Sunday, October 9, 2011
She told me she wanted the "white picket fence" life that everyone else wants. She wanted three healthy children and a dog in a beautiful home in the country. The picture of her perfect life did not include this child that she was carrying...the broken one. I was in shock as I listened to her tell me that she would not be changing the diaper of an 8 year old..that just wasn't going to happen. And it didn't.
I shared with her our story...I share with what a privilege it has been to serve our children by taking care of their needs. I shared with her that she did not have to muster up the strength to handle this unexpected change in her plans, that God would meet her right where she was at and he would give her the strength she needed. But, mostly I prayed. It was clear that her mind had been made up long before I answered that phone. She would have the doctor deliver the baby early...without a c-section. Given the condition the child had, that meant almost certain death. She could chose to let her child die while still maintaining her position in the Church..no one would know the decisions she had made.
This little boy lived only for a few hours. I am certain his short life was not in vain. Today, this mom has that "white picket fence life as she wanted..at least it appears that way from the outside. But, I wonder. How did this little boy change her heart? What goes through her mind when she sees a Mother pushing the wheelchair of her child? Has her heart softened? Does she think, better them than me? ..or does she grieve the loss of this not so perfect child.
So, when I am out with my children who are disabled and I see others looking at us and then quickly look away...I wonder. What are they thinking? While, in the past, annoyance or anger would be my reaction to their looks. But, my heart has softened over the years and I have started to consider all the different emotions that could be stirring up in a person who sees a disabled child. They could be staring for so many reasons...curiousity, pity, compassion, or conviction... Are they holding onto guilt for the choices they had made? Are they grieving a loss that no one else knows about? The burden of caring for a child with a disability in nothing compared to the horrendous weight of hiding a secret that is crushing your spirit.
Trying to maintain the white picket fence life keeps out the messy, the disabled, the struggling...and it doesn't allow the Truth to enter...and it is the truth that sets us free. I am pretty sure that if I had a white picket fence... the paint would be yellowing. It would be chipping off and the boards would be warping. But, I would be free! And there is nothing better than feeling the freedom that only comes from God..
at 11:09 AM