Monday, June 13, 2011

Spiritual Repression?

Question #3: If you had to name a time when you could say that you were spiritually repressed, when would it be?

This is a tough question for me because it brings to mind a very difficult time. My son, Josh, has multiple disabilities and his first three and a half years of high school were a living hell for me (and him). From calls to the principal's office for behavioral issues to failing core classes, to being used and abused by peers, and everything in between, I thought I was going to lose my mind.

How could our boy, who was raised in a loving, Christian home have such a plethora of struggles?

Prior to high school, Josh obviously had difficulty with academics, but high school marked the start of a long uphill battle and we all have the scars to show for it... some of them still too fresh to make this anything but comfortable to write.

"GOD, DO YOU HEAR ME?" I would cry. "WHY DO YOU CODDLE EVERYONE ELSE AND ABANDON ME?" From his freshman year of high school through his mid-senior year we had teachers telling us to expect the worst, school psychologists telling us his IQ scores indicate an extremely low probability of graduating, school counselors stressing concern over poor behaviors, and if that weren't enough, there were persistent worries after school about his personal choices ...friends, smoking, poor behaviors and on and on. He's very immature for his age and is a follower ...I often thought he would follow someone off a cliff.

We had parents call us from the church to inform us of Josh's deviant behaviors and I would bark back, "WELL, IF YOU WOULD ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN TO NOT OSTRACIZE HIM AT CHURCH PERHAPS HE WOULDN'T HAVE THE NEED TO ACT OUT FOR ATTENTION!!" I know they were trying to help, but when you're in the middle of quick sand, a lecture is the last thing you need. I was crying out for help!

During this very dark time, I vacillated back and forth from God to me ...God to me ...who did I want to blame on any given day (mostly me) for robbing me of my "young mother's dream" of having an "all-star" son who didn't have to suffer?

Finally, one December eve of Josh's senior year, I fell prostrate on my living room floor and wailed! I told God I could no longer carry this burden by myself because it was killing me. I couldn't "fix" my son ...I was hopeless and at the bottom of my rope, too weak to continue the fight to hold on. "IT'S ALL MY FAULT! IT'S ALL MY FAULT ...I'M SO SORRY FOR NOT BEING THE MOM I SHOULD HAVE BEEN! I HAVE FAILED YOU AND I HAVE FAILED MY SON!"

God answered back! One of the few times He's spoken to me audibly and so tenderly. "My dear, my children are all screwed up. Does this mean I'm an inadequate Father?" God freed me that day. He comforted me, consoled me, cradled and rocked me in His arms, and He gently lifted the load. "My child, you were used as a vessel to carry and deliver Josh. He is my child, not your child. You have been faithful to be the very best caregiver for Josh. You must release him to me and let me carry him in the palm of My Hands from now on."

Wow!! Words cannot define that moment. Jesus took my cross and carried it that day. Five months later, against all odds, Josh managed his way down that long aisle of the Anderson University Wellness Center to receive his high school diploma on time!!!

Are we exempt from any further struggles? Nope! But, I can look back over that very dark time and see God's hands consistently working, guiding, and carrying us through the muck, just as He will continue to do. The difference now is the burden is no longer mine. God has commanded me to give it to Him.

Josh has been my biggest inspiration for reasons I won't go into here. The point is God is our ray of hope in the midst of the storm. He keeps His promise to never leave us. What we see as a hopeless devastation, God sees as an opportunity to show His mercy and His everlasting love.

Yes, I felt spiritually repressed during that time, but God used it as a spiritual renewal for me as well and I'm eternally grateful!

Just as a caterpillar has to go through its difficult transformation ...from worm, to chrysalis, to butterfly, we too must go through trials in order to fly. I owe my son a great deal of gratitude and I thank God for cleansing my muddied lenses in order to see beauty for ashes.


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2 comments:

Princess Amy said...

I certainly "enjoyed" this post. Everyone of us is flawed, but that only allows HIS glory to shine through all the more. So glad He can use my cracks to further his purpose! =0) Thanks for the connection on blogfrog

Marisa and Brittany said...

Amy,

Thanks so much for the uplifting words!

In my blog post I mentioned my son has been my greatest inspiration. He reminds me every day of what it means to be the Hands and Feet of Christ to those around us. He brings to our home those with disabilities who are down-trodden, homeless, jobless, and merely cares about and befriends them. He doesn't see their tattered covers, but rather their inner pages with stories & dreams just like the rest of us.

Anyway ...I have much to learn :o)

Marisa