Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Keep Reading!

photo courtesy of pixabay.com
I am the man who has seen affliction
    under the rod of his wrath;
he has driven and brought me
    into darkness without any light;
surely against me he turns his hand
    again and again the whole day long.
~ Lamentations 3:1-3, ESV ~

Over the last eight months, our youngest daughter has been receiving therapy through the Early Intervention Services in our state. This process is not new to us. Our oldest daughter has multiple handicaps, and our youngest was adopted with special needs. When they came to do evals and interviews, I smiled and nodded my head through the familiar process, but I was not smiling on the inside. 

When our oldest daughter was receiving EI, she had therapy five days a week and sometimes more than once a day. It was an insane schedule. If you add in all the doctors, labs, and specialists, it can sometimes feel like your life is spinning out of control. A little over a decade later and we are doing it all again. I have had a few moments where I felt like I just didn’t have words. I keep thinking, “God chose us to be this little girl’s parents.” I’m humbled by that and also very somber and reflective at times. You see, the first time around with our oldest was one of the most difficult seasons of my life. Every aspect of my life was under pressure, and I was starting to crack. Yet, for some reason I don’t understand, God has brought me back to this place. I would be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if I have what it takes to do it a second time around.

I don’t know about you, but there are lessons I have learned that I haven’t completely mastered. More often than not I have to talk myself out of worry, anxiety, quitting, etc. I’m a work in progress. It’s hard to get up in the morning sometimes when you feel the weight of what you have to tackle in front of you. When your child needs you for literally every aspect of their day, times two children… It would feel nice to slip in a verse like Lamentations 3:22-24 here that says,


“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    ‘therefore I will hope in him.’ ” (ESV)

Isn’t that beautiful!? You know what I love just as much as I do that verse? That if you read the verses before that, they will make you want to cry your eyes out! Here is a highlight reel: affliction, wrath, darkness, waste away, bitterness, heavy chains, call and cry for help, desolate, target…Here are verses 16-18,


“He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
    and made me cower in ashes;
my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness is;”
so I say, “My endurance has perished;
    so has my hope from the Lord.”

As my kids like to say, “Are you picking up what I’m laying down?” Oh my, I’m not going to sugar coat it. This road of raising children with special needs is sometimes so, so hard. Have I locked myself in the bathroom and turned the water on so no one would hear me cry, you bet. Have I screamed into a pillow? It wasn’t attractive. Have I yelled at my husband unnecessarily, isolated myself from my friends, left calls unanswered because I didn’t have the energy to care, neglected bills and responsibilities, uh huh. But you know what, none of what I feel changes the truth.  His mercies ARE new every morning. His steadfast love NEVER ceases. Great IS His faithfulness.

Lament away my friends, but never forget where your hope lies. Don’t forget to keep reading. Can you imagine if Chapter 3 of Lamentations ended with “Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall!” (Vs. 19) But praise God it doesn’t! Don’t let the pain keep you from the hope, from the joy, from the rest of the story.

I’ll try if you will.

Prayer: Father give me the grace to keep reading your Word. Help me to come to you honestly with my fears and pain, but to trust your faithfulness. Help me to look for and celebrate your mercies, and to rest in your steadfast love.

~Kimberly M. Drew

2 comments:

  1. Very hope filled and encouraging. A true picture showing that God is big enough to handle our stuff-- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thank you.

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