Monday, November 4, 2013

What to say?

Recently, a family friend had an unsettling ultrasound.  The day they found out they were having a girl, was the same day they found out she has some major medical problems.

We can relate, so we had mutual friends/family ask us to contact them.  What would you say?  I just wanted to be real (no fluff).

Here is some of my email to those parents:

What do you say to a parent that just found out their child will be disabled/medically fragile?  Are there words of comfort?  Words of wisdom to pass along?
No not really, not in that moment…frankly for those of us that have been in that nightmare, it feels just like that, a nightmare.  Your head is spinning and you can barely put together a coherent thought.  A lot of words and support coming your way but you have no idea what freight train just hit you or be able to even get a grasp on to what it means, let alone try to hear and talk to others.  It all just feels like one big fog that you just want to lift.
And that is okay. 
So going through that experience what would I say?

It sucks.  It really truly sucks. And it is okay to feel that.  It does not mean you do not love your child or that your faith is failing.  Because there are far few things worse that having your own child struggle just to exist.  And it just plain awful.
It rocks you to your core.  A picture of what you thought your life/your child would be is shattered, shattered beyond recognition.  How could this happen to my baby?!  To my family?!  Hearing all of those…your baby can’t, won’t, etc.

Fear sets in.  Fear like you have never known before.  Fear for my baby.  And not in that overprotective mom fear, a real deep fear.  A fear that now I know bad things can and have happened to my child…so what will that bring?  Fear of the unknown.  You know firsthand the frailty of life.

All the things you think you know about babies and parenting are tossed right out the window.  For this is a path that is uncharted and will leave you feeling around in the dark trying to take care of your child.

How many times have you have heard, “God does not give you more than you can handle.”?  Frankly, that is crap (yes, I said crap.  Family, ignore that I just said that, sorry but it is).  God does give you more than you can handle, way more.  So much some times that is feels crushing.

And that is okay.

It shows us how much we need Him.  It shows us how much He is in control and how we just do not have control.  It shows us that our children are not ours but His.  It shows us how much we are absolutely dependent on Him (can I just say that I would like to learn those lessons another way…that did not include my children).  We cannot handle it but He can.  Those basic truths that you already know will be your hand holds.

And we hear, “God choose special parents for this special child.”  Blah, blah, blah, is what that sounds like at times.  I mean, thanks for the compliment but I have no need to be special or have my child be “special”.  The word “special” takes on an entirely new meaning.  That word is said often with pity and sorrow towards you and your child. 

All of it is hard.  And yes it sucks, and it may for a while.

But you walk through it, sometimes crawl through it, sometimes kick, scream and cry your way through it.  You will pray more and have more people pray for you than you even thought possible.  Not saying you will go through it with flying colors, but you will get through it because that is what you do as a parent…you do anything to help and protect your child. 

You will find love.  A deeper love than you ever thought possible.  You will love that child more and more (as well as your other children).  You will find strength and stamina that can only be explained as His divine hand holding you.  You will find joy, real true joy.

All of the good, bad and the ugly (Jeremy and I are both ugly criers, snot bubbles and all) are worth it because you love your child.  Oh how you love that child.  You will love that child no matter their abilities.  You will see past all of the diagnoses/medical issues/labels to just see your child, to see your child that you love and will be a part of your family (and don’t let all those doctors cloud that).

What you thought your life path would be has changed, changed drastically in just a matter of moments.  But that fierce motherly love kicks in at the same time.

Shortly after Brayden was born we knew his life verse:  Psalm 139: 13-18
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you…Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

For He knows the plans.


Elena said...

Great read, made me want to run over to Brayden,give him a hearty hug and whisper in his ear..."You have a wonderful mommy full of love for you."

Unknown said...

I am beyond amazed at the pureness of your post. You are exactly what a struggling mom needs to hear....the truth. That God and only God can breathe for us when we are so deeply burdened for our children that we forget how.

There are few things that can cause a mother to truly lose her sense of herself more quickly than to realize that she cannot "fix" everything bad that may come into her child's life. You have shown such clear and abiding love for your Heavenly Father, your husband, your children and your extended family in all of your growth through Brayden's struggles.

Thankfully, he, like the rest of us, will one day have a new Christlike body and be exactly who he is supposed to be in glory. I am so thankful to call you someone I know and love in the Lord.