This will not be a usual posting. Instead, I would like to take some time today to be honest and forthright with my feelings. I believe and hope that in what I post I am helping others know how to best support other families and friends who are dealing with extreme health challenges in their own lives.
I am exhausted of people telling me that I was given sick/disabled children because I am capable of handling the situation better then they would be able to do. The truth is, God does not give us trials because we are "prepared" but because he wants us to "learn." God does not give unhealthy children to one couple and perfect, healthy children to the rest. This is NOT God's plan. Instead, God has a greater plan in mind. He wants us to reach our full potential and for some of us (for reasons we may not ever fully understand in this life) we are given children with disabilities and health challenges. What does this teach us? This teaches us compassion, patience, Christ-like love and what the true meaning of life really is. For me, it has also taught me about the ugly side to myself, the side that struggles day to day, the side that sometimes questions the heavens, and the side that, yes in some awful moments, sees my children as those around me would see them...as disabled instead of as gifts from God. Never in my life have I become more close to my weaknesses than through the challenges I have experienced in the past three years. Yet, is this not part of God's purpose?
"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Book of Mormon, Ether 12:27)
I am still standing in the refiner's fire. My imperfections are probably too noticeable to others, even in my sharing my feelings today I am exposing my imperfect thought processes. However, I hope that perhaps in doing so, I will touch someone else, help another understand, and give compassion to him who is seeking it.
I want to live my life in a way that my Heavenly Father would be proud. I have a long road to finish and many, many diversions to my path that I must overcome. I do know, even in my most difficult of moments, that God will stand by me and not leave me. He will guide me through this process and I hope and pray that in the end I will find myself that much closer to his spirit and companionship.
Do I understand why Noah and Jonah were born so early? Do others look at them as being a burden on society, especially Jonah with his disabilities? No I do not always understand and yes others do comment and look at them as being liabilities. The truth is however, that God's plan is not designed by men. God has the ultimate understanding of why my boys started their mission so early and why Jonah has his disabilities. In fact, I feel prompted to share part of Jonah's baby blessing.
"Jonah, your Heavenly Father loves you. He has shown that love with the many blessings that He has already given you. He has watched over you in your trials and tribulations. He has guided your parents and loved ones. He has guided your doctors and nurses. He will continue to guide us so we will raise you unto the Lord to be a true child of God. Heavenly Father has a wondrous and amazing life planned for you; a life with service to your fellow men and God, with many blessings and responsibilities."
When I read the blessings of my boys I am reminded of their divine heritage and of their divine mission. Although I do not have a perfect knowledge as to why they must struggle so, I know that God does love them and that they are fulfilling their individual earthly missions.
So, dear friends, count your blessings in life and support those of us who are still amid the "learning" process which places us in the presence of trials. And if God calls you to a similar path, realize that it is for your growth and well being.
"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for thee." John Donne