Friday, May 14, 2010

What is normal, anyway?

Photo credit: Simple Journeys

I recently perused a new blog... you know, one of those first-time visits where you check out one of the thousands of blogs you've never seen before, knowing you won't ever be back, but reading at least the whole first page anyway.

From my nosiness, I learned this blogger has a child with both physical and mental disabilities.  After my once-over I turned from the computer to tend to Tyler.  

He smiled at me as I picked him up, and I thought, "I am so blessed to have 'normal', healthy children."

And then I stopped and laughed at myself.

Since when are liver disease, feeding tubes, transplants, and a life-time of blood-work, twice-daily meds, and a constant vigilance against sickness 'normal' or healthy??

And yet, (more often than not) I see us as 'normal'.

Many occasions people have complimented us on how we handled the tougher times we've been through.

Two things on that: 

No, three: First of all, Thank you.  Your words and sentiment are very kind.  


 - We aren't anything special.  We have simply done what we had to do.  Whether it is middle of the night ER visits, plane rides to ICU, or threading a feeding tube up a baby's nose.  Those things had to be done, so we did them.  Plenty of other parents do that and more.  Or maybe they have different battles: behavior issues, learning disabilities, breathing treatments, various therapies or even coping with a loss.  You would do the same thing if it had to be done.  Nobody wants to do any of those things.  But they do them.  There often isn't much choice.

 - The strength to do those difficult things wasn't something we mustered up from inside ourselves.  It also wasn't some evolutionary parental instinct.  Sure, our love as parents naturally plays a part in taking care of our kids in both normal and extreme situations, but it isn't enough to carry us through.  We are weak.  But that's ok, because God has told us, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."
It is his grace that carries us through all things, and he that strengthens us for every battle we face. "For I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
And honestly, there were (and still are, if we admit it) times that we didn't actively rely on God and his grace & strength.  During those times, it was the prayers of others that God was answering and using to carry us through.

It is because of those times that we are so much more faithful to pray for others now.  Especially for those parents that play the role of doctor, nurse, or therapist for their children, and those that are facing challenges we can't begin to imagine.  Because what my seem like the insurmountable to us, is the daily 'normal' for someone else.  

So go ahead.  Compliment them, encourage them.  They need it.  But pray for them too.  Because they need that even more.


Kara said...

Amy,you said this beautifully! I am so thankful for those that pray for me because I also sometimes forget in my weakness to lean on Him:)

Cindy said...

Amy, you write in such a lovely way. Someday you will most likely see that what you have learned during this phase of your life, you will be able to apply later in life as well. Taking care of an elderly parent is much like taking care of a baby. The skills come in handy. My mother often tells me that she wishes she could do more for me for taking care of her 'but all she can do is pray for my blessing'. I tell her not to minimize that because it really is the best thing anyone can do for me and that those answered blessings are what gets me through each day. I know exactly what you are talking about.