Friday, November 28, 2014

Insight into "Normal"

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. ~Psalm 139:13-16

I type this at this moment as I deal with great pain in my hands and joints all across my body. I grieve the loss of normal. I grieve that my body once worked well and now it doesn't. It all started when I was 22, when the downhill spiral started at such a young age it shocked me. I was athletic with a body that worked with no complaints then it started breaking down. It was gradual but more than I could take especially since many professionals had no clue about why.

Sixteen years later I sit in this pain, a new normal I have come accustomed to, yet I grieve because it goes away and I forget. It hits when it wants and as long as it wants then it does leave again for however long it desires to leave. It is a frustrating and unpredictable journey.

I struggle more with this invisible illness because I do have a "normal" that my body keeps returning to that is different from when the invisible illness attacks. I like to compare my struggle with my daughter's struggle with Asperger's but I cannot do that.

I observe her Asperger's on the outside looking in. When she seems to have a good day with no outbursts of any kind I tend to think this is "normal" then when she has one it is not "normal" so her struggle must be like mine. A struggle that goes from one "normal" to an "abnormal" so I feel bad for her but this is not true. She does not grieve over the loss of "normal" like I do.

I watched a video with her recently about what it was like for a person with Asperger's. It detailed the experiences that consume their world. She said it was accurate and I felt bad for her. She just looked at me and said, "Why do you feel bad?" "That is my normal." "That is what it is like everyday, Mom so I am used to it." "It has always been that way." I was just dumbfounded. Here I was feeling sorry for her and her condition but she was fine with it. It is all she knows.

I cannot compare my invisible illness with hers. I don't know what it is like to be her and she does not  know what it is like to be me. She just loses her composure sometimes when Asperger's overwhelms her but she is learning great coping skills. She inspires me so much. Her "normal" always was, my "normal" left me. I grieve but she doesn't. I am glad that she opened my eyes to this.

I don't even know if this article is helpful but the experience was helpful to me so I hope it will help some of you parents out there. These kids are amazing and they are made exactly the way God intended so we don't need to feel bad for them, they may be the luckiest of us all. Made differently does not mean it is bad, perhaps they are the true "normal" anyway. Either way it brings me comfort that no day is a mistake and that God has them all written down. His watchful eye is always on us and He is always with us so whatever our "normal" may be we have no need to doubt it or fear it. He is good.

PRAY:  Father, help us to trust your plan in our lives that seem abnormal when we look around. Help us to trust your perfect plan. Help us to remember you orchestrate our days. We can trust you are in control no matter what comes our way. Keep our eyes fixed on You. In Christ, Amen.


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