Do you have those classic questions that people have been asking you over and over again since your unique parenting journey began? You know the ones I mean. That same thing or two you've heard people inquire year after year after year?
I know that I have heard one relentless question since the day my son was first diagnosed with Hemophilia A - Severe 18 years ago — "Will he ever get better?"
Somehow I think people just want their own worst fears assuaged when they ask this question. They look at me and truly believe that I am living their nightmare. And in a fast-paced, I-deserve-justice world, there just HAS to be a cure, things just HAVE to get better.
When there's no good answer
This is where our family has been most able to put the glory of God on display, despite being unable to give the world the answer it wants. No, our son hasn't gotten better in 18 years. Even though researchers have been working on a cure for decades, there still isn't one. But God IS good! Life is still good!
Life is hard
Don't get me wrong. These past 18 years have not been an easy path. I can remember one spring where my son had a serious bleed in his hip and needed daily treatment through a PICC line. He was wheelchair bound and the summer ahead looked grim. Our entire daily life was turned upside down in nearly every way. I can remember other times we spent imprisoned in our home. We could not get his bleeding under control no matter how much medication he received. Everywhere we went, we would end up leaving because of a new emergency. After a while, we didn't even bother trying.
In spite of hardship
Yet, I refused to believe that a Sovereign God wanted us to live in complete hopelessness on this earth. We saturated ourselves in His word and surrounded ourselves with others who would pray with us. Those things, combined with a vibrant sense of humor have strengthened and carried us through.
While it may not have always been neat or pretty, we just kept moving forward. Life had to be broken down into little, bite-sized pieces. We had to get our priorities straight. The demands of others had to fall by the wayside as we moved through each new phase. The Lord got never abandoned us through an inch of it.
Go bring others the cure
At this stage of the game, we see ourselves as "hope ambassadors." That old German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, is quoted as saying, "I might believe in the Redeemer if his followers looked more redeemed." Our family represents those redeemed lives! Yours can too. Every single one of us raising a child with physical, emotional, or behavioral challenges has that platform. People are watching us. When they see us respond with hope and joy despite our circumstances, it draws them closer to Christ.
Friend, the world is HUNGRY for the hope we have as believers. As we go through the daily difficulties of living above what the world considers grim, let our lives be an appealing invitation to that hope. Join me! My son may not ever "get better" but it turns out that Jesus is really all he needs to thrive.
"As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that as the last
he will stand upon the earth."
- Job 19:25, NET -