Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who Needs Fixing?

We all have times of feeling totally helpless. Either so frustrated at not being able to change something that our anger gets out of control, or so scared we feel like we're freefalling. Sometimes all trust of God having control, and any concern for our Christian example seems to allude us at that moment, leaving some regrets about that when the "episode" is over .
But everyone's life also has issues that don't end, and we are meant to benefit from having them. We have the choice to play the hand we're dealt or live in bitterness. To learn to trust that God is planning out our lives along-side these struggles or to create ourselves a shroud of self pity. I'm not saying I don't indulge in fear or anger at first thought of hardship, I do still have a human nature to battle, and each battle has it's own meaningful results.
Like when I finally realized that our Down Syndrome son Stephen was not going to "grow out of it" just because I insisted that everyone treat him like a normal baby. It seemed like the only thing I could do to force him to be what I thought he should be, when in fact it was denial. We did meet with our pastor and deacon board a couple of times for anointing and healing prayer. It's hard to accept it when God doesn't dumb-down His plans to agree with ours. I knew God didn't want me to waste my life hoping He would change His mind about how He saw fit to fashion Stevie, but to thankfully accept him as the gift that children are intended, from a wise creator who doesn't need me to tell Him how things should be. Stevie will be healed as all those redeemed will be, and in the meantime I can choose to either be disappointed with God and my life, or get past it, knowing He is sovereign and doesn't make mistakes; to examine my faith and find out if it is strong enough to surrender to His purpose. A purpose I wouldn't comprehend even if He did clue me in to it.

We were enjoying our easy, "normal" life with a very undemanding little girl when the Lord knew that our lives were going to benefit from this new challenge. He knew ...of the blessings of sweetness from our childs' simplicity ...the rewards from the struggles for his accomplishments ...that our fears would fade into adjustment and discovery ...and would learn to be thankful for things that some can't understand.
Stephens' Creator already planned that everything Deliverance would learn to deal with in those years growing up with a disabled brother would be shaping her character as well, and adding those dimensions to her life that we all instinctively kick against at first, because He was her Creator, too. Her life was not meant to be shielded from unpleasantries. Even if you ignore someone or something in your life, it is still there. As parents we want to smooth their way but we couldn't take the bumps out of a road we weren't familiar with. We had to realize it was God's purpose to effect her life as well. We hoped she would learn to find blessings and become strong from the winds she would have to sway with. I'm sure she has felt second to our concerns for Stevie's life, every sibling does at times, but each child has put us through the ringer just as much as the other. For each one we have a different kind of prayer, concern, joy, pride. Through each stage of her life Steve & I have often wondered why we had been so undeservedly blessed with such a daughter. Sometimes it's a whole discussion in itself. We think God has been molding her nicely and even though she has doubted it at times, Stevie has always relished her attention. From the time Deliverance was born we had prayed every night for the boy God was bringing up to be her husband, if that is what He planned for her. Joshua has been such a big asset to our family in may ways that we can't help but love and admire him, but since this story is about Stevie I will only emphasize that Josh means the world to him. That alone says a lot about our son-in-law.

This would be another kind of story if I didn't have a husband that believed so strongly in standing by your family, no matter what. So many things can break up a marriage even when you have a faith as strong as Steve's, but the Lord granted me a partner that has created a track record with his love and commitment that I can depend on. I don't know what else I could ask for that would mean as much. The Lord deserves so much more gratitude from my life than I have ever given Him. He has proven so many things that I might not have known otherwise.

Ever since he was born I've always taken Stevie most places I go in public so I've witnessed Stevie being God's vehicle for "awareness" as people learn to share their environment and communicate with those considered to be less than desirable. I would have missed out on a lot if it were possible to get my own way and God had "fixed" Stephen when he didn't need fixing. I thank the Lord that He knew what we needed, something that was more perfect for our growth than we would have thought. Maybe not perfect in tangible ways, but a perfect on-going lesson in trust, and through it He is "fixing" me instead (a frustrating task I'm sure).

Welcome to Holland - by Emily Perl Kingsley
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The COLISEUM, THE MICHELANGELO-DAVID. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.
Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "WELCOME TO HOLLAND"! HOLLAND?? you say. "What do you mean Holland"? I signed up for Italy!!
But there's been a change in flight plans. Trying everything possible to gt what you want you finally realize there you must learn to enjoy what you have.
"The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a disgusting place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place"!
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole NEW LANGUAGE. And you will meet a whole NEW GROUP OF PEOPLE, you would never have met!
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there a while and catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has REMBRANDTS!!

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy and they're bragging about what a wonderful time they had there and for the rest of your life, you will say, YES, that's where I wanted go. That's what I planned! The loss of the DREAM is a very significant loss at first. But if you spend your life MOURNING the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about HOLLAND"


Kelly Malloy said...

I feel that way with our son who has Fragile x - it was part of God's plan to make me a better person.

Melissa said...

What a beautiful testimony of trust and growth!

Anita_D said...

What an amazing and thought provoking post. Thank you for sharing.

Vicki said...

Thanks for visiting me recently. A beautiful family...and we're the same age. Well, I turn 52 in about 35 days. Blessings and joy to you at Thanksgiving!

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

On a lesser degree... my daughter has a learning disability..... and I wouldn't trade her for the way she is.. she is so unique and so special. it makes her who she is.

She is who God made her.

thank you for sharing this precious post...


Beth K. Vogt said...

As a late-in-life mom, this is one of the "risks" you hear about: that you might have a child with Down syndrome. When I wrote my book Baby Changes Everything, I interviewed two older moms who had children with Down syndrome. Both said there was never a question of not having their child. One mom, whose son is now 19, said God has blessed her through her son in ways she never imagined. Your blog echoed what she said.
Thank you for sharing.

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing. You wrote something so beautiful. God bless you and your family.

ErinOrtlund said...

I love this post! It was this kind of writing that gave me a certain level of peace when we learned our risk of having a child with Down Syndrome was fairly high. You know, Linda, you would be the perfect person to meet with people like me, who have prenatal testing indicating high risk, or people who give birth to babies with Down Syndrome. So many pregnancies are terminated out of fear, whereas if people could understand what a blessing a child like Stevie could be, they could embrace that gift. I wonder if your local hospital could use you in that way? :)

Amy said...

Amen! Great testimonny to His perfect plan for us. He is good and knows just what we need. One of my very favorite bloogs is Big Blueberry Eyes @

I think you will enjoy her too! Her daughter Kayla has Down's Syndrome. I love this little girl. She brings joy to my life everyday. And her mom, Michelle, is a real neat lady too.

Barbara said...

Thanks for visiting. Nice to meet you. Ihave been scrolling through your posts.
This one I especially loved so thought to stop by here and comment.

Blessings for 2008