I didn’t always say that on our special needs journey. I remember days when our son was young (now 37) that I wanted to quit, didn’t always like what I had to do, didn’t really think I could continue serving and caring and surrendering my wants and needs for his…and honestly, if God would have stood before me and asked, “Would you like Me to heal him right now?” “YES,” would have been out of my mouth before He even finished asking. He never did that, by the way, but there were years we prayed for a healing and had hoped to see it become reality. That never happened, either.
And then somewhere along the way…things began to change. As one begins to do things over and over, the hard things find a place with greater ease: serving at all hours finds comfort in knowing you’ve helped, cleaning up messes we once thought we couldn’t blends into, “I can do this,” caring for one who can’t care for themselves becomes, “I’m so thankful I can do this and I’m happy to do so,” persevering through long nights and even longer days turns into learning to surrender and yield to God with contentment that one is doing the right thing. Life isn’t always comfortable, fun, and easy, but through it we learn to choose what is right. As I learned to choose what was right, I began to have more joy. For me, it took time. And sometimes, even 37 years later, I need to remind myself that while our life is very different for many around us, it is a wonderful place to be and we wouldn’t trade it.
When I think about the many illnesses, seizures, allergic reactions, health scares, and daily care for Joey over 37 years, I can tell you I never thought we’d do it this long! I don’t think I gave myself the credit that I could do it this long! But the beauty of this kind of journey of caring and serving is that it is daily. We had daily practice and thus learned little by little what we needed to accomplish a lifetime of care for our son. We don’t count the hours or the days. We don’t count the cost. We count it as love.
If God were to stand before us today and ask, “Would you like Me to heal him right now?” I can tell you we both would say in harmony, “No, thank You. You made him just perfect—for us, and we are so thankful we get to do this!”