Friday, May 10, 2013

If I Had It All To Do Over Again, I Wouldn't Change a Thing

...Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
~ 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV ~

Mother's Day -- A time to celebrate the gift of motherhood.  Yet, too often in today's culture, we see this esteemed role devalued as life is snuffed out as an inconvenience.  Rather than using prenatal and genetic testing to prepare for the road ahead, too often these tools are used to opt out of raising children like mine, children considered "imperfect" by the world.  Women are given the "choice" to say, "I will not raise a child who might have serious challenges."

As I celebrate the blessings of being a parent on this special occasion, I contemplate what life would be without the 3 terrific treasures God allowed me to bring into this world.  They have 2 siblings that have already gone ahead of them to heaven.  I spent many hours on my knees praying that the Lord would either grant me a successful pregnancy or take away my fierce desire for motherhood.  How I rejoice that God's divine plan was to give me the gift of being a mom!  And I can tell you almost every detail of those pregnancies that Our Creator saw fit to bestow upon me.

While my life without these 3 children would be free of hemophilia, anxiety and PTSD; free of severe allergies, asthma, ADHD, SPD and Asperger's; free of endless medical bills and constant appointments; free of IEPs, 504s, wrestling with schools, and taming bullies; free of rude, ignorant relatives, neighbors and "friends," my days would be so utterly empty and sad.  I tend to talk out loud more about the difficulties because I need encouragement from others to endure them.  Yet, they are only a part of parenting my remarkable children.

If not for these unique kids, I would miss out on so many things.  I would not have the stories from going around the dinner table every night sharing, "What was your favorite part of the day today?".  I wouldn't have the memories of a redheaded preschooler sitting in my lap on the patio, looking up at the night sky, singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star".  I would not have the hilarious experience of listening to an 11 year old son teaching the hispanic nurse at the hospital the German that he learned in school.  I would be missing the excitement of the energetic grade school girl being the only girl on her football team, and being one of only 3 girls on her t-ball team.  There would be no family camping trips, Wii Sports, Legos, Build-A-Bear Workshop, anime or Moonlit Movies.

Without my 3 children and all of the challenges that have accompanied them, I would not so readily see God's creative majesty and redemptive power on display.  Because of these kids, I get to see 3 incredible human beings, in need of character-shaping, who will each be leaders in their own right some day.  I delight in watching my eldest carry on my love of reading and writing, already dreaming of how she will be published.  I guide my son as he contemplates career choices, trying to narrow down which of his many talents to pursue in the years ahead.  Should he be an engineer?  Go into medicine?  I laugh as I hear him dream of marriage and already decide what his children's names will be when he is a father.  I encourage our youngest as she suffers rejection, seeing in her incredible potential.  The world could be blessed to receive her as a veterinarian or gym teacher or computer game designer one day.  Regardless, I get the gift of watching her splash bright color on the lives of those who lovingly welcome her.

If I had it all to over again, I wouldn't change a thing.  Yes, 2 of my 3 children have serious special needs.  But those challenges have only shaped their character and enhanced who they are.  Life would be so much less meaningful without them.  The world would be deprived without these 3 compassionate, resilient, energetic, unique and funny individuals.  We would all be poorer without them.  

How I wish I could make those who would think themselves humane for removing kids like this understand the error of their thinking!  Perhaps the only way I can convince is by enjoying the life we lead, reflecting God's glory as a shining example.  Maybe then they will know that a life with special needs is still a life worth living indeed.  And I thank the Lord for the myriad diagnoses in our family, because without them, I would not experience the joy of being known as "Mom" on Mother's Day.

PRAY:  Father God, every good and perfect gift comes from your hands.  These children ARE good and perfect gifts just the way they are.  Thank You for the gift of being entrusted with their care.  I am so grateful to be their mother.

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