I hope you’ve seen Christine Hoover’s outstanding post at Desiring God: Battling the Bitterness of Parenting a Disabled Child.
Many of us have experienced that day of birth (in our case) or diagnosis where disability is suddenly part of your life and future. And many of us have experienced what Christine experienced: “a year-long spiral of grief and confusion.” Or longer.
Our culture and our own sinful desires are ready to fuel our bitterness unless we turn to someone greater than we are. People have told me Paul doesn’t deserve the live he has, and that ‘good people’ like me deserve better; I have, too frequently, been willing to go down that path. We know we must often advocate to get services that benefit our children, which gives us skill and experience in how to tear into others, including others in our own churches and families.
We must turn to God or we will be consumed by our own hurt and bitterness.
St. Augustine describes God as being “closer to me than I am to myself.” Because He knows us intimately, He also comforts us that intimately. He fully enters our pain because, unlike most humans, He can fully handle its weight, emotion, and complexity. We can go to Him and be understood. And that is when our pain is eased. From Him, we gather strength to face another day. Through Him, we see others with His eyes and we realize that everyone has pain. In Him, peace finds a dwelling place in our souls.
I don’t know Christine Hoover and didn’t know this would be posted until I saw it myself at DG’s website. To say I was heartened by her subject matter and how she dealt with it is an understatement!
God is up to something – there has been more work written and more interest in what the Bible has to say about disability (by people who actually believe the Bible) in the past few years than ever before. The Internet clearly has allowed more of us to get to know each other and encourage each other, but it feels bigger than that. Even as dark and evil as these days seem, I wonder if God is preparing us for something big using those the world considers the most weak and useless? Let us pray that is so!