MADE (Part 2)

I once saw a summary guide for the MTV show called MADE. MADE is a self-improvement reality show in which teens try to be “made” into something such as a star, an athlete, or a skinny person. Each teen is trained by an expert in their field, known as a “Made coach.” The episode captions are somewhat amusing: “Britney is made into a broadway diva.”, “Brian is made into a ladies’ man.”, “Pinnochio is made into a real boy.” (O.K., I made up that last one).

I thought about the last few years of life and how experience changes and shapes us. I wondered, What am I being made into?


We went through a very difficult time with Rhema a couple years ago. She had been hospitalized for seizure-related stuff, and she came home with new problem behaviors.  For one thing, she would go ballistic if I spoke to anyone. To this day I do not know why, but she could not stand for me to talk. She would scream and tantrum if I spoke in the car, at home, on the phone. She would charge me and pinch my lips together HARD. Brandon and I could barely speak to each other around her – it was pointless anyway because we could not hear ourselves over the screaming. We were relegated to silence. It got so bad once that when she had a doctor appointment I wrote out the things I wanted to say ahead of time, so that I wouldn’t have to talk!

During this time, Rhema was scheduled for a school evaluation. Rhema, Hope and I attended the meeting. Silly me decided not to tell the team evaluating her about our little problem. Yeah. I was going to try to get through the meeting without saying much! (I know, crazy. Blame it on the sleep deprivation).

And we were a sorry bunch, lemme tell you. At the time, Hope had severe eczema on her face (pics here). The day before I had fallen down the stairs and smacked my face on a wooden post. So I had a big, black eye that made me look like I had been punched good. (As the saying goes, when it rains it pours). Sad. Discouraged. Tired. And looking like death warmed over. That was me.

Thankfully, the meeting was held in a gross motor room, and Rhema was too busy playing to “notice” that I was talking very quietly with a team of therapists and teachers. At one point, I was asked a question that required a detailed answer. As I spoke, Rhema suddenly stopped playing and flew across the room. She was coming for my throat. As her hand clamped down on my mouth, she began to scream and do the “tantrum dance.”

I was keenly aware of the five sets of startled eyes on me as they waited and watched to see how I would handle things. I silently begged for calm, and God granted… more than I’ve ever had. I removed her fingernails from my lips. It. Hurt. Quietly and firmly, I said, “No, Rhema. No. Mommy’s talking right now.”

I expected her to do a back flop onto the floor and kick and scream. I was sure the meeting would have to be re-scheduled. But miracle of miracles, I watched a peace settle over her and she slowly turned and walked back to the toy she was playing with. It was amazing.

The rest of the meeting went off without a hitch.

I remember thinking afterwards, God, this is some hard stuff! And I never thought I’d be here. I don’t know what you’re doing. But you’re making me into something – something good, something better, I hope…

You might wonder what this has to do with the last post. I said that God has wonderfully made – and is making – Rhema. The same goes for me and you. In my case, my children are my “Made” coaches. But it’s God who fashions the transformation.

Check out this amazing video of people who have been MADE.

10 thoughts on “MADE (Part 2)

  1. One of our favorite children’s books is called Hermie the Common Caterpillar by Max Lucado. Throughout the book, Hermie wonders why he is just a common caterpillar. He wonders why he doesn’t have stripes or spots or – as he sees it – anything that makes him special.

    And then he hears the voice of God. A voice that says, “I love you just the way you are, but I’m not finished with you yet.”

    Sometimes it takes the darkness of the cocoon before the butterfly can emerge. You, my love are already one incredibly beautiful butterfly.


  2. You sure know how to take us on a philosophical tour in one post!

    Starting-out with something like tabula rasa – which is only partly true.

    Showing how stress forms us.

    And, yes, I believe all this is in a Divine plan, guided by Divine Hands.

  3. What a thoughtful post, and so timely for me. I have taken my autism advocacy to a new level having gone to Nepal, and I often wonder what’s in store for me, what I’m being made into. Thanks for putting it into words so eloquently, as you always do.

  4. Hi Jeneil. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts. That video was beautiful and amazing thanks for sharing! Please give Rhema a hug for me.
    With much love
    Marlena Primo

  5. I love the cardboard testimonies. So honest and so uplifting. I wonder frequently what wonderful thing(s) God has made my children for and so look forward to seeing His plan for them.

  6. Oh, darlin’. You have no idea how much I needed to read this RIGHT NOW. My kids have been so difficult lately – Foster and Reilly especially – and when you add in the illness (that is still haunting us) and the fact that EVERY NIGHT I’m awake cleaning up after someone, I just keep thinking: “I’m not cut out for this. What am I going to do?”

    You, my friend, are beautifully made.

    And I want to be skinny. 🙂

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