Jacob the Thief
I was 99% sure as a child that I was a real life princess so naturally I spent countless hours dreaming of my fairytale life. My someday wedding was always set in a castle nestled among towering oaks somewhere in a European countryside. My dress was a work of art covered in the finest lace and beadwork. It had LOTS and LOTS of ruffles and was so fluffy I could hardly walk in it. My groom always looked like a cross between Prince Charming and Lionel Richie (I REALLY loved Lionel) and his only mode of transportation was a white horse of course (I’m channeling my inner Dr. Seuss). After the wedding would come a honeymoon spent on an African safari with the most majestic creatures on earth and my daydreaming invariably ended with a chateau full of boisterous, curly haired children running around barefoot calling me mama. That was my dream life! That was my fairytale!
Never once did I envision disability or brokenness or the death of dreams.
I suppose it wouldn’t have been much of a fairytale if I had!
Childhood is so full of hope and rich with imagination, but one day adulthood shows up completely uninvited and those days disappear with its arrival.
Ok, that might be a bit excessive, but it sure does feel that way sometimes.
Real life has a tendency of causing one to long for times past when big decisions were choosing the right hair bow to match your outfit and big disappointments were bedtimes with no dessert.
I longed for such days when we learned of our son’s disability. I craved the comforts of childhood as the realities of life came crashing down wave upon wave.
Jacob’s diagnosis was not a curve ball thrown our way but a bowling ball that violently knocked down all of our perfectly placed pins. We had a good life, a comfortable life and in an instant it was stolen and replaced with a life I did not recognize and most surely did not want.
Jacob the Thief…
ROBBING us of our freedom, control, and dreams --
TAKING the familiar and making it foreign,
FORCING us outside the circle of our closest friends and family and into the world of specialists and therapists,
DEMANDING more time, attention, and energy than any of us had to give.
The Jacob of scripture was also a thief and a deceiver. He took advantage of his hungry brother and tricked his aging father, not the kind of kid you brag about all over social media. I wonder if his parents ever felt as I did. I wonder if they wrestled with the same guilt and shame over such thoughts? Did they spend countless nights begging God for answers only hearing silence in return?
It’s hard for me to type these words. I’d much rather keep them buried within, hidden from the world and even myself. Everything in me wants to hit delete and move on without having to share this part of myself with you. I want you to think I’m the “Best Mom Ever” and statements like the ones I’ve made above definitely sound like grounds for being stripped of such a title, but as my hand hovers over the delete button I hear these words whispered in my aching heart,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
and in these verses I find correction, courage, and the comfort of Christ all over again. You see, the truth is that over these last seven years I’ve seen God faithfully comfort me in intimate and intentional ways. Yes, He has given us a son with Cerebral Palsy, but He’s also given us the grace necessary to raise him.
He doesn’t give this grace and comfort so we can sit back, soak it all in and store it up for ourselves, His desire is that we’ll go out and share what we’ve received freely and bravely with others.
So that’s why I sit here now exposed and completely me, because I know that someone out there could use the encouragement. Someone out there needs to hear that it’s ok to think your kid is a thief…
as long as you don’t remain there.
I needed to grieve the loss of the son I hoped for and also for the life I so desperately longed for him to have. I needed to weep over the brokenness of his body and over the brokenness of our hopes and dreams,
and when the time for grieving had passed (and it did pass), I needed to surrender the life of my disabled son into the hands of Christ and then choose to stand in His ever flowing grace as I accepted the calling on my life to raise this precious boy.
Jacob the Gift…
CHALLENGING us to slow our pace and appreciate the simple things of life,
TEACHING us to belly laugh at absolutely nothing at all,
GIVING us a deep understanding of what it truly means to be fully dependent upon the Lord,
FILLING us with the hope of heaven where we will one day walk and talk and dance and sing and laugh and play with him!
We definitely lost things when Jacob entered our life (comfort, control, flexibility), but those things pale in comparison to the things we have gained (joy, strength, character). I no longer grieve the loss of the boy I hoped for, but celebrate the one that I have. He is fearfully, uniquely, wonderfully made and it is one of life’s greatest joys to be a part of his story! He truly is…..
JACOB THE GIFT!!!