I recently had an encounter with a well-meaning woman. When she discovered that I had a special needs daughter, she shared with me something she read. The story was basically about how we plan and plan for a trip to Italy (the birth of the "perfect" baby) only to discover that we are in Holland. I think she was trying to help me to understand my experience …or perhaps she just wanted to share. Although I completely understand that she was just trying to relate to me, I wanted to tell her that she really has no idea what it is like to parent a child with special needs. She really just cannot relate.
I went to a conference for women this past weekend and I had TONS of thoughts and ideas about ministry, family and life go through my head. There was one phrase that I just couldn't shake…stop mourning and celebrate.
I mourn that my daughter doesn't have "friends" her age.
I mourn that my daughter was overwhelmed at the father and daughter dance because it was too loud.
I mourn that Emma Grace (my almost 13 year old daughter) plans to always have a room for her sister in her house when she is married. (I know it is sweet and amazing, but it is also sad.)
I mourn that Jacob, Emma Grace and Zoey have to gauge their sister's mood before they joke around and sometimes even speak to her.
I mourn that my daughter will not go to homecoming or prom.
I mourn that my daughter will not experience life as a college student.
I mourn that my daughter will never experience what it feels like to fall in love.
I mourn that my daughter will never have a wedding.
I mourn that my daughter will not be a mother.
I mourn that Scott and I will not be empty nesters. (selfish, I know)
I am tired of mourning the never. I want to celebrate who she is and what she can do.
"For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.15
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them."
Psalm 139: 13-16
My daughter is perfect.
She may not experience the same life experiences as Emma Grace.
Scottie is perfect.
She experiences life differently, but that does not make it less of a life.
She loves differently, but she doesn't love less.
She sees the world differently, in fact she sees more.
How do I shift my feelings and thoughts from mourning the nevers and celebrate the what is and what can be?
Today, I choose to believe that God has a plan for her life. That plan is beautiful, amazing and FULL. She will not have less of a life, but rather her life will enrich the lives of those she loves. I celebrate my daughter because her Creator knitted her together wonderfully.
If I want her family and the world to celebrate Scottie, then it must start with me.
Today, I will stop mourning and CELEBRATE!.