My son’s name is Jacob, we call him Jake. He is named after the grandson of Abraham, the youngest son of Isaac in the Bible; the son who was born small, weak, and insignificant but who was nonetheless chosen by God to father a nation of great and mighty people. God works like that. The Bible says He often chooses the foolish to shame the wise; the weak to shame the strong. Or maybe He chooses the foolish and weak to teach the wise and strong that true wisdom and strength comes not in ability, but in reliability on something or Someone wiser and stronger than yourself.
Living with and raising my son over the past 16 years has taken everything from me. It has sapped my strength, scattered my brain, broken my heart and tested my faith. But it has also caused me to see that this is not just my son’s story, it is my story. It is the eternal story of God's grace with me.
In perspective, I am the handicapped one here. God is my Father, so gently and patiently caring for me and meeting my needs. He pursues me into the busy roadways when I run off uncontrolled and He holds my hand in the crowd so I won’t get lost. He feeds me, cleans me and dresses me. He understands my silence and speaks for me. He takes up for me and defends me. He cares for me. And even when I resist, even when I fight Him, even when I throw my fits of refusal, biting and screaming and kicking in disobedience, He holds me tight and gently whispers in my ear, "I love you, no matter what."
At the end of the day He puts me to bed, tells me His story in a way that I can understand it and softly kisses me goodnight. He has compassion on me because he knows how I am made.
This is my son...and this is me. I am raising him but he is teaching me. He is teaching me lessons of unconditional love and devotion. He is teaching me to look with perspective on my life. He is teaching me all about patience, forgiveness and fortitude. Most of all, through the life of a mentally challenged, physically disabled child, I am learning all about the grace of a sovereign, loving, forgiving and gloriously mighty God.
I hope these posts will help those who might be on this same kind of journey to find faith and strength to stay the course. There are many lessons to learn along the way.