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    To Know Him Better

    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    “Is this the day my stent comes out mama?” 
    Five a.m. came early and my boy wiped the sleep from his eyes as we piled into the car.
    “Yes buddy. Just go back to sleep and I’ll wake you when we get to the hospital ok?” I gave him his fuzzy blanket and buckled his booster seat. 
    It all seemed so routine to him now and while that should have made my heart thankful for the ease of the process, it really just made me sad. Sad that this was our new reality. 
    I’m a fixer by nature and in my mind I wanted to A) find and diagnose the problem and B) fix said problem. Sort of like a cavity in a tooth, fix it and move on was the way I visioned this going in my head.
    I hadn’t let go of the hope that pretty soon we were going to be cleared and told to go home and told not to return unless a small list of symptoms ever occurred again.
    That’s what I’d been expecting for so long now, but that just hadn’t been the case yet. It wasn’t how our year of health problems for my boy was turning out and so I drove. I drove across town to a big tall building with the word Children’s Hospital on the side and prepared myself for another day of what lay beyond those sliding doors.
    I walked through those doors with my little’s and my man not too far behind. As we stopped to marvel over the big tree and presents in the lobby I caught a glimpse of a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She’d brought her kids there to give gifts to children like mine. 
    A few warm smiles and “Hey y’all, how do you do’s” later and my heart begins to warm because it’s so evident that God is all in this place. It’s hard to stay frustrated and sad when you can feel Him so near. 
    Sometimes in the normal routine of everyday life you can walk right through those Christmas trees with twinkling lights and hum to the sound of Silent night, Holy night in the background- and you can miss Him.
    And while I would have given a lot not to be there and not to be experiencing everything that my child has gone through at this place in the past year, I wouldn’t trade the awareness of Him so near for anything.  Anything at all.
    What’s worth more, the absence of pain and suffering or the evidence that Christ is near in our pain? More than that, do I want my child to know a life of ease and comfort…or do I want my child to know Him?
    The truth of the matter is that our whole family has felt the Presence of the Lord in a more powerful way this year than ever before. And while it has come with a high price, I don’t think there’s a more valuable truth that I could have ever given to my children. 
    God is near is something that can’t be wrapped up in a pretty package and laid under a tree. Heaven knows that if there were such a gift on the shelf at Wal-Mart or Target we’d all pick it up and buy it and give it to our children. 
    But it can’t be bought from a shelf. It can’t be wrapped up and placed with the other gifts with pretty paper and a big shiny bow.  It has to be learned. It has to be lived.
    While this isn’t the road I would have chosen for my child, I’m beginning to realize its more.

    Yesterday I watched as his tiny hands picked fuzz from a blanket while he recovered. He’s carried that old blanket with him for so long now that it’s nearly torn to shreds.  There are bare places on it where he’s gone to and received the comfort he needed time and time again. Places that are so bare that you can see the light coming through… and what I can’t capture in one still picture is how I’ve seen him grow in his trust this year that The Lord’s plan is always, always good. 
    This has been a vulnerable ten months for my sweet child and at times he’s had to learn a lesson beyond his years: God knows what’s best even when we do not. I’ve heard him surrender his tiny little plans to the Lord and watched Him shine through as it all began to make sense in the eyes of a six year old.
    About three weeks ago as we were driving to school one day he gave me an impromptu bible lesson about how God always knows best. “Like even when I don’t want to have surgery again mama, if God knows that’s what’s I need then I will have it because He knows whats best."
    He’d learned more than my words could ever teach him. 
    I saw Him shining through in that moment so brightly. Like holes in a blanket, the rough places of our year laid bare for the Presence of Christ so that He could pour beautiful rays of hope through the life of this child of mine.
    Surely the Christ child came to us all those years ago because he knew there’d be days we would need more than a fuzzy blanket to get us through. We would literally need Him wrapped all around us and living in us so that we might overcome the sufferings of this present world, that we might experience Him so near and dear in a way that we never could have before.
    I’m thankful that He put on flesh and came to us, and I’m thankful He is near in Spirit as his grand big plan unfolds. What a gift we’ve been given this year-to know Him better. 

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