Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
This month I jumped on the FB bandwagon and have been posting (almost) daily the things I am thankful for. I truly am blessed; I have no shortage of family, friends, and circumstances that make my life good. It has been a great excercise to reflect on these things, and to take a few minutes to thank God for these blessings.
But giving thanks for all circumstances? That I’m not so great at. Because honestly, there are some circumstances in my life, in my family’s life, that just plain suck. Last night, Grayson woke up screaming at 2 am. Half asleep, I stumbled in his room to find him, his bed, and his blanket completely soaked with formula- the medicine port on his tube had popped open and had obviously been leaking formula for hours, given the huge mess. Completely changing my screaming, wet, cold child and his sheets in the middle of the night wasn’t exactly something I was praising God for.
Then after a few more hours of sleep, he of course woke up vomiting, as he does every morning. Now add green bile-soaked towels to the pile of formula soaked jammies and sheets, ready to pop in the washing machine. A quick wash and dry cycle, a cleaned up toddler happily playing in his excersaucer and listening to Veggie Tales, and a bagel and coffee for Mommy- then, I could be thankful, right?
The truth is, Mito sucks. Leigh’s sucks. There’s not much in the minute to minute dealing with feeding tubes, vomiting, seizures, and muscle weakness to celebrate. Grayson will never play Little League, ride a bike to a friend’s house, go to college, get married, or have kids. He won’t eat Thanksgiving turkey on Thursday. So many of the circumstances of his little life are less than ideal.
So I’ve been trying to understand what it is about these circumstances that I can give thanks. And of course, there’s Grayson himself. Because like it or not, Grayson’s disease is a part of him. It affects every single cell in his 23 pound body. And I love him. I love his big, beautiful blue eyes that shift back and forth, I love his little legs that shake and scissor when I stand him up, and I love his voice that has never uttered a single word.
And I’m thankful for the ways having a special child has changed me. I’m definitely more aware and patient with people with disabilities. When I see a mother in the mall with a child in a wheelchair, I no longer feel pity for her, but admiration and respect, because I know, in general, what it took to get that child to the mall. I’m smarter- I do my own research and make medical/health decisions for my family not just based on what doctors say- because doctors are NOT God. And I’m definitely less concerned with things that just don’t matter.
The people I’ve met just two years into this journey are what I count as my biggest blessing. I’ve talked about it before, but I’ve made some incredible friends because of Grayson’s crappy circumstances. I gain strength, am challenged, and am so thankful daily because of these friendships. Also, the good friends I had prior to having Grayson have supported, prayed and blessed us in immeasurable ways. I am so grateful that I have not lost a single friend, which I know happens. And I’m thankful for the people I don’t even know well, or at all, that pray for our family so diligently.
Maybe the point is to focus on the blessings that come from the circumstances, not the circumstances themselves.
I hope everyone reading this has a very happy Thanksgiving full of family, food and love. We are heading up tomorrow to my parents’ ranch- I’m packing half our house to take with us for my little guy- he’s not spoiled or anything-ha!