Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Sand vs The Beach

I hate the sand... But I love the beach.

I have had several people tell me I need to read "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".
While I totally agree, I should read that book, I feel, on certain days, I have come a million miles in 1 year.
The journey has taken me through wind, fire, and a crap load of rough terrain.
I have fought the meanest of honey badgers, and snakes have nipped at my ankles on a daily basis.
Now, you must understand, I didn't start out with a "great faith".
I started out with a "base faith".
What I mean is, I started out with a general basis of what faith is.
Believe in what you don't "see". I understood that.
I thought if I believed hard enough, I couldn't get burned.
I have learned, having faith doesn't mean you won't get burned.
It just means, that "when" you get burned, you know the fire is only going to make you better.
It's burning away all that trash you have allowed in.
It means, all the lies you were told are now dead and meaningless.
I didn't ask for this journey. I never would have; but it's mine now.
And I plan to "own" it... work it like a runway.
I plan to teach her to own it too... to work it like a runway.
Work those genes.... and rock 'em with a great pair of cowgirl boots.
I want to talk about the journey....
I remember the weather on the day I was married.
It rained.
I remember the weather on the day Lake was born.
It snowed.
On the day Lennon was born....
I couldn't tell you darn thing about the weather.
Because I was blind.
In the beginning.... There was a lot of doubt.
In the doubt, there was a still strong voice of hope.
I knew enough, to take that hope and cling to it for dear life.
Nearly strangling it to death.
In the beginning, there was a moment where I just wanted to walk away.
Yeah. I did. Most moms wouldn't admit it... but I didn't know how I was going to do it.
How was I... this girl who never even graduated college, going to raise a child with special needs?
Me... who had never a day in her life been prepared for something like this.
So, out of complete desperation, I got on my knees, right there in the hospital bed.
Now this was not an easy task, mind you... I had just had a c-section.
And those gowns open from the back.
So I raised the foot of the bed as high as it would go and I used it as an altar.
I turned on my iPod... to "the best" worship songs I could think of.
Then, I called out to the one I thought was punishing me.
"Why? You took my daddy from me... now this! Where is the love you promised?!"
He answered me so clearly.... so firm.
"I didn't cause this, or that. This is not from me, and I do love you. Will you let me show you?"
After a long cry... a lot of long cries... and a lot of arguing... and a ton of praying.
I finally allowed Him to love on me.
I had my head in his lap, and I wept. For a long, long, long time.
He just pushed my hair out of my face and loved on me.
He cried with me. We cried together.
A year later.... what have I done? Nothing.
Except, I finally shut up.
I have always questioned my daddy's death & his love for me.
I thought, "He didn't love me enough to put the drink down."
And I have believed that lie my whole life.
That I wasn't good enough .... I wasn't enough, and I never will be, for anyone.
Recently, I had a vision of myself at my daddy's funeral. It was 1988.
I was 10 years old... and it was raining. I was crying so hard.
I thought, "Even the angels are crying today. That must be why it's raining."
And for the first time, in this vision, I didn't see God as this big "controller of all things".
I saw Him as someone like me.
Sad.
Broken-hearted.
Trying to keep it all together.
That's when it hit me.
Yes... He could have saved my daddy in the accident that night.
But He didn't.
He had tried several times to put up road blocks in his life...
Knowing what lied ahead in my daddy's life.
But my daddy couldn't put the drink down.
...And that had nothing to do with me.
It wasn't that he didn't love me enough to stop.
He didn't love himself enough to stop.
I may never know why my daddy didn't love himself.
But for the first time.... ever... I felt like he did truly love me, enough.
Sometimes He uses experiences of our past to teach us.
Who knew the things that hurt us the most could teach us the most?
That has been the most revolutionary experience.
Because a child can carry so many lies with them and most people would never know it.
They carry it so well hidden in the depths of their soul.
It alters who they will become.
And until they learn to let go.... it will weigh them down so heavily.
It causes anxiety in the smallest of tasks.
It causes them to doubt their self-worth.
This comes out in different areas of life.... weight gain or extreme weight loss.
Maybe these kids end up on drugs.
Maybe they do worse.
But it's not the end.
At least, it doesn't have to be.
In the weeks and months after her birth.
I had vowed to see this through His eyes.
Not mine.
My fears of having a daughter were slowly being shattered.
My fears of being "enough" were burning away.
I have learned what patience is.
I have learned that I am not exempt.
I have learned that I am enough and I will forever be enough.
I have learned that He finds me worthy of such a precious and fragile gift.
She is my gift.
And her extra chromosome?
Well, that was something Satan "tried" to ruin her with.
But He made sure that didn't happen.
He made sure that extra chromosome made her extra sweet.
Extra loving.
Extra silly.
Extra joyful.
Sure, I could tell you we have thousands of dollars in debt.... for surgeries, and therapy.
I could dwell on that and the hours upon hours of the week I spend teaching her things that come as second nature to you and I.
Yeah, I could go on and on about how inconvenient therapy 5 times a week can be.
About how I have to plan everything around it.
I could tell you that she can't "soothe herself" to sleep as easily as most children.
I could have a pity party on the floor, right there where it's covered in stains from literally thousands of projectile vomiting episodes.
I could tell you about the stubborn streak so wide it would give your worst nightmare a run for it's money.
I could tell you I will never have the freedom of the "empty nest syndrome" when my kids are grown and married and living on their own.
I could cry for days knowing my dreams of touring Europe for months after Lake has graduated high school are shot because I doubt I can leave her for that long.
But I won't.
Because that is not what I choose to look at.
I choose to look at that sweet face, the one that smiles with her entire head.
I choose to laugh at her trying so hard to stack a block that she gets angry and throws it when she can't.
I choose to see the innocence in her eyes that tells her she is no different than the other children.
I choose to see the "want" she has to do something and help her channel it into "determination" to complete it.
I choose to be excited that she won't rush off to college and leave me trailing in the wind...
Instead, she will sit quietly with me on the porch in the morning and we'll drink warm drinks and laugh at the neighbors running late for work and running over their trash can.
I choose to applaud every snuggle, every hug, every smile, every giggle as if it's the first time she has ever done it.
I choose to learn from her along the way.
He never said this was going to be easy.
But He did say I would love it....
If only I would shut up and listen and watch closely.
So that's what I have been trying to do.
I see now, that He gave her to me to show me how to love unconditionally.
Most importantly.... how to accept unconditional love.
I see now, that He gifted her to me to show me that my worth is far more than something a normal human can offer.
It's a gift in the unseen.... and in the little things, it's hidden.
She's a gift.... And I accept this gift, wholeheartedly.
Will you see the sand as a nuisance?
Or will you see the whole beach and it's beauty?

3 comments:

Bumber's Bumblings said...

just breathtakingly beautiful!

Love you both!!

KariEllen said...

Wow! I cannot even express to you how much this post touched my heart. In my line of work I see numerous children with special needs. Unfourtunately many of these children do not get the love and attention that is required for their growth and development in life. I have only met you once for a short time, but let me tell you what a great mother you are! Thank you so much for not giving up! God has truly blessed you and your family. I believe that with my whole heart! If these parents I come to know could only care half as much as you do, maybe this world would be a better place. I am not a mother, although one day I hope to be, but by reading this post you have inspired me. You have inspired me to "let go, and let God". Not only in parenting, but in all areas of life. Thank you so much for being the wonderful person and mother you are. Lake and Lennon are so blessed. I look forward to getting to know you better. Until then, lots of love to you and your family.

Sincerely,
Kari Barteet

Alex Horton said...

The tension between God being in control and our free will.