Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scripture for the New Year and Some Thoughts

I was reading the Scripture of the day on my desktop (I love Windows Vista) and I thought that I should share it with you. Of course, I would love to share everything I read with you, but I don't have that much time to post it all! =0) Anyway, the Scripture comes from Isaiah 43.16 - 19 (funny, huh?):

This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

It's funny how this verse just showed up on the screen this morning. I don't know about you, but the bathroom is a place where I can think. More specifically, the shower (no wonder I can't seem to get out of there)! =0) I don't know, maybe it's the calming sound of the water or just the fact there are no distractions, but my mind just seems to wake up in the shower. Anyway, I just started thinking about all that I have to be grateful for and how God's plans have unfolded in "my" life (obviously, "my life is shared with others and theirs are shared with mine - not just my life). I thought about all the plans I had for my future and how they aren't completely as I had imagined.

Then, I read this morning's verse.

It just made me think of all the things I had planned for my life - you know, my ideas for how I wanted things to go based on what God was telling me. Obviously, things aren't quite how I had planned, but God had different ideas. No, I am not in ministry alongside of my family like I had planned, but God has a different plan. I am still in ministry, just not with my original plan. I am not in China or Hong Kong, or some other place in Southeast Asia, but in Florida . . . of all places! =0) I am not in Zambia. I only have one child. I cannot adopt the beautiful Chinese little girl like I had dreamed of. God has different ideas.

It's not that God doesn't want me to do those things - I know He does. Just not the way I had planned and not in my timing. Frustrating to find out that things don't happen quite our way, isn't it? =0) Funny thing is, it is never about us - there's a bigger plan than we can see, or maybe it's bigger than we want to see.

When Isaiah was born, I also had plans for him. Nothing I would consider being "written in stone," but I had "dreams" for him. The usual boy dreams for him, the dreams for a child without systemic mastocytosis and without severe food and environmental allergies. Dreams for cool birthday cakes and pizza parties, trips to buy ice cream in an ice cream shop . . . "normal" food. Of course, that's not the way things are - Isaiah can't even be in the same room when you open a bag of cheese popcorn. No "normal" pizza parties with that "perfect" store-bought cake - even going to someone else's party is a scary experience that makes me (and just about everyone else) stand ready to act for the "just-in-case" incidents. No group gatherings are easy - there's planning as to what Isaiah will have to eat, when to cook it, and how to keep him away from the others until hands are washed, etc.

I can't say that I have ever had to use an Epi for myself. I don't have one even prescribed to me and I have never anaphylaxed. Isaiah, on the other hand, has 6 of the things, has anaphylaxed around 15 times since he was born. The scary thing is that one Epi may not be enough to stop the reaction (hence the 6 Epis).

I have come to understand "normal" isn't normal and "perfect" on this earth isn't the idealistic perfect. The way things are right now are normal and Isaiah is his own form of "perfection." Our normal pizza is cheese-less with no wheat, soy, eggs . . . no milk - and it is "perfect." Our normal cake is the one I have to make for Isaiah because no store carries anything for him - and it is "perfect." Our cookies aren't store-bought and neither are the majority of our mixes, but they are still "perfect". There is no fast-food, no quick-fix food. That's our normal and our "perfect." It's not a bad thing and I am at peace with that. Please, know that I am not complaining - I wouldn't change it for the world.

Yes, I want to see my little boy healed and not have to worry about what the next episode of anaphylaxis may bring. I don't like to keep count of how many episodes he has in a year and I don't like the feeling that comes when you realize the "year" is not even close to being over with and he's just had his 4th or 5th reaction . . . leaving you to wonder if the 4 to 5 times a year will turn in to 5 to 6. The same with the developmental delays and the looming possibility of a diagnosis of yet another syndrome (and still the question exists of the masto affecting his brain and development). Of course I pray for him to be healed and I want others to pray for him as well. I still hope and believe for Isaiah's healing because I know God can. I am not accepting and welcoming this disease, but I am not resisting what God wants. Does that make any sense? I love my son for who he is and not for who I want him to be.

For some reason, this is where God has us right now. Apparently, this is where God wants us to be. Not my choice, but His - I am starting to accept that and make it my own. So, I say, "okay," not understanding why, but not wanting to know why either. His will is enough explanation for me and I probably can't even handle the reasoning. I try not to worry because I know God has Isaiah's best interests in mind as well.

I do my part and protect my baby as much as I can because he cannot speak for himself . . . yet. I am a parent, it's my job to protect him from things that can harm him. It's my job to teach him so he can eventually protect himself. This little guy I prayed so long for - just to exist - is God's gift and answer to my prayers. God placed him in my care because He wanted to give me the responsibility of caring for him. I may not know why, but He does. God has bigger plans - better plans than I have ever dreamed of. "Not my will, Lord, but Yours."

There was a song on the radio that made me think . . . I know, what doesn't make me think, right? =0) It's by Francesca Batistelli, and it says something like, "I'm letting go of the life I've planned for me and my dreams. I'm losing control of my destiny." Basically, she's saying, "God I surrender to Your plans because mine aren't quite right." It's not my way, but His that counts.

As this new year begins, in all its uncertainty, I need to remember that God has plans for the way things should go. No, we aren't puppets - there is still free will. Yes, we can mess things up for ourselves . . . and others can "mess" things up for us as well (frustrating, that free will). =0) Relaxing in His will is difficult because we want so badly to make things our idealistic "normal" and "perfect," but His will is truly normal and perfect. Our "normal" and "perfect" actually takes away that free will - just think about it, my plan for things to go accordingly to my plan isn't necessarily the way someone else would have things go. Messy? Yup. Life is messy. It's not structured, at least not the way we would like it to be. It's not neat, but it's life. "Good" isn't necessarily "perfect" or "normal."

Sheesh, it's amazing how a shower and a verse can make you redefine the way you think!

In this new year, I hope that you will find peace in His will and never lose hope and faith in Him. May you rest in His arms and plans for you! Happy 2009!


stitching under oaks said...

that was so great! i admire your courage and your faith. keep on keeping on! we never know what the new year holds...scary and exciting...but we know who goes ahead of us as well as through it with us day by day! happy new year to you too!

Jennie said...

I can feel what you are going through with your son, and I am thinking of you! Hang in there, and know that you are enough for him, and your love is strong.
Kids, no matter how "normal" they are, constantly present us with challenges, and I know that you are mom enough to handle it.