i almost missed it…

Can I be honest with you? Like virtually all parents, when we found out we were pregnant with each of our four kids, I prayed the same prayer. I asked God to bless that little one developing inside of my wife. I prayed that He would protect my child, that he would bless them with health and a full term stay in the Hotel Mommy. I even would ask God to let them come to know Him as their Lord and Savior early in their lives and that they would walk closely with Him their whole lives and not run away from Him like I did in my youth. But where my honest confession comes in is that I prayed one more prayer: I begged God to not give me a disabled child. Yup, I pleaded with Him for it. And the reason was that I simply could not imagine myself handling a special needs child. I did not think I had it in me and I feared how badly I would do raising a physically or mentally challenged child. But if I continue to be honest, I did not want to deal with the extra challenges. I knew what my limits were and was more than willing to tell God what they were. Then came my precious Timothy. On August 30, 2013, I got a phone call from Treshia’s doctor that changed everything when I found out that God had given me exactly what I had begged Him not to….he gave me a boy with Down Syndrome. But wait, I clearly told God through three other pregnancies that I could not handle a special needs child! I can’t do this! I can’t handle it!!

IMG_8492But you know what? From those prayers two years ago to now, I have learned an amazing lesson. I found out that my Timothy, and all of the challenges, difficulties, fears, victories and the rough road that we have had to walk is EXACTLY what I needed. And I was right…I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t handle it. This past year or so has been the most difficult of my life but the best one too. I am not joking either. THE BEST. Why? Because the very thing I begged God not to give me, and the very thing I could not handle, has become the thing that has driven me to rely on God. And while it sounds like such a cheesy cliche, He truly has given us the ability to do the impossible. No, I am not climbing tall buildings or stopping trains with my bare hands like Superman, but I am not only raising four children (one with special needs) but we are thriving. I can honestly tell you that I have grown and matured more over this past two years than the other 41 years combined. My wife has grown and become such an amazing mother and partner. And my two oldest children, Abbie & Zach, have become so much more tender, loving and aware of others. And they have watched us struggle through our challenges and have seen us break down in emotional and physical exhaustion and turn to the only source we had left…the Lord. They have seen, and experienced, an incredibly loving Abba Father come alongside us, strengthen us and carry us through. They really have.

Growing up in the church, I heard so many stories like ours and thought they were such cheesy Christian cliches. “I was at the end of my rope and God lifted me up and carried me through.”

“Give me a break!!”, I used to think. “God gave you the strength long ago but you never had to use it until now and you just found that strength inside because you had to and pushed through.”

Wow. That is so embarrassing to admit now. How wrong I was. How insensitive and how insulting to the Lord. But now I understand how wrong I was. I truly believe that I was right in my prayer with my children….I really didn’t have the ability to raise a child with special needs. It wasn’t there. I have hit the wall SO many times this past two years that I can say that without hesitation….I could not do it. But it was God who gave me the strength and ability to carry on and do what I could not do on my own. A daily miracle in my life. He gave me what wasn’t there before. And he changed me to become a better man, a better husband, a better father and a better child of the King….all by giving me what I did not want. In Romans 8:28, it says

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

I always read that verse before and was so confused because I would see those around me struggling with things like cancer and such and would wonder, “How is that good? I know God is working, but it isn’t good.” But now I see that verse in a very different light. Now I see that while I would never label things like cancer, disasters or even Down Syndrome as “good” things, I see that God uses the very things I hate and dread as ways to bring us closer to Him by making us rely on Him. If we don’t rely on Him, we won’t make it. But if we do, He works the impossible and walks with us and gives us the ability that was not there before. And we are better for it.

Now that’s what I would call the very definition of GOOD.


~ by kuiperactive on June 5, 2015.

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