Special Needs Giveaway and Trust is Hard

Jennifer Shaw Music October, 2012

Jennifer Shaw
This month I had two things I wanted to share with you. One is a blog post I wrote called "Trust is Hard" about some of what I've been going through lately - I've put it below.

The other is a giveaway and a project I am so excited about! I'm hoping many of you will get involved if you are a special needs family, or that you will pass on to any special needs families that you know.  

As many of you know, we have a son with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and we've been on a long road with him.  God has done a miracle in his life, though, and through lots of therapy and help, Toby is now doing great.

The years we've spent in the special needs community have changed my whole life perspective, and on the road I meet so many amazing families who are loving their children absolutely sacrificially.  They really touch my heart.

On my new album, I have a song called "Your Child" that I wrote specifically to honor the love of family and special needs parents' love for their kids in particular.  We've already had so much interest in this song from many national groups including the SPD Foundation, Joni and Friends and others.  I am really hoping to bless families who are dealing with special needs with the song.

October is Sensory Awareness Month, so, in honor of our son we are giving away a free download of "Your Child" to all special needs families for the entire month of October.  We want it to be a blessing!  Please take advantage or pass this along to anyone you know who would benefit from this!

Also, in just a week and a half, we are scheduled to shoot the music video, and we really want our special needs families involved!  We are looking for pictures, both of your special kids, and of your families that we will use in the video.  We want to make a tapestry that celebrates the love of family even in difficult circumstances.

You can send your high-resolution pictures to  We really need your help getting the word out - we have quite a few, but not enough yet, so we really appreciate the help!  I will need to have them by next Tuesday, October 23rd.  Be aware that you are giving us permission to use the pictures in the video, but also know that we do not plan to publish any names.  We would also love it if you would share your family's story with us when you send the pictures - I've already been crying over several beautiful stories this week!

Don't forget to get the new album if you haven't already - your support means so much to us!  You can hear clips from the album here.

We love hearing from you, so don't forget to let us know how we can pray for you and what's happening in your life!

In Christ, 


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Trust is Hard
God is Good


This has been a busy month for sure. The new album, Someday, has been released. I've taught two weekend-long women's retreats in New York and Michigan and given a pre-release concert for the album which involved getting all the new songs ready for live performance. I shot a new music video for one of the songs and prepped another. Through all of this, though, God has been reminding me again and again that this is about Him and not me.


I have been having a very different experience for me and it's caused some anxiety. With so much to do to prep the new music and the teachings and concerts for the women's retreats, I came down with a cold. That's usually no big deal, and I thought I'd be over it in time for my performances. I'm usually able to sing even when my speaking voice isn't clear, so I wasn't too worried. But the first retreat was rainy and cold, and even though I had an amazing time there with all the women, I was getting sicker and by the time we left, I had lost my voice.


I decided to break out the big guns and go on total vocal rest. I had five days between retreats, and obviously a speaker/singer without a voice is a little like a marathoner with broken ankles. It was pretty hard to be silent while working and parenting three kids, but I was sure I would be fine. I haven't lost my voice since I was 16! But my voice did not come back, and on the Thursday before the retreat I spent the entire day in prayer trying to figure out what to do. I was so looking forward to the weekend so it was personally disappointing, but even more so, I absolutely could not leave the camp stuck without a speaker! But I literally had no voice on Thursday - what if I just physically could not do it?


If I count back to when people first started hiring me to sing at their weddings and play their parties and accompany their Christmas plays, I've been a professional musician now for over 20 years. Since then I've performed probably thousands of times and I have never once had to cancel. I've had some wild stories and once after being stuck in traffic for hours in New York I literally skidded into the wings of a theater about thirty seconds before my entrance (causing the understudy to break out into sobs of relief), but I have always, always been able to do what I have promised to do.


This was really beyond my control. Interestingly, my topic for the weekend was God's providence and over-arching plan for all of our lives. Everything I was planning to teach that weekend had immediate applications to my situation. God always has a plan. God's plan is always better than our plan. We can't always see God's plan, but we can always trust God's character. God's plan is always for our good and He is always working. And the truth is, I totally believe all of those things. With my whole heart I believe them.


Why do I do this anyway? I speak because God has told me to speak. I sing because He wants me to sing. When He doesn't want me to do this anymore, I will stop.


If there's one thing God has taught me over the past years of my life dealing with my dad's death and my son's special needs and my own issues, it's that God is trustworthy. God is a good God, and His character does not change. Trust is hard, and I love to be in control, but really, control is just an illusion. None of us is really in control of anything. Everything can and sometimes does change in the blink of an eye. Everything, that is, except for God.


God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is faithful, and He has a plan. My plan seemed pretty good - I needed my voice to share with people about God. Why would He not want me to do that? And yet, I know there is always a plan. And even when I can't see it, I can trust that God is working things out His way, for my good and for His glory.

I'm happy to say that I was able to do the retreat. I couldn't sing, and that was sad, but it didn't stop God from working. I croaked through my talks and He gave me just enough to teach what He wanted me to teach. I'm still not at 100%, but I am trusting God. I still don't know the why, but maybe it was so I would write this for one of you. I don't know, but I trust that God does.


Where could you be trusting God more today? Is there something causing anxiety in your life? First Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."


God cares for you. That's you personally in whatever situation you find yourself. He knows, and He cares. You can trust Him. And there is no One more trustworthy.


About Jennifer Shaw Music 
Singer, songwriter, speaker, worship leader and now author Jennifer Shaw recently topped the national Christian radio charts with a # 3 hit song "Your Great Name." Her new book, Life Not Typical: How Special Needs Parenting Changed My Faith and My Song, has brought national attention to the issue of Sensory Processing Disorder. After being classically-trained as an opera singer at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, Jennifer became a professor of music at Cedarville University before she felt led into her current role as a contemporary worship leader. Her testimony includes tragedy and triumph, being the parent of a special needs child, and losing her father to Lou Gehrig's disease. With the release of her fourth album, Someday, her songs, including four singles on Billboard's Top 40, offer hope in any circumstance and also reflect her recent experiences on the mission field in Asia, Africa and the UK.
Jennifer Shaw Music
P.O. Box 340773
Columbus, Ohio 43234