Rhema’s coming upon another birthday. Brandon and I were recently reflecting on the adventures life with our precious girl has brought us. We recounted some of the stories aloud, others we just shook our head smiled – no words necessary.
Remember the early years? The worrying, wondering and waiting? The silence. Remember when her brain continuously seized forty times a minute.
Oh, she was such a little tornado. It took every ounce of energy to keep her safe. The most tired days of life. Remember how much she loved the big windows in the old house? She would climb up and stand in that window all night long. There were those old, double-hung rope and pulley windows with stained blue panes. The ropes were broken, and every night she would pull down on the ropes. I can still hear the counterweight inside the frame screech up to the top and then come crashing down. She liked the sound, and she particularly liked to hear it over and over in the middle of the night.
And then there was the poop art. It seemed I was cleaning her and scrubbing the floors and walls every day. I never thought it would end, I really didn’t. But it did. And now she’s toilet trained. (!)
We can never forget the severe lead poisoning that came from eating paint off those walls and windows. We can never forget that dark period, and the many months of chelation treatment. But she made it. We made it.
How about the hair-pulling and swallowing and the resulting gastro problems? Another struggle I was sure would never end – even when we cut her hair short. But now she is healthy again, and I can brush her curls into a ponytail.
Those days are behind us and now we face new and different challenges.
For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Romans 8:18
A couple weeks ago our pastor said something that has stuck with me. He said there are bumper stickers that say, “Ask me about my grandchildren.” But you never see stickers that say “Ask me about my daughter’s labor.” Yet in life we can be so focused on the labor… on the hardship… we forget about the glory that’s coming. The challenge is to say, in whatever circumstance, Ask me about the glory.
I think it has something to do with searching for the secret of contentment that spills into joy and thankfulness. Lord, I won’t compare. I won’t count any losses today. I won’t take this, all I have, for granted. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord. There’s God-glory in that.
The magnificence is seeing God do what he does – make beauty out of ashes and the impossible possible, sing a song without words, stretch faithfulness to the sky.
The hope of glory to come is all in Him. One day when we will be disability-free, pain –free, sin-and-sadness free. As my friend Lianna wrote years ago: ‘I cried when I imagined Rhema, who doesn’t necessarily respond when you call her name, rising up at Jesus’ voice calling her. I pictured her hearing him and responding, unhindered by autism. Autism and epilepsy will be non-factors.’ She’ll lift her head and dance upon gold-paved streets. She will open her mouth and sing praises to her Lord forever.