Deer in the headlights. Blindsided. Shocked. Suffocating pain. It’s what comes to mind when I think back to the early years of dealing with my son’s losses.
Six years ago I wandered about in a numb state, unable to wrap my head around the fact that my son had extensive brain damage and would never recover. I got up, faced the days and even attempted normal conversation but inside I wished life would end.
Today I’m better in a lot of simple ways, like wanting to get out of bed in the morning. Or sitting at the dinner table without crying. Guilt no longer haunts every waking moment and flashbacks have nearly disappeared.
My lips have remembered how to shape hearty laughter again. And often.
However, in many ways I will never be “okay” again. I’m forever altered, and I have a feeling that might be just the way God wants me to be.
This brokenness can propel us to experience the fullness of Christ more fully.
In the end it doesn’t matter how broken I am because Christ is my restoration, and I am whole in him. The days in this house may be dark with the deterioration, but the light of Christ infiltrates every moment with hope and promise.
As my son’s body deteriorates, I will rejoice that because of Christ’s resurrection, Calvin will be resurrected with a soul and body that only knows completeness and fullness.
When defeat seems to win the day with seizures, respiratory infections and damaged lungs, I will give thanks that spiritual gifts are not limited to healthy bodies and healthy minds.
When I complain and wish for a “normal” (at least a less exhausting!) life I will remind myself that this is the life Christ has called me to. This very situation in which he is eager to display his grace. I will look for that grace and not my own strength.
When Calvin struggles to breathe and I’m tempted to think God’s love is all dried up, I will sing Psalm 136 into the darkness. We will chase back the shadows with the true and living Word of God.
I will rejoice this Christmas that Jesus suffered more brokenness of soul than I will ever encounter. He suffered my brokenness. And because of that he groans in spirit for the heaviness of our suffering.
I’m no longer wishing my life would go back to “normal”. I’m not even wishing for the less-scarred, “happier” me.
Instead, I’ll pray he takes this forever-altered, broken me to show his surpassing power and grace.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:6, 7)
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