Saturday, June 14, 2014

Shine

Today is one of those days I feel like God gave our family a secret. A secret that is available to anyone who wants to pay attention, but a secret that we get to live and breathe and feel in the depths of our souls.

Today, I sat in an audience and watched my baby dance.

On a stage.

In all of God's glory.

The baby I cried for and grieved for and prayed for. The baby I feared would be cheated out of this life.

Yet here she is, dancing.

Dancing with costumes and lights and applause and pink roses. Dancing with family and strangers and special friends right along side her, cheering her on.


My girl is not being cheated. She is blessed, and even more so, she is blessing.



I have noticed a trend in the special needs world lately to "prove" to everyone else that our lives are just like yours. That our children and our homes are no different than yours because somehow "sameness" is a goal we are trying to achieve to gain acceptance for our children.

Well, I'm sorry. I'm not one of those people. Days like today remind me that those of us that have children with special needs do not live the same lives that you do. And I'm not talking about the doctor's appointments, the life-threatening worries, or the therapies. I'm not talking about the sibling challenges, the IEPs, or the surgeries. I'm not talking about group homes or socialization or marriage struggles.

I'm talking about a secret we've been given. A secret we can't quite wrap our minds around, but one that we get to hold on to and enjoy every so often.

When I see my daughter -- a child they told me might never walk or live a fulfilling life -- when I see her up on a stage dancing her sweet heart out as best as she can, I feel like God thins the veil just a little and I get a small taste of what this life is really all about.

In these moments, I see that this life isn't about perfection or what you can or can't do. It's not worrying about standards or judgement or the world's expectations. It's about embracing and enjoying what you have RIGHT NOW.

It's loving life simply because you are alive.
 
And in these amazing moments, I don't just see this Truth. I get to live it.

I would be lying if I said that our "new normal" feels normal at all. It just doesn't. Life with a child with special needs is richer, deeper, fuller. It is physically exhausting and emotionally draining, but it is anything but the same. I am anything but the same.

Dare I say... in some ways, it is better. I am better.

Little hands brushing teeth and opening refrigerator doors are no longer mundane tasks, but evidence that hard work, Faith, and perseverence can make the impossible possible. Dirty shoe soles and sand grains stuck in leg braces are no longer annoyances, but reminders that mess is an important part of enjoying life. And awkward hops and banging metal across a stage floor are no longer interruptions, but a shining testament of what God can do through every life He places on this earth.

We are all valuable in His eyes. Every.single.one.of.us.


As I sat there in the audience today, I swear I saw God beaming right out of my little girl. His work -- His victory -- was right there in front of my eyes, and I got to experience it in a way I could never really put into words, which only proves to me that it is His work.

My daughter, she is special. Our life, it is special. Not because of our "needs," but because we are learning that the secret to this life is not about wanting something else or something more. It's realizing that what you have been given is more than enough -- and then letting it shine for the whole world to see.











3 comments:

julie berlin said...

Beautifully said!
Your faith lets Brooke be all that she can be because you let God's plan shine. We don't always understand this plan and it certainly doesn't seem fair, but your having the faith to let it play out, that is what I have seen in you and truly admire.

MelG said...

Love it! I agree completely! I recently launched a blog and my first entry has the same message: Special Needs moms are blessed beyond the "typical" and truly Special IS Special! I look forward to following your encouraging words as my Sister in Christ and as my sister in the "special" family.

In case you have a minute, my blog is RedefineSpecial.wordpress.com

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this beautiful story! I completely agree with you & I'm comforted to see that other mommas understand :)