Ah, the merry month of June! A joyous and hectic season. Flurrying about between graduations and gowns, gifts and weddings.
“What’s next? Which college? What city? Which company?”
Their graduations and gowns; their shiny gifts and weddings. I smile to suppress the slight rankle of bittersweet. For within these hallowed months, the ghost of my Idealized Child returns to haunt.
“What about my child? What about his future?”
I wanted pomp and ceremony, banquets and balls for him, too. And –oh!– let’s not even speak of weddings…
Not for my child. Not for us.
Our story will read differently: Special.
Choosing Your Own Adventure
Growing up in the ’80’s, I enjoyed a popular children’s book series, “Choose Your Own Adventure.” The reader makes choices that drive the outcome of the story. “If you choose the valley, go to page 32. If you choose the mountains, go to page 50…”
Each choice branched into multiple endings. I enjoyed the autonomy until I realized they always ended in a finite, fixed number of conclusions. No matter how I chose, I wound up either dead, bitten by a snake, or victorious. If I wanted another adventure, I had to go back to page one to repeat variations on a theme. It got predictable. There was no room to break out of its pre-set tracks.
In reality, choosing a life-adventure is far more unruly. Life on a broken planet is a messy affair. The permutations innumerable; the consequences unfathomable. But an infinite and omniscient God foresees every conclusion, dead-end, or aggravating loop I might choose. And somehow, has grace enough to cover them all.
The Author and Perfecter of our Faith
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
~ Hebrews 12:2
From the opening pages of the Bible, Creator God reveals Himself as a Master Artist: A divine architect, designer and playwright. The rest of His colossal Book reads as thick as history is long. Why so many pages? Why so many stories?
Creative genius never deigns to formulas, recycled plots or stock characters. He esteems each masterpiece too highly –too exquisite– to mass produce them en bulk. Yet too often, I find myself wishing our family’s story read like everyone else’s: Normal. Typical. Indistinguishable amidst a sea of identical mortar boards and gowns.
A Different Story Penned
Our stories must chronicle differently. Unique and distinctive. He regards us too highly for anything less. He orchestrates every experience –even permitting certain hardships— out of His customized Plans. In His sovereignty, He knows precisely the elemental How’s, When’s and What’s that grow each of us best.
What about my child? Why me? Why us?
Will he be healed? Will he belong? Will he be loved when I’m gone?
Each character must embark on an original, highly individualized adventure.
Our story will read differently: Special.
The Author and Perfecter of our faith writes each of our stories, uniquely. Unchartered and inimitable. And for all my meandering and plot twists, He already knows how this glorious tale will end, safely home.
I just haven’t gotten to that page yet.
He is God. I am not. It is His responsibility to write my story. Mine is but to keep reading.
Every day I live by faith and not by sight, is yet another page turned.
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Absolutely beautiful…so wise, and so heartfelt. Thank you.
Thank you so much Katie! I know you understand 🙂
Thanks, Diane, for pointing out the different story!
Thank you Ann! That sneaky Grief-Ghost can take (another) a hike 😉
What is difficult for me is that my twins now realize that they are different. They have begun to ask questions about their future. When Jessica, my oldest was getting ready for graduation last year the talk was all around about who was going where. Jessica chose a different path, not because she can’t go to college, but because she didn’t want to. The response she has gotten from others has been less than supportive. The twins have noticed this and have asked about their future. It’s going to be really difficult to face that pressure in 2016, and hear them question if they are smart or whatever questions may come up.
I wish people would just let our kids, typical or special needs, find the path that is right for them not impose some societal ideal on them.
Kim. I hear you. It took me almost 4 decades to finally be at peace with the unique way God made me (a big deal in my Asian culture, to stick out and not do/live/be/succeed as everyone else is doing.) And I’m “typical”! 😉 For me, I need to model what I want for my children: self-acceptance with the way God made me, unique and different from anyone else. I pray we learn to march confidently to the beat of our own drum (as paced by God 🙂 and reach a point of peace, where I can say (and show) Psalm 16:5-7, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” Hope that makes sense? God bless you and the unique masterpieces that are your precious daughters!
Thank you -I needed this!
So thankful to hear that. I really needed it, too 🙂