What could have been our undoing has actually become the making of us, our family. It’s God’s hand in piecing together a family that only he could have woven together. We aren’t polished or fancy-pants or hardly anything special from the outside. In fact, we can be fairly obnoxious and messy. And that’s on a good day.
We walked in the door close to midnight after prom night. Evan had vomit down his shirt, yet he was so full of joy after a night of partying it up at his high school prom. We joked that he wasn’t the only high schooler puking on prom night. (We joke because we were once these very kids. We wouldn’t want to see anyone living the lives we once lived. You know, that dark humor making light of the heavy stuff that’s actually hitting close to home.) But Evan’s issue – his was medical related. We made it up to the last minutes of the night without incident, thankfully. My husband said it was like landing a plane that was almost out of fuel. Get to the runway fast before we have a crash landing.
That’s how most of our days go. Always have. Whether we stay home or leave the house, most days have the potential to end in some sort of crash landing. Some days my husband says are like the Hindenburg crashing. But mostly, we usually all crash in our beds without anything more than a few scratches, tired bodies, and spent minds.
But here’s what I see. The big picture. We were two parents that always believed in Jesus but weren’t really living with Jesus until we were thrown into the world of disability. Sink or swim? Nope. We knew where the lifeboat was all along. We just never had a reason to jump into it. Disability was that reason. We knew we weren’t doing this on our own. We hit our knees fast … into that ‘lifeboat’ we went.
Paul Miller writes in A Praying Life that God often takes us through deserts to get to the end of us in order to find him. Of course, we have free will. We could choose to walk another way at times. But I’m pretty sure God would just guide us into another desert if he thought was going to be for our betterment. When it comes to the world of special needs almost every day I find myself at the end of me. I think this is exactly where God wants me. So I find him.
Disability has a lot of difficult days. But again, Paul Miller’s book pointed out to me when “we pursue joy directly, it slips from our grasp.” This reminded me of my mom saying when I was a kid on family vacations, “We are having fun now!” when we were having the exact opposite of just that. Telling us to have fun wasn’t going to make us have any more fun. You see, somehow in the difficult days we have found that joy has come out of our trials. We see God at work so much more clearly. My Evan is the catalyst that is bringing us all closer to God.
Evan is aiding in our transformation.
2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
If I had to choose between two types of prom nights. Time and time again, I will pick the one we just experienced. Hands down. The joy, the laughter, even the near crash landing and the puke. Because all of it is what God is using to bring glory to him. And it is the making of us.