This is not exactly a post about Kathryn’s recovery.
It’s more about our other kids, many of whom are serving on the long list of caretakers for Kathryn during this season of their, and her, lives.
It’s more about my own heart that sometimes cries, “Foul!” when my children, or others close to me, go through hard times.
Do you ever question God, or maybe even shake your fist at Him (guilty!), when you watch your children hurt; or see them having to work really hard through something; or witness their hearts break because of circumstances beyond your, or their, control?
Do you ever wonder if He really knows what He’s doing?
Kathryn’s wound care and dressing changes have to be done two to four times a day and take anywhere from forty-five minutes to two hours each time. It requires the two of us, with four other daughters assisting us, because of Kathryn’s size, combined with limitations caused by her cerebral palsy.
(If you follow our family blog, you probably know about Kathryn’s major surgery earlier this month and the complications that followed. If not, you can click here – Where Love Learns Its Lessons – to read about that. The seven most recent posts there tell the story.)
As I was setting up for her early morning cleaning session today, I was thinking about how God has built this family one (sometimes two) children at a time. He has chosen each child very specifically as He has woven these lives from all over the planet into something incredibly beautiful and cohesive.
Each child came from hurting places and entered this family with brokenness and a great need to be loved back to healing. And each has, slowly and gently, been enabled through that love, to realize hidden potential and an ability to give back. Each has discovered strength they didn’t know they had, and it has been such a thing of awe to watch this kind of healing take place as God has brought beauty from ashes. Over and over again.
These broken children are becoming whole and healed brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, children of the King — adults who have so much to offer the world.
And I thought about how wise and kind it is that God has planted them in such fertile soil so that deep roots are being established to start them on their way into an adulthood rich in unselfishness and service and sacrificial love.
The demands on our children’s time and energy are great as we are forced to all work hard together to care for so many with such great needs. And, for the most part, they walk this path with grace and beauty. This is so evident as I watch the girls care so lovingly for this sister whose brain damage will never allow her to progress beyond the age of about three years. They love her! And they derive great joy from pouring that love over her as they help us meet her many needs.
And these thoughts, combined with this quote, made my heart sing this morning:
“O how is my soul delighted with the back-look into my life, and ravished with the sweet survey of the conduct of Providence!! Have I not seen it from a hand I expected nothing from, in a way and manner I never could have contrived, and at at time when least apparent? Sometimes seeming contradictions vex the poor expectant, though only sent to exercise his faith in God. Disappointments beautify the blessing. Your path, O Governor of men and angels! is in the mighty waters, and your footsteps are not known! For who can know the ways of Him who is wonderful in working? Therefore I, where I cannot see His end, am silent, and adore!”
James Meikle (1730-1799)
So many times, we are able to make sense out of senselessness when we can look back and see how God was linking lives and circumstances together although, at the time, it all only looked like a huge mess to us.
So as I watch Kathryn hurt and whimper (sometimes weep) through her pain; as I fight panic in the midst of wondering how I will manage to get school done this coming year while juggling her illness and Roslyn’s upcoming surgery; as I try to stop stressing over our inability to prepare meals right now, or cover the costs of everything Kathryn is needing; as I watch our other kids give and give and give to help each other and the family as a whole, often missing out on fun things for themselves — I will try to believe that these hard things are simply more links in that chain that is part of something incredible. Something that I will be able to look back on later and make sense of.
I know that this is true. But sometimes my heart has a hard time believing what my head knows.
I will look forward with breathless anticipation to knowing the people God is molding our children into, and seeing the profound impact each one will have on the world.
Every single brush stroke is necessary to the finished picture. It’s magnificent when He gives me a quick, tiny glimpse of what the finished picture is going to look like. I know it will be beautiful beyond anything I could’ve imagined myself.
” . . . Therefore I, where I cannot see His end, am silent and adore.”