Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our Own Paths

I love how when God is trying to tell you something, and you don't get it the first (or the third or the tenth) time, He'll keep setting what He's trying to say before you in different and creative ways that all lead back to that same message.

A few weeks ago I was reading one of my favorite autism blogs and the mom wrote that when she gets excited about her daughter accomplishing a particular milestone, her first inclination is to think, "Great! She's catching up!" Catching up to her typical peers, that is. And then she wrote she has to remind herself that it's not as if her daughter is traveling on a road with all of the other kids and is lagging behind -- it's that she's on an entirely different road.

I've thought about that a lot lately, of course in terms of Ethan. But then it hit me over the head yesterday that of course this is how God sees all of us. We are not in this giant "race" against each other, where someone over there is more spiritual than the next person, more generous, more whatever-it-is. We are all on individual paths. He measures our progress in relation to US and each one of us alone, not how it stands against our friends, our spouse, our family members, our pastors. He looks after each of our story's with great tenderness. What may seem like the tiniest of accomplishments in comparison to someone else might be life-altering for me. Spirit-changing. I should not look down on seemingly modest gains. And sometimes perhaps the gains I think are so important are indeed not so much so...I'm only holding them up against someone else's life, measuring with the wrong yardstick.

I'm grateful God doesn't give up on me because this truly has been the theme, or struggle, of my life for nearly as long as I can remember. I have always seen myself in terms of how I measure up, fit in, compare. And so with Ethan (and to some extent, Anna), my first tendency was to compare and adjust; to make decisions based on what everyone else was doing; to feel ups and downs dependent on what everyone else was doing; to get down on myself and what God thinks about me compared to what everyone else was doing.

God's not looking Ethan and seeing how he matches up against every other typical or not-typical three-year-old. And He's not holding me up in comparison to everyone else. He sees ME. Just me. And loves every unimaginable part, and wants me to let things go and pick things up. Not so I can rival some other "good Christian," but so I can walk the path he has for ME. And run my race well.


Unknown said...

Deb, I love your blog. What a great writer you are. I always say that when a child with special needs has been given to a parent, that God must have thought that he/she was just the right person to raise that child. For us, it's a ton of food allergies, for others, it's other things. I'll be following your blog!

Deb said...

Thanks for the feedback and your encouraging words. :) I enjoy your blog, too and hearing how your "stay at home life" is going!

Anonymous said...

so good! "He sees ME. Just me. And loves every unimaginable part..." thank God! we've been studying Genesis in my Bible study and this reminds me of when Hagar is in the desert and calls God by the name El Roi, "the God who see me."