About Unexpected Blessings

When someone in your family is diagnosed with a special need, it can be difficult to move past the pain and confusion.

Why did this happen? What will our lives look like now? But living in a special-needs family can be a special blessing! Are you ready to face the future with hope? Speaking honestly about the challenges that accompany a variety of disabilities, author Sandra Peoples shows you how to:

  • Let go of false beliefs that hold you back
  • Work through the cycles of grief
  • Focus on self-care and healthy routines
  • Rebuild a strong faith foundation
  • Create support systems for yourself and others

Filled with real-life stories and hard-earned wisdom, this book shines a light on the possibilities and blessings that come when you see your new purpose in life—which was God’s purpose for you all along.


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"Reading Unexpected Blessings was like being wrapped in an enormously comforting hug that I didn’t even know I needed! It is both practical and emotional, offering affirmation to all special-needs parents. I know Sandra’s beautiful words will give fellow parents the tools they need to not only accept a diagnosis but also to thrive. Her stories and encouragement reminded me again and again of the immense joy found along this detour we’re on as special-needs families."

—Courtney Westlake, author of A Different Beautiful

"Sandra Peoples writes from the same vantage point as her readers. She’s a parent on an unexpected, challenging, and rewarding journey as she and her husband raise their child with special needs. From the first page to the last, she shares compassion and hope that equip parents to embrace their journey and help their families thrive."

—Jolene Philo, author of the DIFFERENT DREAM PARENTING series and coauthor of Every Child Welcome

"You may be 'cautiously optimistic' on your journey like Sandra was, but she guides you through the diagnosis to the differences a special-needs addition to your family brings, tackling topics of family, marriage, friends, and church as we learn to let go of the challenges that come our way so that change can happen and bring us from pain to purpose!"

—Dr. Joe and Cindi Ferrini, national speakers with FamilyLife and authors of Unexpected Journey: When Special Needs Change Our Course

"Sandra Peoples knows all about the heartache a special-needs diagnosis can bring. In this book, she helps parents like her to rise above the emotional chaos and breathe easy again. At each turn, Unexpected Blessings points us back to the hopeful promises of Scripture and the nearness of God."

—Jason Hague, author of Aching Joy: Following God through the Land of Unanswered Prayer

"For those struggling with the hardships of disability, Unexpected Blessings is an encouraging reminder that God’s Plan B is always better than our Plan A. With biblical truths, thought-provoking questions, and practical tips, Sandra speaks to readers who may be caught in their own cycles of fear and grief, and helps them to identify the blessings hidden within the beauty of God’s unexpected but faultless designs."

—Sarah Parshall Perry, author of Sand in My Sandwich: And Other Motherhood Messes I’m Learning to Love and Mommy Needs a Raise (Because Quitting’s Not an Option)

"This is a must-read that will bring hope and offer practical insights to anyone on the unchartered journey of raising a child with special needs. Read this book and learn from one of the best!"

—Marie Kuck, cofounder of Nathaniel’s Hope

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About Sandra Peoples

Sandra Peoples, MDiv, is a leading voice in the disability community as an encourager to special-needs parents. She has been a member of a special-needs family since the day she was born. Her older sister has Down syndrome, and in 2010 her son James was diagnosed with autism. Sandra is the executive editor for Key Ministry and Not Alone (Patheos), and her writing has been featured by FamilyLife Today, DaySpring, Parenting Teens (LifeWay), and (in)courage. Sandra, her husband, and their two boys live outside of Houston.