Choosing Trouble

My “word” for the new year is full. It’s my heart’s desire to be full of faith, full of joy, full of life, full of love, full of hope. I certainly have hope that my son will be healed. No one wants to see their child suffer, struggle, in pain. At the same time, we know that struggle produces strength, strength of character.

I read interviews with CEOs and other wildly successful people with dyslexia. They all attributed their success to it. It pushed them to get creative, to push boundaries, to be different and carve their own path. And every single one of them said they wouldn’t wish dyslexia on anyone and wanted desperately for their children to not struggle in the same way.

In this life we will have troubles. That’s what Jesus said. So, it’s true. We can’t keep our kids from struggle. We can’t keep our kids from getting hurt. We certainly shouldn’t keep them from breaking a sweat, but it’s so easy to want to jump in and help out when things are hard.

I don’t think I do the best job of pushing my kids to do hard things. I let them choose to not try new things. I let them do half the assignment. I help finish the chore to my satisfaction. But maybe knowing that God chooses trouble for us, knowing the good that He’s bringing out of it, can help me know that letting my kids struggle through the trouble spots is a good thing, when they are surrounded and spurred on by a loving cheering section.

I say to that same teen all the time, “I know you’ll figure it out. You always do.” It’s easy not to jump in and help him because I don’t really understand what he’s working on. But maybe I need to adopt the same attitude with the others. How do you keep from jumping in? How do you encourage grit and the pushing through when it’s hard?

(image: not my kids, public domain)

Rejoice in All Things

Yesterday, at the end of evening family Bible time, we started taking prayer requests. I said that we should take time to thank God for everything. It came to me suddenly that we should thank God that no harm has come to Nathaniel, our son who has cerebral palsy, who’s had two brain surgeries. “Nothing shall by any means harm you.”

I said to everyone, “He hasn’t been harmed! Let’s do the dance of joy.” We jumped up and formed a circle, where we basically jump up and down while turning our circle praising and thanking God. It’s lovely chaos until one little boy knocks down another.

Nathaniel has been a struggle for my faith. How does a mother watch her limp son, drugged to sleep for surgery, thank God that no harm has come to him? When Nathaniel asked when he’ll learn to walk and you know he never will except for God intervening with a miracle, how do you thank God that he hasn’t been harmed? When his body hurts because everything is hard for him, how do you thank God that he’s been kept from harm? And I struggled. How is this God showing love? The questions, the thoughts that turn to self instead of to God.

And then it happened. I rejoiced. I knew God hadn’t harmed my son. God had a good plan. I can’t wait for the exciting next chapter.

Sister Post on Life in Christ – Christ in Me