Thursday, September 5, 2019

Connected dots

I love the way God knows how to touch us individually. He doesn't just do good things and hope that
Lauren and me on
a zoo visit.
we get that it was for us. He's like the parent who makes a special trip to the store to ensure the bows on a daughter's birthday gift are her favorite color. It's a parent's way of saying "I see you. I know you. I love you."

With God there's so often that little touch, that special something that is Him saying, "I see you. I know you. I love you." He wants me to know He is doing something for me, not just for somebody... but for me specifically. Not just a family, but MY family.

About 12 1/2 years ago, not long after Lauren was diagnosed with Hurler's Syndrome, I met an incredible network of people who are also parents of children with Hurler's and similar diseases. They became my best resource and source of hope on the days where I felt like the whole universe was against us.

Not long after I found them, someone shared a beautiful poem/essay written by Emily Perl Kingsley called, "Welcome to Holland."

Emily drew a beautiful metaphor: If having a baby was like planning a trip to Italy, where I read the guidebooks and learned some of the language and packed everything that I needed for the journey to Italy, then finding out I have a child with special needs is like the plane landing at the airport and having the flight attendants say, "Welcome to Holland."

And it's easy, and even natural, to be angry. Stomp your foot. Say, "I didn't want to go to Holland. I
Lauren and Ella, St Patrick's Day 2019
wanted to go to Italy. I'm ready for Italy. I never planned for Holland...!" She talks about it being normal to grieve for Italy, but then points out that if the only thing I focused on is the fact that I wasn't in Italy, I will miss out on all the beautiful things to see, right there in Holland... windmills and tulips and Rembrandts... just to name a few.

Emily had explained it so perfectly for me. Your perspective is what matters. Look around. Appreciate what you have. It applied to so many situations, that I have shared it with many, many people throughout the last 12 years.

Early this year, when Lauren's Make A Wish wish-granters came to the house, I was surprised when she told them what her wish was. It wasn't anything that I had heard her say before. And I didn't immediately make any kind of connection. Only later, as I was sitting on my couch, contemplating things on my own, did I realize that the daughter who brought me to the proverbial Holland, was now literally taking me to Italy.

It's hard for me to share that without tearing up.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't believe that God made Lauren choose Italy for me at all. But, as a
Norweigan Epic - Our Cruise Ship
good friend once said, "God plays chess backwards." He knew that this is where we were going long before Lauren was even born. And, that Emily's essay would come to mean a lot to me over the years.

In the making of this miracle, God said, "I've seen you. I've known you. I love you."

And, just so you know, I don't think I'm special. And by that I mean He does this for everybody... you just have to look for it.

He sees you. He knows you. He loves you.
And He delights in showing you, if you're willing to see it.

My friend called it a game of chess, but I see a page full of dots... thousands of seemingly random dots. It might be years before some of the dots are connected, but when they finally are, the picture will take your breath away.
Rome, Italy

Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

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