Vince is signaling that he would like to turn. I get up, turn him over, and as I lift him, I feel blood running down my legs. I get a clear head in a second thanks to my period, I quickly turn the baby monitor on, and I am off to take a shower at 4:30 in the morning. I can barely raise my hand. I feel like every part of me is aching, and I am crying along with the showerhead, because I realize that only two days have passed since kindergarten started, and I am already dead tired. How will I keep going with this for a whole year?
I think about those teachers, who lift the handicapped children, up, down, onto the potty, sing the songs, and in the next moment two hands feed three children at the same time, those, who due to various syndromes are not able to lift their hands, sit up alone, or swallow a whole bite. How do they manage? I did two days with them, and I am already aching all over. They have been doing their jobs for years with joy and full of energy.
I feel a sudden despair that I won’t be able to let Vince fully go. He can be part of a community, but because of his tracheostomy tube I have to be with him all the time. We have started kindergarten, but the only thing that’s changed is that I have to lift him more often, and I have to get up at dawn, so we make it to the kindergarten before rush hour. I have already been providing for Vince night and day, beyond my strength, but now I have to pick him up three times as much as before. My hands hurt. The pain doesn’t go away. They hurt already in the morning, when I drive the car, and even when a hold a glass. What else is coming? I can’t afford to get sick and weak, because then who will take care of Vince?
Then under the shower I am suddenly filled with Love, God strokes my soul and says: … I will provide. I shower myself into prayer, I ask for strength, and mostly mercy for our current situation. And in an hour a miracle happens. The family is still asleep, but I am already praying on the phone with two other moms. For the first time ever Jesus is speaking to us in a conference call. I start crying, I give every burden to Him, and during the prayer I can feel that my legs are tingling, as if God was massaging them with His own hands, so my body can feel lighter.
“Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Timothy 4:14-16
Then the rat race begins, this time the phone wakes me at 5 AM. Prayer, exercise, preparing breakfast, inhaling with Vince, putting him on the potty chair, getting him dressed, and off we are in the car and on the way to the kindergarten. Nothing’s changed, yet I am exuberant. Vince does his tasks easily, he exercises, he is happy to participate in the session, the teachers completely take on my role, and I sneak out to the hallway. I give thanks to God that I’ll have a free hour, and in the meantime Vince is not only safe but his face is full of enthusiasm when I say good-bye to him.
I look at my phone, the reminder buzzes to call one of the moms whose daughter was born in May and lives with a trach. We talk about the important stuff. Who disinfectants the trach how, what we use instead of a scarf in the winter in order to give protection but allow air through the trach, etc. Then I ask to pray together for five minutes. I lean out of the hallway window, I give thanks to God for the care and certainties. I feel that joy overflows in me, because this mom tells me that when her daughter got the trach, a few days later she found my blog and was very thankful for all the information. God has perfect timing, as He urged me to start the website exactly on the day when this little girl was born, and this way I could pass more than five years of experience living with a trach to her parents. Isn’t this wonderful?
The free fleeting hour is still not over, I catch one of the moms in the hallway, whose daughter is in Vince’s class, and there I am, talking about my certainties that Jesus gave to us. In the meantime, I take a peek at my phone, and I see that my best friend and prayer partner sent a text message. She was rushed to the emergency room and is asking for a prayer. I need to go back to Vince, and I push him on his potty chair to the bathroom. I lock the door, and while he pees I pray for my girlfriend, so that everything will go well in the hospital. I feel that I can only say one or two sentences because of the circumstances, but then suddenly time stops. I am showered with God’s love. I am so thankful for everything! Because God knows that He can take me seriously, and He offers me work. This time my job description states that in one free hour I will connect with three souls through prayer. And now perfect Love runs over me, because I see that Vince, sitting on the potty, starts moving his legs as if he was walking on air. Left-right-left-right, and I am just smiling. My peace is so infinite like I have never experienced it before. My heart is smiling, since Jesus knows exactly that I only had the courage to write this on my prayer wall two days ago:
Dear Jesus! My Heavenly Father! I know that You are the Savior! I know the You are the Healer! I know that You are a living God, so I turn to you with all of my requests:
I ask Jesus, in Your Holy Name, that Vince may walk again and may live freely and without the trach. You said that we should ask, so our joy will be complete. I am thankful that You listen to my prayer, and no matter what is in Your plan, I accept that Lord. May Your will be done! Glory to You always! Amen.
Why didn’t I ask for this sooner? Because it seemed absurd. The muscles in Vince’s legs didn’t develop properly, he cannot sit or stand on his own, so how could I hope that he will once walk? He can only move his legs a few millimeters, but that’s all. How and where could I have faith from? The Lord told Paul in his letter to the Galatians that He wouldn’t take the thorn from his body that he gave him, but His grace would be enough. And of course I know that God’s grace gives complete peace, even if our circumstances don’t change.
Five years have passed since Vince’s birth, but now, there in the kindergarten bathroom, I understood something more, something that is beyond God’s wonderful grace. God’s love is without limits! He can hardly wait for us to speak to Him, to include Him in our everyday activities. He would simply like to be with us, and shower us with His Fatherly Love. As I’m looking at Vince’s feet, as he is walking in air, I suddenly realize that nothing is really impossible for God. I get the feeling, that it’s not even that important anymore if Vince walks or not, because I get into a world in an instant that is much greater and loving. To a place where these requests shrink somehow, because the Love that takes me overwrites everything. Two days ago I wrote this prayer on my prayer wall regarding Vince, and He showed me that here and now He’ll give me anything, no matter what I ask! He’s told me these words several times before loud and clear, but it was only now that I understood the good news/the Gospel which sounds like this:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”