Day three and the return of joy

February 13th, 2010

Tuesday morning the 9th I went back to Isaiah 25, and as I read, I realized that God had continued to walk me a little further down this new path.  I was ready to let a few more friends know what He was doing in our family.  So off went an email to several more families.  Then copied, pasted and emailed that to those I had emailed the day before, just to keep them updated.

Somewhere during that process, the first fledgling thought of this blog came into my head.  Hmmmmmm.

That day my goal was to respond to each one of those priceless private messages sent to me by my online friends.  Hearts reaching out in love to our family.  Commitments to uphold our family in prayer.  Sharing of their personal stories.  Scriptures I needed to read.  Wisdom and truth that I drank in.  Information I wrote down to research later.  Offers to be there for emotional support over the long haul.  If encouragement means “to put courage into,” then that is what these ladies reached out of their lives to give to me.  One dear friend, who shares my love for the name Verity, wrote, “The Lord laid it on my heart to send a scripture of encouragement to you daily, as I am able. Of course, the binding thread of these words is Truth.”

And sometime during the day, it struck me that this new adventure that God was providing for us would fill up gaps in our other children’s training that we could not have filled ourselves.  This little Verity, with all her special challenges, was going to be a blessing!  A TRUE BLESSING!  From the hand of our loving Father!!!  My heart could feel the joy coming……I was hearing and reading and soaking in the truth……and now my feelings were beginning to follow the truth!

It concerned me that I hadn’t yet heard from my dad, and I hoped to call him before the day was done.  But in the middle of the day, I was overjoyed to see his name on an incoming call!  He wanted to come and give me a hug and be with me.

He asked me questions and listened to me, and gave me sage and godly counsel, as he always does.  He talked about a difficult time he and Mom had gone through many years ago with my youngest brother.

I reminded him of something I knew he would remember.  Back last spring, Joseph had been asked to play the piano at a student recital hosted by the church my dad attended.  There was a wide variety of music and proficiency, and we enjoyed every minute of watching those students do their best.  One of them evoked such strong emotion in me that I ran out of the tissues I always keep tucked away in my purse.  He was a young man, and he played the drums in accompaniment to a taped worship song.  He beamed with pleasure and obviously was a favorite with the crowd.  All I could think was,  “If I ever have a child with Down syndrome, I hope he would be as surrounded by people who love him.”  I couldn’t stop the tears.  After the recital, I felt obliged to explain to Dad what I was thinking, by way of explanation for the tears and tissues he had to have seen, since I was sitting next to him.

Yes, he remembered.

He was enthusiastic about the blog idea.  I voiced my fear of encountering those who believe in luck, who will think we “asked for it,” and should have stopped having babies a long time ago.  And my fear that this will scare off those we know who may be considering welcoming more children from God into their families.  I told him I was facing the fact that I will have to lay down my agenda (to always do all I could to portray the positives of big families to those who may be skeptical), and be used by God for His agenda for us.  And recognizing His right to use our story to bring about His will in others’ lives, whatever that may be.  Dad reminded me that God wrote His Word without any concern as to whether it would be acceptable to those who read it. Some read His Word and are further hardened, and some read it and their hearts are softened and instructed. He encouraged me to simply speak the truth, and let God use it as He will, and not concern myself with how it is received.

That was the next thing God knew I needed to hear.  (I told you Dad was a wise man!)  Then the next morning, God followed it up with these pointed words from II Corinthians 2:

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.  And who is sufficient for these things?”

A few friends called or emailed that afternoon and evening after getting our news.  Some of them may never know what a gift they gave me by doing this.

From this point on, our life seems to have been put back onto the Ordinary setting.  The sharp outlines of the first few days have blended into a more normal, and unremarkable, routine.  My emotions stay settled unless something unexpected touches them off.  Like this website I came across while looking online for helpful information.  I could see with my own eyes what my friend had told me on Monday afternoon was true.  “Your baby will be more like her brothers and sisters than she will be like other children with Down syndrome.”

Or like a prayer for me written out and waiting in my inbox.

Or like a certain tone in my sister’s voice over the phone that tells me she is feeling what I am feeling.

Or like this email I received from my friend who has a very busy schedule, her own big family (including an infant, and a son with special needs), and who lives about 30 minutes away from us:

“If you get any instructions such as bed rest etc…you let me know.  I want to be of help, even if it is only to pray and offer support.  Please let me know if we can be of any physical/practical help.  [My husband] could always come bring your younger kids here for example and give you some quiet private time with hubby if this is needed.  If midwife appointments are in your home and you want some quiet and privacy we could come collect the kids and entertain them here at our place.  They could even spend the night.  NO PROBLEM…whatsoever…I mean that…would love to do it!”

There are so many more, too many more to list.  My heart now holds a very precious gift that I never had before; the experience of being loved so generously by Christ’s people when I was in a place of hurt and need.  To those of you who are moving toward us in our trouble, thank you.


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3 Responses to “Day three and the return of joy”

  1. Tami Swaim says:

    “Dad reminded me that God wrote His Word without any concern as to whether it would be acceptable to those who read it. Some read His Word and are further hardened, and some read it and their hearts are softened and instructed. He encouraged me to simply speak the truth, and let God use it as He will, and not concern myself with how it is received.”

    THUMBS UP!

  2. Tami Swaim says:

    “My heart now holds a very precious gift that I never had before; the experience of being loved so generously by Christ’s people when I was in a place of hurt and need. ”

    You have a gift at wording things the way I wish that I could. For example, when I read this above quote of yours I was nodding my head, “Yes, I’ve experienced this too and have never recognized it as a gift for my heart and one that would not have been there had I not gone through my trial”. May we share Jesus by letting each other see Him in us.

  3. “He encouraged me to simply speak the truth, and let God use it as He will, and not concern myself with how it is received.”

    Our fears do nothing but paralyze us into inaction. I am so glad you heeded your dad’s advice and are sharing your story! 

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