We all face adversity that often feels so overwhelming. As I have thought of the trials of the last year and a half for Jen and Lowell and their family I just couldn't seem to find the words to express my love and appreciation for all they have been through and how they and we have grown.
When you are told you will have a baby with spina bifida your heart is broken, absolutely and positively broken. You just don't think you can possibly do it. As a grandparent you die twice, once for the baby and once again for the pain of your children. This is one of those life experiences when you must simply give it over to God and stay in the moment. If you start to imagine the future you just cannot do it. With God's help you can do all things. Nothing is impossible with Him at your side, but you have to stay with this day, this hour, this minute.
There is nothing I can think of that that can wound your heart like the suffering of a little baby~so innocent and sweet and pure. You feel so defenseless, so helpless, so useless as you stand and watch it. You wonder about the purpose this is serving. As I was thinking about this this morning I wrote this poem because I knew the answer was deep inside me somewhere.
Have you ever pondered the strength of a rope
One string alone gives little hope
But woven together~ one piece at a time
The synergy of rope's divine.
And so it is with your life, you see
Each time you face adversity
The string alone give little hope
Until it becomes a part of the rope.
Each time you're faced with adversity
And wonder where your God might be
That string is twisted round your heart
A part of the rope it does its part
To increase your faith and give you hope
He pulls you up with a piece of that rope.
We often fear that piece of string
Thinking how can I ever survive this thing?
But faith will bring reassurance and hope
For the Lord knows how to build your rope.
He picks each special strand and string
Knowing all along it is just the thing
To build and mold you as His own
And knows the rope will bring you home.
Getting older is really not so bad
It lets you see the strings you've had~
That conquered fears and built a rope
And filled your weary heart with hope.
So when you dread that strand or string
Think of the strength its meant to bring
Be prayerful and faithful and full of hope
You will be rescued by your rope.
Your trials will never, ever be more
Than you can handle~that is sure.
When looking back on all hard things
You'll understand the growth it brings
The Lord has every faith and hope
That soon you'll thank him for your rope.
In the midst of the trial its hard to say
I'm really thankful for this day
But once the hard long day is past
You'll know His wisdom and joy at last.
So if your rope is worn and frayed
Be grateful for the times you've prayed
And asked for help to be lifted in hope
He's helping you craft your own sacred rope. *
18 months ago if someone would have told me how much joy I would be feeling over this sacred experience we have had I would never have believed them. I have seen a miracle in my own life that is pretty astounding. Because of Hazel I have learned to love like I never dreamed possible. The funny part is it's not just her that I love more, but everyone else too. Everything in life is a little sweeter, a little better because the Lord has seen fit to bless our family with this beautiful little daughter of His. This is a sacred trust He has placed in our care.
I must confess I use to feel sorry for people that had kids with special problems~now I look at them in total awe. There is no group of people I have greater respect and admiration for than these. I feel my heart is so much softer, and I try not to take our blessings for granted anymore. This precious little girl is the crowning jewel of our family! To sit and hold her and look into her beautiful little face and see her smile is joy so enriching I cannot even find words to express the love we all feel. She is the essence of, "God is love!" Jen and Lowell, you are amazing in every sense of the word.
* by bjm 9.24.08