Littlest is turning two tomorrow. That is just…. a miracle. Something that makes my breath catch and my eyes sting with tears. This event is something that many would not have expected us to celebrate; I think many would have expected us to be mourning. By all “medical” accounts, he shouldn’t have made it. Many times over he’s a miracle, a miracle of God’s creation and medical intervention. A miracle many people have been involved in and touched by. A little 22 pound, 31 inch tall, exceptionally strong miracle. Yet despite his miraculous survival, I’m finding that we’re still fighting the aphorisms of “They.” “They say” is a phrase that constantly precedes a nugget of warning, truth, or encouragement in my life right now. “They say that the first two years are the hardest.” “They say that hyperinsulinemia never is cured.” “They say that diabetes insipidus has a X% chance of leading to blindness.”
As I sit here with my cup of tea, on a beautiful Saturday morning, listening to the chaotic iPad play of the three kids counterpointed by the sounds of my husband working on renovating the back rooms of the house, I had a bit of an epiphany.
Enough of THEY.
What about Him?
I have never lived my life caring what the nebulous “others” really said or thought about me. I’m the free-style girl. The one who never planned many things far in advance—I had a plan, but it was a changeable plan… If you were to “type me” by the Myers-Briggs Typology Index, I’d be the ultimate “P”. Someone who makes a decision, but it’s fluid. If it’s a value or belief, I’m all there; but things that have to do with every day life? If someone comes up with a better option and can logically explain it, I’ll change my stance. I will not die on a ideological hill.
I cared what my family and friends thought, I care what my loved ones think. I love that when I talk to those who I have closest in my life, “they say” would be something hugely encouraging. “Littlest is such a miracle!” “He’s so strong!” “He’s such a fighter, and always so happy.” These are the “They say” that I care about.
I also care about what God says. Ultimately, even the “good stuff” from those I love pales in comparison to what He says. One of the passages of Scripture J and I have read together this last week is 1 Peter. Verses 3–9 were especially applicable for me:
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
See that part I highlighted? “He said” that grief of various trials is to test the genuineness of our faith. My faith.
I gotta tell you, in the last year, I’ve had many times where the grief of the trial has threatened to consume me. I’ve struggled with anger, I’ve struggled with depression. I sit here, cup of cooled tea beside me and the Bible on my phone… and I weep. I have failed. FAILED. The trials? I want them over. I don’t want my son to have these trials for the rest of his life. I argue in my head that Littlest will never have a chance at “easy faith” like most people have; he’ll have had more pain than 90% of the world would ever experience, and if he still loves God after all of that… the rest of us have absolutely no excuse. I’ve failed because I still find myself doubting that God is faithful. I doubt that He is good. I don’t trust Him.
But still He says
… “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
May I be like Paul and accept that Christ is made known through my weakness. May I show Littlest that even though the last two years have been hell on earth in many ways, God has used them to make him stronger. I want to show him that physical strength has nothing to do with who we are as a person. That our spiritual strength is much more important. I want him to see my brokenness. I want him to see the uglies of my soul being purified through Christ.
I want him to live.
The last two years has just been the beginning. The jump-start to being at peace, having faith, continuing on. The next ___ years are the ones that matter… the ones where I will look back at his birthday and go “it was good.”
Just like these last two have been.