I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?
Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?” What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?
I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves. But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…” No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.
My son is home for Christmas. Alyssa and I picked him up this morning and made great time coming home. In addition to the many toys he was given for Christmas from his school, Thomas also has new sneakers he managed to finagle his social worker into buying *right* after Tommy bought him brand new sneakers Thanksgiving weekend. He is charming. I’m so glad Thomas is home. Especially for Christmas. I can’t imagine him not being here. We’ve already set up the batteries in one of the remote controlled cars he received from school. I started thinking about the time we thought Thomas was going to spend Christmas in the psych hospital. That happened about 5 years ago I think.
Thomas had been very aggressive towards me and I finally couldn’t take it anymore and we had him hospitalized I think the beginning of December/end of November. They did some med changes and his behavior stabilized in the hospital like it always did. I was so fortunate to be singing in the choir that year and we were singing for the Live Nativity. Singing in the choir was a life saver for me. My choir family was praying for us.
We made the 2 hour car ride to visit Thomas and attend meetings with the social workers and psychiatrists. I blamed myself for him being hospitalized at this time so close to Christmas. I was thinking I should have initiated it sooner than I did then he would have been discharged earlier. What’s done was done though. The beginning of December melted into the middle of December, the Live Nativity came and went and we were wondering if Thomas was coming home before Christmas. Finally, about 5 days before Christmas we got the call from the social worker that Thomas was indeed spending Christmas in the psych hospital. We were devastated. How was this going to happen?? How were we to spend Christmas morning without one of our children opening gifts? As we were planning and talking about how we were going to make Christmas “happen”, another social worker called 3 days before Christmas to tell us the insurance company decided Thomas should be discharged. I couldn’t believe it. Simply could not. Tommy was beside himself with joy. He drove up as soon as he could to get him. We did have Christmas together and all was “normal”. Thank the Lord.
I’m grateful those days are behind us and we don’t have to worry about whether we’ll all be together for Christmas. I’m grateful for Thomas’ school and that Thomas is able to come home as often as he does, for as long as he does. His school has truly been a blessing.
Yes I feel like writing but I don’t have a specific topic I’d like to cover. I notice I get more inspiration when I write about God. Why is that? I think I’m still on a spiritual high from singing with the choir yesterday, nervousness aside. I notice Mondays after we sing are usually quite sweet. I’m still singing the songs from the day before in my head. Singing His praises. What could be better than that? I’m no longer doubting if I am “enough”, it seem once I get things off my chest by writing this blog, the issue seems to resolve itself. Coincidence? No, since I don’t believe in coincidences only God’s plan.
I’m really looking forward to Easter service this year. It’s the first year I’ll be singing with the choir on Easter Sunday. In the past few years it was too complicated with the kids and/or Thomas. The songs that were chosen are just perfect and glorify our Lord in such a wonderful way.
What else do I have to say? I’m not sure. I know I’m in a good place today and the sun is shining and my family is healthy and God loves me. Jesus died for me. Today I read Romans 5:8 “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Powerful.
Isaiah 55:9 spoke volumes to me today. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher that your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I have on my phone for a screensaver 2Samuel 22:33 (KJV) “God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect” Isn’t that just the truth.
Today (Sunday) was choir day. I usually love choir days (at our church we typically sing 2 Sunday/month). But today I was so nervous. I have no idea where this nervousness stemmed from. I am not usually nervous to sing with our choir, I love singing with the choir. But during these past rehearsals I began wondering if I were good enough. I loathe this anxiety of mine. Loathe it. That is where this nervousness stems from. Once we started singing in front of the church the nervousness went away and I truly enjoyed singing His praises. Singing to our Lord. Singing with my choir family. And I remembered how blessed I feel to be a part of this ministry and to be able to worship Him, like this.
Recently I’ve been wondering why I doubt myself so. There are times that I wonder if I’m Christian “enough”, but I don’t have an answer for what would make me *more* Christian. Reading the Bible more? Praying more? Witnessing to strangers? Believing more (if that is possible)? No, I don’t think those are the answers either. But regardless I feel like there is more I should be doing and I pray consistently for guidance and discernment to know that the path I will be set on will be His path and not any other’s.
These are my thoughts. I’m not looking for advice or to be analyzed. I’m putting this out there as perhaps I’m not alone in my thoughts. I can’t be the only one wondering if there’s more I should be doing for our God. And what exactly might that be? What if I suddenly get an epiphany of direction, will I follow it? I like to think that yes I will follow His lead because after all His plan is the only one that would be perfect regardless of my or anyone’s thoughts on the matter. There are days I feel on the precipice of change. And I get nervous. Yes, that nervousness again. However nervous I may feel I do trust him and I know His way will be the perfect way.
It’s 6:30 am on a Sunday and the only reason I’m up is because the the choir is singing today at church and I’m in the choir. I’m not complaining about being up (No, I don’t enjoy waking up this early on a Sunday) but it is what it is. We are to be at church approx. an hour before the first service for extra practice time. I don’t even mind the practice as it gives us a chance to say hello/good morning and just be together, in between songs we’ll laugh and joke a bit. It’s really nice and kind of makes up for the fact that we’re all there so early :). I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy being in the choir. Everyone is really nice and genuine. There is no phony-ness although I see no reason for that to even exist anyway within our choir. What I love the most is the fellowship. I’m probably repeating myself from a previous post but I can’t help it. To know when you really need prayers that this group of awesome people will pray for you is an incredible feeling.
The only thing I would change right now is the weather. It’s colder at 7:45 am than 10:15 am which is the time I usually go to church when the choir is not singing. I have to laugh because when I first joined the choir and I was told what time we had to be there on the Sundays that we sing, someone should have told me what my face looked like. I say this because inside my head I was like, “Nooooo!! Oh No…please tell me you’re joking”. It’s funny though because you do get used to it and to be honest after a while it’s really ok, you just have to get over the initial jolt. I’m not a morning person but as I get older I find mornings can be pretty cool; just don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee.
Oh and the other really cool part about being in the choir is that we get to sing for all 3 services. I love that as each service has it’s own personality. When you’re up there you realize this and it makes it all the more special for some reason. One or two services are more vocal than others, one can be on the “quiet” side, one can start out quiet than really get into the singing. It’s really sweet to be a part of every service in that way.
What totally surprised me is that people really do notice you up there. You might think you’re inconspicuous or hidden behind the microphone or another person but …nope! You are out there and people see *you*. At first I thought that might freak me out a bit, but it didn’t and still doesn’t. Story of God’s sense of humor: The first Sunday I was singing with the choir I was determined to not be in the first row. I was very nervous. I somehow managed to situate myself in the second row and I was feeling good about that for my first Sunday. Then the choir director asked someone to move to the first row to even us out. I felt my hand go up and then I heard myself say, “I’ll go”. What?? Who said that?? I ended up in the first row and you know what it was fine, totally fine. I was not nervous and I really felt like I was singing in front of my family. I was. I was in front of my church family. God would never let me make him look bad.