Months ago I read a post by Andrea that really resonated with me. She posted a video clip about The Horse Boy – the story of a father who traveled all the way to Mongolia so that his son with autism could ride horses and visit a shaman. While we cannot all hop on a plane to Mongolia, the story highlights the lengths we as parents are willing to go to help our children.
It made me think of my husband, Brandon. He leaves in four days for training in Georgia and then on to Iraq for a year. He goes because he loves this country and is committed to serving her. He believes in the cost for freedom, and he’s not afraid of sacrifice.
But he leaves for one other reason:
Three years ago, the Army sent us to Boston. It turned out to be, in our opinion, the best place we could be in terms of services and medical care for Rhema. She attends an excellent school for children with special needs – a school that currently has a five-year waiting list. She has been blessed with some of the best teachers eva at her after-school therapy center. The skill of her doctors at Children’s Hospital is unmatched; they are persistent and cutting edge.
Last year, the Army came a-calling and said, “Sorry kids, it’s time to go.” (I’m oversimplifying this for the sake of brevity). We knew that we would have to move, and that Brandon would deploy. The Army has something called the Stability Transition Team – it’s a job that involves operating with a small military team “outside the wire” to train and counsel Iraqi police/border patrol. It’s a dangerous and unpopular job – so much so that incentives are offered to deploying soldiers who will do this mission.
One incentive is getting to choose where you live.
You guessed it. Brandon agreed to take the job in exchange for our family getting to stay in the Boston area a little longer. He was getting deployed no matter what, but by taking on this mission, he essentially gave us 15 more months for Rhema to benefit from some of the best schooling, services and medical care in the country.
There are two reasons I’m sharing this information in blogland.
1) By chance a teacher, therapist, respite giver, or aide of a special needs child may come across this post. I want you to know how grateful we are for you, how much we depend on you, how much your work and care impacts our entire family. I want you to know that we will go to great lengths just so our children can learn, thrive, be who they are, and enjoy life to the fullest. Thank you, thank you for your life-changing work.
2) There’s a parallel to this whole concept of sacrifice that just blows my mind. We, as parents, are willing to put ourselves in harm’s way so that our children can live their best lives.
Andrea writes, “Is there a more powerful example than the cross? For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him would have eternal life. The Easter message is one of sacrificial love. Jesus, who is love, was motivated to go where no man has gone–literally to hell and back–to save you and me…
When we do anything resembling that, whether by affording some outrageous therapy, homeshooling ’til we don’t recognize ourself in the mirror, or driving illogical distances to a qualified therapist, we are following Christ, sharing in his suffering, and becoming more like Him. Go ahead and spill yourself out for someone you love; you’re in good company even if the world doesn’t understand.”
God will go to any length (even death) – just to reach us, to save us, to demonstrate His love for us. The next time you feel unloved or disesteemed, consider this.