Friday, June 21, 2013

   "Once you've had a true glimpse of God's tender heart, you will begin to understand that if the Savior says "no" to a crying parent, it is because He's saying "yes" to eternal kingdom profit" (Beth Moore, Living Beyond Yourself). 

    No new mother is prepared for a child that is less than developmentally perfect.  In all our daydreams about having children, not once did those dreams include a child with a deformity, handicap, disability or other such challenges, (unless you are an adoptive parent with exactly that dream and then I tip my hat to you, the world is blessed to have you.)  We all say, "we don't care if it's a boy or a girl as long as he or she are HEALTHY."  I know firsthand how it feels when that dream falls short and we're left to help pick up the pieces, unravel the mystery and advocate for a child in a way we never thought we would have to. 
   Our 3 year old is on his way to an "official" diagnosis, but we have been told by every professional we've seen that he is definitely on the autism spectrum.  Albeit, very mild, but still exhibits classic autism behavior. 
   I was pregnant with our second son when Canyon's doctor noticed at our 2 year appointment that he wasn't using as many words as he should.  They immediately referred me to Early Childhood Intervention.  They told me he had sensory issues.  Six months later, they were saying Autism Spectrum Disorder.  He was accepted into the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) two days after he turned 3 and we are currently seeking a psychologist's diagnosis for exactly what his (gulp) "disability" is.  Let me just say, God's timing is perfect because if I hadn't already been pregnant with our precious Logan (who just celebrated his first birthday) we probably would not have been having other children anytime soon because of the challenges we face with Canyon. 
   Upon hearing that something was "wrong" with my child, I met that with all the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. At first, I denied that he was different, "just because my child doesn't do what all the OTHER kids are doing, HE'S the one with the disability?  Maybe HE'S doing it right and everyone else is wrong," I still chuckle at that one. 
   Anger-I cannot tell you how many times I railed at God until I had no more words, voice or tears and then fell into his patient and loving arms to allow his comfort to wash over me.  We have such a tender God and that is what the quote at the beginning is all about.  I have shed so many tears over my precious boy.  Tears of indignation that this is happening to my child.  Tears at the unfairness that he has to face this obstacle.  Tears of pleading with God to "fix" him because He is, after all, the God who heals.  I had this vision that God was standing by, stone faced, listening to my pleas and disregarding them because this was his plan from the beginning.  And please hear me, I never doubted this was His plan from the beginning, it's just a little harder to accept. 
   After reading this quote, my view of God changed dramatically.  He's not saying "no" to healing Canyon just because this is the path He chose for Him.  He's saying "no" to me, because while my plans for Canyon come from a pure heart, God's plans for him are perfect, without flaw, and so outrageously intricate and sewn into the fabric of so many lives that Canyon has to be EXACTLY who he is, with exactly the family he has, at exactly this time in history.  God has prepared a destiny so unique to Canyon and his abilities, strengths, weaknesses and yes, challenges that changing that would be catastrophic to countless things.  I love seeing my son through God's eyes.  The world says my son has a disability, but God says, "I have such a plan for Canyon that he has to be just the way he is in order to carry it out."  Praise you, Lord!!!
   One last thought on the comfort of our God...when God says, "no" to a crying parent, He isn't standing apart from us remaining unaffected by our sobs.  No, he's kneeling right beside us, his arms around us, weeping for us because, though his plan is perfect, we can't understand it and he hates that we hurt.  I know this to be fact because God is our parent.  And as a parent, I have had many situations where Canyon does not and cannot understand what I am trying to do.  He doesn't understand that my decisions are for his best interest and I can't explain them to him in a way that he will understand.  So he cries.  And because I am at a loss as to how to get him to understand, I sit down, I hug him tight and I cry too, because it's scary not knowing what's going on and I don't want him to be afraid. 
   So, Praise you, Lord, that when you tell me "no", it's only because you have a more perfect plan that I can't understand, because you would NEVER allow your children this much pain if it weren't for a perfect outcome.