Thursday, April 11, 2013

Contacts and Clarity - The Lessons Learned By Being A Parent

Though my son is just 81/2 months old, and his surgeries were just a few mere months ago, it is easy to forget. Life is fast paced and filled full of the next crazy thing. I can so easily become accustomed to his ability to see, and forget about the miracle that God has handed our sweet son. Thankfully God gives us a weekly reminder that He is good. That our son can see, and that its such a blessing that they have the technology to help him see. How do we see this? Every week when we take Barrett's contacts out over night to clean them ☺ The process is becoming more of an art form that we are slowly mastering, and while we think we have it figured out Barrett is growing and the next week he might be too strong for that method. None the less, I am thankful for this weekly battle we face as a family. When we first take his contacts out he doesn’t behave much differently, but you notice a difference in his eyes, he looks threw you, not at you. We put him down and he goes to sleep like normal. But within a few short hours a long night begins, he wakes up unsure, insecure and afraid. Most these nights end in the dark early hours of the morning when he cant convince himself back to sleep and he just needs to be held close and tight to his mommy. I of course willingly oblige and we wrap up on the couch together and I talk softly to my darling boy while he touches my face, my hands, anything to be sure I am near. When a less early morning arrives and daddy rolls out of bed around five ready to put his contacts back in the really rough part starts. The kid HATES putting his contacts in! A battle breaks out that only subsides when both eyes are back to normal and he can see clearly again. Finally he is able to see, finally he is secure, and finally he goes back to bed. On most such mornings I curl right back up in bed and relish the hour or two more of sleep I will get before starting my day, but not today. Go back a few steps to the time when its way to early to be up and we are awake on the couch, his little fingers grabbing at my nose and mouth, his face snuggled into my neck not even watching his actions, he coos and kaas asking for reassurance, asking for hope and peace. How often in the darkest times do we cling to God, we bury our faces into Him and reach out for anything that feels safe, secure and like a little hope. We trust Him, but we make it clear that we aren’t happy with the situation. We long for the time when we will be able to “see” again, to know where life is going and why, to be secure. That’s normal, that’s good, and honestly I believe that’s healthy. But when we battle and fight against the very God we called out to in the first place to come hold and comfort us, when we fight the process that will bring us out of that dark place in our lives, we are shouting “I don’t trust you!” “I know a better way!”. We are wrong. If our hearts desire is to trust and serve a mighty God, then we must be open to the tools He sees fit to use in our lives, what a frightening and potentially painful thing. Who wants the hard times to let Gods grace and provisions shine threw us? Not one of us. But which of us hasn’t seen Gods hand so evidently involved and in control as we look in on someone else’s dark time? Who hasn’t been moved by seeing the strength and comfort he wraps around a family grieving the loss of their child? Or the courage given to those who battle cancer? The patients and love gifted to a parent with a struggling and rebellious teenager? God is big, He is mighty, and He uses YOU to shine his light to the world, just like we asked, but not how we asked. As a parent I wish putting Barrett’s contacts in was like giving him candy, that it was pleasant and enjoyable for him, believe me I want that. But being just a little bit smarter then him, I know there is no better way. I know that while it is unpleasant for a few brief minutes, the next week of clear sight way out weighs that difficult battle. You know God feels the same way. He looks at each one of us, His precious unique child whom he loves unconditionally and sees a way to something better, He longs for the best for us, He knows there is no easy way, but he will walk with us and make us strong. And after you have suffered a little while, God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. - 1 Peter 5:10 He will restore, confirm and strengthen us. What a beautiful promise of brighter things to come. No one wants to be tested by fire, but all of us want to be found pure and strong. The testing of our faith produces perseverance – James 1:3. Oh if only it said the good and plentiful times will produce perseverance, oh and more good times to come ;-) My son serves as a weekly reminder to stop battling with God, and to start embracing the challenge that’s going to make me see. To start trusting Him at all points in this continual, life long growing process. These ideas are not new ones, but they are easily ignored or forgotten in our worldly hearts that long for nothing but contentment. Just as my son goes right back to his old ways every week, until the next battle begins, we to quickly lose sight of these truths. We stop “needing” Him as much, we are confident, independent, willing to crawl forward on our own because we believe we can see what’s in front of us. until we get thrown another curve ball and our eyes are taken from us once again. So the next time your in a dark place where you cant see, be upset and call out to God, but praise Him for getting your attention, and reminding you that your always in need of more of Him. I praise God constantly that my son can see and experience life since not so long ago he would have lived a constant life of darkness and insecurity. But more and more I praise God for the lessons that being a mommy has taught me, the way it has drawn me closer to Him. I all to often cannot see and cling to a strong and mighty God who always delivers. And while I often ask why it has to be painful at times, I hope that in the future I will remember His promises and know that this to shall pass, and I can rest secure and safe in His loving arms. He will never leave me or forsake me, and he delights when I am in need of him. Just like my mothers heart delights in bringing comfort to my son, in holding him safe and sound in my arms. Oh how sweet it is to be loved by Jesus <3

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