When I began writing for this column I knew that some of the topics would be emotionally difficult for me. This journey I am on is full of ups and downs, smiles and tears. The main focal point was going to be on being the parent of a special needs child. That is mostly true, but I can never stop being my other roles ( wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend) and they all work together to make me the person I am. I think that sometimes, as a special needs mom, we get so caught up in that one role that we lose some of our other persona. Caleb does require a lot of attention and I spend the majority of my day taking care of his needs. That does not mean that I don’t still worry about Cody and Alana. They are my children too and whenever they need me I have to be there. On top of that, my hubby needs his loving, happy (yeah, I gotta work on that some more! Lol) wife to show him how important he is to our family. Wearing so many hats gives me a headache!!
I try to stay upbeat and keep a jolly attitude. I said I try, not that I always succeed! Most days it is all I can do to just get through it. The stress has started to take its toll on me, not just physically, but mentally as well. I feel numb inside, almost like I just go through the motions without thinking about it. I have gotten really good at pretending to be happy, laughing at jokes, smiling, when inside I feel like a withering, dying flower.
But one of the wonderful things about having a relationship with my Lord is that He always knows what I need and He provides it. Just last night He blessed me unexpectedly at our women’s Bible study. I went because I needed a break from my monotony, not because I was expecting great things. (Yes, I am ashamed to admit that!) Sometimes that is when our greatest blessings come, when we aren’t looking for them. The message itself hit home with me. It was about how anguish can transform into joy. Some of life’s most horrendous trials can become our greatest triumphs. We should be delighted in our suffering because God is preparing us for a wonderful victory and blessing! That, dear sister, is a hard pill to swallow, especially for me. Was James really telling me to be happy with all the disasters in my life?? Was he a little touched in the head?? Not at all! Once I got over the shock and started really listening to his words, I realized just how much joy I have received through Caleb’s illness. To be able to see again all the wonders of life through child like eyes is incredible! The friendships I have developed because of shared common interests, or because they have felt a burden to pray for our little boy. I have been able to let go of some of my pride and realize that my sisters in Christ are there for me and I do not have to go through this journey alone! Yes, my anguish has been, and is being, transformed into joy!
After the Bible study I was further blessed with much needed girlfriend time. OK, so maybe my husband can’t quite grasp why talking on a parking lot until 10:30 at night is such a healing process for me, but my friends understand it! Next time though, let’s try a more comfortable spot, maybe Applebees??
It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world. – John 16:21
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