Let's stick with 1 b. today, shall we?
The nice thing about a blog is that it is also a chronicle. That is, today I reread entries from before the lengthening surgery and am amazed at how quickly time has passed and how the events of this year have helped shaped my perspective on life.
Expecting parents typically respond to the question, "Do you want a boy or a girl?" with this answer: "I don't care, as long as it's healthy." Well, what if the baby you deliver is a perfectly beautiful baby boy with ten fingers and nine toes? You change your perspective. You realize that the answer to the question probably should be that you want God's will ... along with His strength to handle His will! Of course we all want healthy children, that's not what I'm saying at all, but more than that, I want to learn what He has to teach me through my children, and I want them to learn what He has to teach them through the circumstances that he allows.
Yesterday, Emily knocked a pretty hefty glass bowl off of a china cabinet and onto her leg, slicing her skin just at the knee. Needless to say, she was hysterical. The more hysterical child, however, was the little boy in the thigh high orange cast, lying face down on the coach, screaming in tears at the sight of his sister hurt. Now, from my perspective, I didn't know what to cry about more... Emily's bleeding leg or Ethan's bleeding heart! This little boy couldn't have handled watching his sister endure what he has endured for the last six months, and I'm sure the Lord took that into consideration when He perfectly formed these babies in my womb.
My perspective in August, when school started and therapy was quite painful for Ethan and watching his friends play on the playground without him was even more painful for both of us, was one of wishing we had never started this process! Those feelings come, I guess, when we "lose" perspective. What does that mean exactly? I suppose it means that we focus on the "now" -- today, and lose sight of the bigger picture. That's what happens when we buy Christmas presents that we cannot afford and our children really never asked for, when we fuss at our husbands about their balled up socks on the floor, when we cry that we're never going to lose those last 10 pounds. We forget that Christmas is about Christ, marriage is about sacrifice, and our bodies are holy temples, intricately and perfectly designed.
This past year, the Lord has helped me maintain a long range perspective ... He has kept me wondering what plans He has for Ethan. How these months of perseverance will serve him later on ... how these months of perseverance will serve me ... and Freddie, and Josh, and Emily as well. I don't know that answer, but one day I will. Someone once described our lives as a tapestry .... what we see is the back of the artwork, tangles of string and color. What He sees is the flip-side -- a beautiful, complete picture. One day we will see that, too. Sometimes, he allows us to see glimpses of His glory, His working out pieces in the design, His delicate weaving of threads. How beautifully He crafts our lives! What we need is perspective ... and patience ... as He works.
The picture below is my favorite of all the "fixator/surgery" pictures. And, it wasn't taken by me. It was taken by Ethan ... and showcases what he has seen for the last several months ... life from his perspective. When I found this in the pictures file on my phone, I was speechless for a few moments because no matter how much we love someone, we cannot truly know what they are experiencing.
The next picture leaves me speechless as well ... simply because He does know exactly what we all experience. This difficult glimpse at those few moments that changed history ... including me ... puts all things into perspective. When I surrendered at the cross, I also surrendered my rights to doubt His love for me ... to doubt His timing ... to doubt His mercy ... to doubt His plan. Oh Lord Jesus, keep molding me to be more like you, use my circumstance, my children ... to complete this work You have begun in me.