The other night I was putting Reese to bed. She was gazing into my soul, and I into hers. We laughed and we hugged. It’s my favorite thing. I held her tight and begged God not to ever take her away.
I used to cry out to God and ask why. Why did you allow her to have Aicardi Syndrome and seizures and so many struggles. Why did you allow me to have a child who would receive such a diagnosis. Why, God? I just need to know why. If I know why, then I can move forward.
People would give me answers. You must have sinned. Or maybe Mario. Did you have an affair? Or maybe your ancestors sinned. Our doctor said it was bad luck. Some would say, “It’s because of the fall. Sin entered the world at the fall of man. We live in a broken world, you know.” This never satisfied me. Because why doesn’t your child have Aicardi Syndrome then.
That night I felt the fullness of joy that Reese carries with her, and I was thinking of that pat answer. And I say no. no. She is so much more than the result of the fall. She is not merely the consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve. She is a beautifully thought out, created daughter of God, who carries with her something. Something I cannot even define, but can only be described as a foreshadowing of what heaven will be like. When love is totally pure. When joy is not affected by daily circumstances. When relationships have all of the good stuff and none of the downside. She has it. She is so much more than what you describe. Please stop saying those things. John 9 provides a perfect answer to me--it is all for the glory of God. To point people back to God. The truth is none of us knows all of the whys behind Aicardi Syndrome, but I can tell you that I don’t care why anymore. The why doesn't matter because the what is so beautiful to me.
The next morning, I opened a devotional (Savor, by Niequist) and read this:
“When you realize that the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, that you could tell it as a tragedy, but you choose to call it an epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is. When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration. When you can invest yourself deeply and unremittingly in the life that surrounds you instead of declaring yourself out of the game, once and for all, because what’s happened to you is too bad, too deep, too ugly for anyone to expect you to move on from, that’s a good, rich place. That’s where the things that looked like curses start to stand up and shimmer and dance, and you realize that they may have been blessings all along. Or maybe not. Maybe they were curses, but the force of your belief and hope and desperate love for life has brought a blessing from a curse, like water from a stone, like life from a tomb, like the story of God over and over.”
And then it ended with a question…What events in your past felt like curses and turned out to be blessings?
Ummmm I have one.
Sometimes I hear how people talk about their children as such a sad story and I think to myself, I see it so differently. But I think that’s the point. We get to choose how we see it. When we see our children as beautiful and focus on the celebration of those unique beauties, that’s when those things that people may call curses, or the result of the fall, or even those things that were intended to harm us, those things stand up and shimmer and God says, oh no way. I love her. I meant this for good. Shall we celebrate?
We get to choose how we see things. One of the greatest lessons Reese has taught me is to ask God, “Will you show me how you see this person? Let me see what you see.” Oh man, try it. The world changes.