For this post to make any sense, you need a little background information about me. In 2004, I gave birth to an extremely premature little miracle named Gavin. He was 15 weeks early and had seemingly endless medical challenges related to his prematurity. He spent 113 days in the NICU before he finally got to come home with us and had 11 surgeries and countless hospitalizations just in that first year. Gavin has multiple disabilities because of his prematurity including total blindness and autism, but today he is a sweet, musical, headstrong, and affectionate eight year old who reminds us every day to lean on The Lord. God has brought us through so many heart breaks and challenges with our child that have left us more convinced of His love and goodness, stronger as a family, and more compassionate to a hurting world. Every year is difficult in new ways and we know the hardest part may be yet to come, but I try to remember that there is often a reason for the struggle. He is not done with us yet.
The following is a post from my old blog several years ago when we were trying to teach him how to use the stairs unassisted.
This is what happened yesterday:
Gavin is standing at the top of the stairs and he’s whining. He’s scared to go down without my holding his hand. I’m only a step or two ahead of him, but he can’t see the steps before him and is unsure what is ahead. If he’d only calm down, hush, and listen, he’d be able to tell how close I really am. I keep telling him that I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere. I tell him that I know he’s scared and I understand. I tell him I love him and that I’m going to help him all the way down. I tell him that even though it’s scary and that he doesn’t want to do this, he has to or he’ll never learn. This was not what he had planned. He wanted to play with his toys. I had a different plan; one that would teach him to be more confident, able, and ready to move around in this world. It broke my heart to know that he was scared. He’s used to going down practically leaning on me, but he needs to learn to grow in his abilities and trust me to guide him. He needs to have faith in my instruction even if he can’t see what is ahead of him. He threw a fit today. He cried and whined and pleaded for me to carry him down the stairs. All he wanted me to do was remove this obstacle for him, make his life easy, and get him to where he wanted to be. This is not the first time we’ve been here and it won’t be the last. I want to protect him and I want him to be safe, but part of ensuring that is teaching him that sometimes we have to do not so fun things in order to grow. Sometimes we have to put down the toys and work a little bit, do something scary, all because we are told to.
It’s so interesting to me how much more I appreciate God now that I am a parent. There are so many parallels. It can mirror our relationship with him. Being Gavin’s mommy reminds me all the time that I need to walk by faith not by sight or by my desires. I am reminded that some times God puts us in not so fun seasons of our life to teach us and shape who we will one day become. He has big plans for us. All of us. In order to be able to move around in this world the way he needs us to, we must listen, trust and obey no matter what OUR plans were. How blessed am I to have this daily reminder of blind faith.
2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2 Corinthians 5:7 We live by faith, not by sight.