be a very welcome and beneficial part of the ministry.  Trust me, these parents are most likely exhausted and can use and deserve a few hours of rest and relaxation.

If you live in the Statesville area and know of a family that has been affected by a disability and feel they may benefit from this ministry, please feel free to send me a note or pass on to them our contact information (listed below). 

Well, that’s it for this month and I look forward to sharing with you more about this ministry as things progress.  Thanks for stopping by!

In Christ,

Andy Lackey –


It’s Just Not Fair!

"I Love That Smile!"

Last month, I had the privilege of going to London with a group from my church.  On the flight over, I was joined by a young fifteen year old student from our church that was going out on his first mission trip.  He is a fine young man whom I really enjoyed getting to know.   I had a chance to chat with him about his school life, his interests in music, his playing on the West Iredell High football team this year and some of his career ambitions.  But then he said something that caught me a bit off guard.  He mentioned that he used to see my son Drew at his middle school.  Apparently, he and Drew had attended the same middle school.  So you say, “Andy, what is so unusual about that?”  Well, when he said that he used to see Drew at school, it dawned on me that he and Drew are the same age.  Because we were having this conversation about real life issues, I had just assumed in my mind that he was much older than Drew.  But he is exactly the same age as my Drew.  I was suddenly aware the fact that I have never had the chance to talk to my son about his school life, his interests, his playing sports or his career ambitions.   It was just odd and even a bit eerie to see right before my eyes what it might have been like to talk with Drew had he not been born with his disability.   I started to play the “what if” game and thought to myself that it just wasn’t fair…not fair to Drew, not fair to me, and not fair to my family. 

I suppose playing the “what if” game is one of those things that parents of special needs children play from time to time, especially early on in the life of the child.  We all have hopes and dreams for our children, and when those hopes and dreams do not work out like we had planned, I think it is natural to be upset and contemplate what could have been if things had worked out differently.   However, as the years go by, those mind games become more infrequent as your life adapts to the situation that God has blessed you with.  That has certainly been the case for our family as we are now at a point where we are able to look back upon Drew’s life and see all the blessings that he has provided.  But if your family has been affected by a child with special needs and you find yourself playing the “what if” game (as I did on my trip to London), then my prayer is that this post will inspire you to play the “what if” game, but from a different vantage point.

My wife was out of town this past weekend with our two younger sons (Devin and Christian).  Therefore, it was just Drew and I at the house and we have had so much fun.  My one-on-one times with Drew are some of my most precious moments and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.  But this weekend was especially great for I was able to take some time and reflect upon Drew’s life, and also think a bit more about that conversation on my way to London.  I did decide to play the “what if” game, but from a different perspective.  I started ponder what our family would have lost, as opposed to what we would have gained, if Drew had not been born with special needs.   

So, what if Drew had not come into our lives as God willed with his special needs?  How would our lives be different?    First of all, I don’t think life would be as fun as it is now.  Drew is such a fun kid once you get to know him and he adds so much variety and spice to our family life.  We are the family that rides down the street singing the song from VBS called I Love You More, with Devin using my Wolfpack golf head cover as a puppet singing to Drew, and all of us laughing and singing like idiots as Drew is getting hysterical (it’s quite a sight and yes, we do get the coolest stares from cars that pass us by!!!).  And when we go to the movies, we always sit on the front row (yes, it is tough on the neck) and there is no doubt as to which family is having the most fun.  Drew laughs and screams and throws popcorn….and as a result, we all have a blast!  I’ll never forget the time we were at Cici’s and some friends of ours from church were sitting in the booth beside us.   They looked up in the air and low and behold, a piece of pizza was flying above them like a flying saucer, landing right in the middle of their table (compliments of Drew).  Boy, I was glad they were friends of ours!!

If Drew had not been born the way he was, most likely he and I along with Devin and Christian would be spending our Sunday mornings on the golf course.  For the only time I used to mention the name of Jesus was when I would miss a five foot putt.  I am not going to go into my testimony here, but I will say that I was not a practicing Christian before Drew was born.   I did grow up in the church, but after college I had other interest and church for me was low on the totem pole.  I was living for me, money, possessions and golf.  However God was kind to me and used Drew to free me from that bondage.  As a result, my family and I now have a personal relationship with Christ, my wife and I have a stronger marriage, and hopefully I am now a better father.   All of this came about because of Drew’s and his challenges with his disability.

I could go on and on, but I’ll end by noting what an impact Drew has made upon those around him.  I know I have mentioned it before, but India and I get comments all the time from folks who say they enjoy and are inspired by watching Drew worship and enjoy life.   I think Drew and all special needs children are such wonderful visual aids for the glory and greatness of God.  God tells us in His word that we are all to walk in light, and I feel a special needs child reflects this light in ways that us so called “normal” people cannot.  There is no pretense or deception, for what you see is what you get. (I plan to expand on this in a future post)

So no, I don’t get to talk with Drew about where he wants to go to college, or what sports he is going to play, or what his career choice is.  But I do get to hang out with a boy that loves God, loves life, loves his family, and is a blast to be around.   And in his own special way, has been used by God to change our family and those within his church and community for the better.  Yes, I guess I was right after all.  It’s just not fair, is it?

Older posts «