Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking Out Hope in the Middle of the Mess

by | Nov 25, 2023 | Caregiver Reflections | 0 comments

They showed another video from the series Healing Journeys by Andrew Womack at church today, and I didn’t cry. In fact, they begin each Sunday with one of these videos, and I never cry.

When you live close to the fire long enough, you build resistance to its heat.

Healing. That word feels like a double-sided dagger.

Why do some get healed and others don’t? If healing is for everyone, then why doesn’t everyone possess it?

I have complex thoughts on this matter because I’m a mom whose children fight battles many know little of—not even those closest to me see the daily grind, and the measure it takes to get through each day.

Diagnoses. Some doctor said this is what my children are dealing with for now. Each child holds their own story. The diagnoses my children fight against aren’t always typically obvious from the outside. They call them “invisible illnesses,” but they’re not really invisible either.

I see them in the way my children are more comfortable with nurses, doctors, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists than they are their peers.

I see them in how my children repeat activities and behaviors they’ve learned through these therapy times.

I hear them in how my children talk about themselves and what they’re struggling with at the moment. I hear them in the sounds of machines and alarms for seizures, low oxygen, low heart rate, feeding pumps finished. I smell them in the supplies used to sterilize machines, the alcohol swabs for sub-q injections, the medicines spilled on my counter top this morning, and the formula that runs through one child’s g-tube.

No, they’re not really invisible. In fact, they influence almost every part of our lives.

The boy in the healing testimony had a severe kidney disease. Doctors gave his parents less than a 1% chance of his kidneys healing. But God had other plans, and these parents had a faith I won’t even pretend to understand.

I wish I could ask them how they kept the faith in the middle of their everyday lives? I wish I could sit down with that mother and ask her how she went to all the appointments and therapies and hospital stays and never gave up on her son’s healing. And how is her son doing today?

I have so many questions. Questions I don’t dare ask anyone but another parent who has walked this exceptional needs parenting journey.

What does life look like when healing happens? Our family isn’t in that space, so I don’t know. I am committed to treasuring the life we have, not to longing for a life we haven’t experienced yet.

I keep clinging to this one thing at every moment—my Jesus loves these beautiful children of mine greater than wildflowers, and He entrusted them to my care.

Many years ago now, as I was driving home from my twenty-week anatomy scan after learning my unborn baby had a kidney disorder, the Holy Spirit whispered something to my fragile heart. “Sometimes God’s greatest glory does not come through divine rescue from the trial but being divinely upheld in the midst of the trial.”

This was our beginning.

Little did I know how much I’d hold onto that very word over the next decade–as Abba expanded our family to include three children on an exceptional needs journey–and our involvement in special needs circles rippled further out with each child and each diagnosis. I’m living life in gritty, grace-filled days.

My name is Sarah and this is my testimony: even on the ugly days, I am divinely upheld. A condensed version of this blog first appeared on Sarah’s facebook page Greater Than Wildflowers (September 2022).

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