I never asked to be part of this group. In fact I was pretty sure that I wanted nothing to do with it.
Just over two years ago, I was given a life-time membership to a community that, before then, I had thought very little about. Since that day, I have thought about it every day. I did not understand my membership. In fact, two years later, I am still discovering the depth and breadth of it. As with any membership, there is a payment to make. But, there is also a long list of benefits (I am just now beginning to see the first glimpse of this) to having my membership.
To hear the news that you have a special needs child can be devastating. We dreamed for nine months of a happy healthy baby. I dreamed about my two children playing together and learning side by side. I dreamed of family pictures, family vacations, and family dinners. One day, all those dreams stopped. I became dead and dried up on the inside. The beginning of these last two years was the lonliest, darkest time of my life. My prayer was to just survive each day!
In a phone conversation with one of Rebekah’s therapists, I heard “the words”. She said, very non-chalantly, “From one special needs mom to another, … ” and went on to finish what she was explaining to me. I doubt she even knows what a load those words carried for me that day. Eventually, Slowly, Hesitantly, I began to read, pray, and research. I began to see that this was a membership and not a punishment. I began to make friendships with those around me also in the club. It took a long time for me to just accept our shift in “normal”. It took a long time for me to thank God for our child. (I remember that day clearly, sitting in church with my sister and my mother.) It took a long time for me to talk about it openly. I still cry a lot. I still grieve a lot. I still worry a lot.
I am beginning to come alive again on the inside. I began to realize just how dark the darkness had been. I wasn’t sure how I would ever bloom again when my leaves and branches were so charred and dry. God has done an amazing thing for me. He has shown me that not only does He love me, but He also has blessings in store for me. He knew my end before I had a beginning. He has a plan for my life – and that plan is for life abundant, not harm and hurt. He knows that this is an incredibly large burden and never intended for me to carry it. He is carrying me through it.
A couple of months back, I jumped the gun and planted some mums for some Fall color. Well, they dried up and died. At least, I had thought they died. I just about threw them out and started over the other day when I noticed something. There were new blooms!
I have been so scared for my mailbox clematis because this Summer was SO HOT. For weeks at a time the temperature was in the high 90’s. There just was no relief and not enough water for the plants. My clematis is in full sun from morning to night. It burned to a brown crunchy crisp. I love my bacon that way, but knew that my clematis was done for! Until just the other day, I spotted it – – new green leaves! I could not believe it! I had to laugh out loud because I had been forming all these thoughts together over the last weeks and there was another example of life springing forth where you least expect it.
I am going to hold these pictures dear to me as a signpost to remember that God can do anything. That He can take me through the darkest, driest times and bring life, joy, and abundance on the other side. My prayer now is to be a champion for my sweet girls, a helper to my amazing husband, and a help and aid to those around me.