“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God!” Psalms 42:1
Have you ever felt that everything is place? Have you ever tasted God’s peace which calms your heart and you know that everything is perfectly well the way it is in your life? If not, ask your Heavenly Daddy to teach you to ask for this, because it is very important to know how to draw from the spring of peace! There are times when our mouths dry out and our lives seem like big wastelands, and this is when we need a big sip from this clean-watered spring.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me!” Psalms 51:10
I have often drunk from this spring lately, and my heart is filled with peace and joy. However, I feel strange sometimes, because I realize that according to the outside world people are supposed to feel sorry for me, because I have a very difficult life since my child is handicapped. Especially now that I don’t push Vince in a stroller anymore but in a wheelchair, I notice once I am among people that there are very visible signs: our lives are very different. This is a schizophrenic feeling, because I live in God’s immense peace, I do everything as usual. We go to kindergarten where we meet handicapped people, and for them to see us is natural. But then I waltz into a supermarket with Vince and the wheelchair, and I can immediately see from people’s reactions that we must have a pretty tough life and they feel sorry for us. (At this point I would like to mention that if I were in that situation, my first reaction would also be to show pity, but of course I would cover it up well, so the person sitting in the wheelchair wouldn’t notice it.) But this is not the case. We are in this situation.Vince sits in a wheelchair and I push him. Of course there are difficulties in our lives, but Jesus is the service guy, He is the one who oils up the cogwheels of our lives!
Then of course there is the everyday routine. We receive a lot of attacks as well! The devil has especially equipped himself on the thought level. At night I jump out of bed, I turn Vince from one side to the other, and I feel shooting pain in my palm. During the night I hadn’t moved my hand for a good few hours, so water gathered in the phalanges and it strains my hand. Of course the devil whispers: ‘it shouldn’t be like that! This is not what you deserve! Think of something and get rid of these burdens!’
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The grandmaster of poison tries other ways as well. He gives me such immense fatigue that when Vince sleeps in the afternoon, I take a nap too, and then I use his toxic words to flog myself for my powerlessness. ‘Hey, the weather is good! Finally you could be outside in the garden becoming one with nature, and instead of that you are sleeping? If you had an active rest, you could take advantage of that extra hour and a half, and it could crown your day.’
The road leading to going crazy is interspersed with many ill thoughts. One of them is when I suddenly don’t know where to turn when it comes to Vince’s development. When does the trach come out? How could we bend Vince’s legs at the knee and ankle? How could I figure out a way for him to lift his arm so I could teach him to eat on his own? Why isn’t his phonation developing faster? What will we think of this summer to avoid the playgrounds because now we cannot go down a slide together? How will I put him into the car seat without getting his legs hit?
Then of course we have the grievances of the past and the uncertainties of the future. Mr. Know-It-All is very good at blindsiding us with these as well. Vince was 6 years old in February, and instead of me feeling happy on this occasion, I was crying for half a day, and then I was holding back my tears for the other half, because all I could think of were the memories from the hospitals and all the terrible things that had happened. And as for the future, he has a free hand, since no one sees into it, so he can easily plant anxiety in me: when Vince becomes an adult, he may not be able to find a community where he can have a full life… Then he makes me read an article where a person in his thirties with multiple disabilities just wastes away in group home, etc…
Have you noticed one common denominator in these thoughts? They are very well hidden, that’s for sure…
Everybody answers right away that it is normal human need not to suffer but to live happily and to see that our children are safe. Yes, God gives a lot of blessings and joy in our lives. But there is one thing you need to know! There are and there will be plenty of trials in our lives, because God calls us to be tenacious as well. If you trust in Him, He will show his omnipotence among the difficulties.
To answer the question, the common thing here is that everything is about ME. I deserve better! I desire peace and quiet in the garden! I want to be the mother of a healthy child! ME! ME! ME!
When man ate from the tree of knowledge, in fact this is the poison he sucked into himself. It is all about him. If he gives to someone else or does a good deed, he expects something in return. As they say, ‘a thank you would have been nice’ for the good we have done. But if we ask God for wisdom, we realize that this is the twist in the whole thing. It is always about us, because the ruler of the world thinks this way as well. And if he governs the world this way, those living in the world won’t think differently either. But if you realize this twist, you can decide in another way using your free will. You can decide not to listen to the ruler of this world, but to listen to the Lord of the Universe, and you can choose perfect love that doesn’t expect anything.
One day I was praying, and my heart ran out of words. There was quiet and peace. Jesus showed me what He was calling me for. He showed me to stop the continuous want, the desire to get an answer to every question, the self-scolding. He told me to take rest in my Heavenly Daddy’s caring arms. How will I put Vince in the car seat? “Don’t think now, just rest in my peace,” Jesus said, caressing my soul. Will the tracheostomy tube get clogged up and will the kindergarten teacher need to change it while I am not there? “Don’ think now, just rest in my peace,” Jesus said with gentle care. It was so great to be with Him timelessly!
And then of course one comes back to physical reality and notices the God’s care doesn’t stop with the calming of the soul. He makes an exact plan for every moment. He puts together lots of people to ensure financial security not to have to move Vince in and out of the car seat. We are within reach for a car which I will be able to roll my son in his wheelchair into without having to bump his legs or without my hands getting cramped.
Then He drags me to go swimming during the week with the excuse that I need to exercise my joints. He knows very well that I have a hard time leaving Vince in the kindergarten, even though several teachers are able to take care of the trach-related tasks. But He gives me such pain in my hands by the evening that I rush off to the swimming pool the next day, and I don’t feel even a tiny bit bad leaving Vince, or thinking whether I deserve this. Thank You for Your perfect care Dear God!
And if someone stops me and asks when the trach will come out, I just smile and answer: it’s up to God’s plans!
“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5