Fear is the constant companion of parents, is it not? When our children are sick or sickly, or have disorders, disabilities, and diagnoses that are known by an alphabet soup of acronyms, fear mounts quickly.
I have faced my share of fear. Our daughter was known to have some sort of “problem” when she was an infant; it was 1991. The problem took nearly a full year, nine specialists, painful tests, and several worst case scenarios to identify, and it was all in her head. Meaning, our curly-haired angel baby had suffered a stroke as a neonate and she had brain damage and hearing impairment. No one had a prognosis for her beyond her capabilities of the moment which were not many at all. Pretty scary.
In 1999, our third child and first son was born and before he was three months old his difficulties were mounting and the calendar was filling up with visits to specialists in body systems I had not known existed. By 2003, I had three young children, we lived in a new city, and I was trying to navigate homeschooling and the special educational needs of our older daughter, our precocious younger daughter, and our high-need, autistic, sickly son. This was a time of great and constant fear for me as a mother and as a home educator, and it was not something I saw discussed in the four-year-old magazine articles I never had time to finish in the waiting rooms of doctors’ offices. It did not come up the three times I made it to Sunday School during those long, trying years. Perhaps I just was not looking in the right places or listening hard enough, or maybe we do not talk about how scary it can be to walk this path—to do these “good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10, KJV).
Some of my fears were specific and very rational, others were broad and somewhat undefined. I feared illnesses that would take my children’s lives (both children came very near death) and complications of which no one could identify the source (this happened more than once). I worried that we would not be able to teach them to be independent and that they would be a burden on our family or on society, or that they would wind up being thrown away like so much human refuse once their dad and I were gone. A daily and present fear was that keeping them home for school was depriving them of the benefits and interventions provided by the professional therapists and educators in our very highly rated local public school system. I worried that I worried too much.
Now, in place of those fears, I treasure the Stones of Remembrance, where I have written down the ways God has met and answered each of my fears. I have learned that God does not pre-meet my needs, pre-answer my questions, or pre-calm my fears. I am learning to live “according to the riches of his glory” (Ephesians 3:16, KJV) which are facts and faith, not feelings.
“… he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it…” (Philippians 1:6, KJV).
“…his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1:3, KJV).
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17, KJV).
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord…” (Psalm 121:1-2, KJV).
Not my feelings…
My feelings are as apt to change as this crazy Oklahoma weather. My friends: seek wisdom, trust God’s Word, and find comfort in the ministry of His Spirit. Stones of Remembrance will pile up around you when you look to the facts of God’s perfect Word and when you choose faith in His plan and provision for the journey of discipling the unique and beautiful children with whom it has pleased Him to bless you.
We have lived and schooled through severe hardship and heartache, and I can say with tear-stained cheeks and a grateful heart that His grace truly is sufficient. When has God met you and heard your cries? These are your Stones! Record and share these treasures. We all need encouragement.