October 16, 2009

A Time to Grieve

I've been going through a time of grief lately. It seems everywhere I turn ladies my age are enjoying regained freedom as their grown children leave the nest. Traveling hither and yon, local and abroad, many are going as far as the other side of the world and I wish I could go. Trying my hardest to be happy for them, reality grips hard and hurts like the dickens as the truth of our future comes more and more to life.

Dani had gone through several months of poor health lately. We've visited doctors, changed medications, and tried to look at every aspect of her life to figure out what's made her health so brittle. She's had hives for three years and diarrhea all of her life. It's draining and discouraging to think things will most likely never get better. Jimmy and I will be her caregivers for the rest of our days and freedom in our later years is but an elusive dream.

A few days ago, with grief weighing particularly heavy on my heart, Jimmy sent this to me at work. "I had 15 minutes of free time before I left so I sat down and was about to start reading the notes for BSF and Dani joined me. So I read 2 paged out loud describing what they meant. She loved it, she wrapped her arm into mine, leaned her head against me and focused very hard on what I was reading. It was a awesome scene and she loved learning. At the end of the reading she had tears in her eye’s. She loves hearing about God."

BSF is his men's Bible Study Fellowship and it's excellent teaching on the word of God. I cried as he described the tender spirit of our little child. Unable to communicate and struggling with life's chronic issues, Dani finds solace in the truth of God's word. What's more fascinating is how God loves her enough to transcends the bounds of disabilities to speak to her heart as only He can do.

God has taught me a multitude of things through the years one of which is to never give up. Though seemingly locked in the mind of a child, Dani can sense the Spirit of God better than most adults. She worships, she prays, and she believes just like a child and just as God instructs. Jimmy said it well, "I’m always amazed at her love for God. She is so much more sensitive than I. One day she’ll stand before God and he will say to her well done my faithful servant, you suffered Autism wonderfully for my glory. Her viewpoint of God must be so much clearer then ours. How we muddy things up."

Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you too have lost a dream. If so, let me offer a word of comfort. Grief is normal and it is good. It can be the father of great insight if we go through all the stages, but it's a long journey that takes many detours along the way. It's tempting to pick up residency at the rest stop of bitterness and anger, but that will only lead to more grief. No, instead we must determine to pursue God's purpose so that we can glorify Him. Only then will the trials of life be of value. If you are grieving today grieve with God. Rather than turning from Him turn to Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Please look at me carefully the next time you see me.
Please notice that I am small and weak.
Please listen to me carefully the next time you see me.
Please notice that I don't know much.
Like you, I was born helpless. I'm still growing up so taking
care of myself will take me a long time.
I need food.
I need rest.
I need to be kept clean
I need to be kept warm in winter and cool in summer.
I need to be taken in your arms or sat on your lap.
I need to feel your skin against my skin.
I need you to help heal my hurts.
I need you to play with me just so you and I can have some good times together.
I need you to teach me everything you can so I'll have a chance in this world when I grow up.
I need your patience. I know I'm not very orderly. I cry out for things like food and attention the second I need them. I can't help it and I know that bothers you sometimes. All I can hope is that you will be patient with me until I can learn to be patient, too.
Above all, I need to know you love me.
I need so much from you, yet I have only one thing I can give you in return.
That is my love.
Today and tomorrow and as long as I live.


Emily Honeycutt-Degler October 16 at 7:51am
My dear friend,
Today as I read your post, I was so humbled, and as I often am, brought to tears by the simple truth of God's great mercy and love though the eyes of one seemingly born for affliction. I do not claim to understand in its entirety why God chooses to allow this, but I have seen Him do it with my own motherly eyes. As you know, in I Corinthians 1:27 Paul said that God would use the simple and weak things of this world to shame the wise & the strong. In our world my child's and possibly even more so your child's life would be considered a waste and further evidence of a cruel God that stands afar and watches sadistically as suffering takes place. But, often it is in watching those sweet innocent faces behold the majesty and awesomeness of their Creator, the strongest and the wisest are brought to their knees. For it is impossible to deny God's power in the face of one so weak brought to tears in reverence of the One that holds her firmly in His grasp. In many ways the Danis and Grants of this world are the lucky ones, for I believe because of their life of affliction, get to behold the glory of God on this earth in ways that many of us cannot fathom.
God bless you, my friend. You and your sweet Dani are frequently mentioned in the prayers of this house. May God continue to use her to bring honor and glory to His name!

Much love, Emily


Cheryl Barker said...

Nancy, thanks for sharing so honestly. Since my kids are grown and out of the house now, I understand the sense of loss you must feel over the freedom that won't be yours. My heart goes out to you.

So precious how God is at work in Dani's life... By the way, He will be saying "Well done" to you as well!

Sheryl said...

My sweet friend, I just want you to know I am praying for you.

Life gets us bogged down sometimes, doesn't it.

Mine is that we may never have any financial freedom because of my husband's job situation. I may be working for the rest of my life...not what I wanted.

But, we must trust Him with what He has for us.

God is using you so much in Dani's life. God will bless you because of your faithfulness.


Abba's Girl said...

Beautiful post, so many people are afraid as Christians they must not grieve...

katiegfromtennessee said...

I am moved reading this Nancy, I don't know what to say...anything that would encourage you, because I don't think I'm qualified, I don't know what it's like...God has been with you all the way, I can tell, He will be with you the rest of the way too.

Blessings in Him,


Crown of Beauty said...

Hi, this is my first time to visit your blog. I read the last few posts you have written, but I just had to stop at this one. It brought tears to my eyes. How special your Dani must be to God, that He saw fit to give her to parents like you. How God must have known that you would be the best parents for her! And in the process, He has given you experiences that not many parents go through. It is a special privilege, with its special rewards! We could never outgive God!

This post had me praising God for the life that He is growing and maturing in you. I will look forward to reading more of your blog, as well as your online Bible lessons.

Thanks for sharing so honestly. Visiting here has blessed my heart today.