Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I'm not the same person that I used to be

I know that we all grow and change throughout our lives, but ever since having Gavin in my life I've changed a lot. I'm definately not the same person that I used to be. In many ways, I'm glad for the changes. But, there are some things that make me long for my old life.

Gavin's birth, life and struggles have brought me a lot of clarity. My relationship with the Lord is very different than it used to be. I used to think I had a fairly close relationship with God, but now that I'm on the other side, I realize that I had a long way to go yet. I still have a long way to go, but I'm getting a little closer to understanding His love, grace and sacrifice for me. Gavin's life has shown me how profound God's gift to us really is! I've learned that suffering is actually a gift from the Lord above! If not been given the gift of Gavin, I would probably not be looking to God for His strength so often. I would be not be trusting in Him with so much of my life and I would not be looking so forward to life eternal with Him! It's quite awesome how much perspective suffering and uncertainty can really bring to a person.

With Gavin in my life I am more patient, yet less patient. I've been given the peace of knowing that things don't always happen when they are 'supposed' to happen. But, if you wait a little longer, when they do happen they mean SO much more! I'm less patient, in that, I don't have the patience for ignorance any longer. It's so hard for me to hear people complaining so often and it's VERY hard for me to hear the way some people talk about others or joke about their differences!

Since having Gavin I don't really feel like I fit into my old life. I have a difficult time relating to some people that I used to be close to, yet find myself forming close relationships with people that I had no relationship with at all or who can relate to me through their hardships. I've always been shy and reserved and hated to 'rock the boat', but I've had to open up more to make sure that Gavin's needs and sometimes my own, are being met. This gives me a sense of empowerment in some ways, but makes me feel mean and controlling in other ways. But, I've found out that sometimes it's the 'squeaky wheel that gets the grease' and that Gavin needs someone to be a good advocate for him. Some days I can't even picture myself living this life and the life that the future, with Gavin, will bring. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around wheeling Gavin around in a wheelchair and caring for him the rest of his or my life. Yet, I don't want to ever imagine NOT having him in my life! He is doing well now, but his heart is still very imperfect and only God knows what the future holds for Gavin and our family.

I've learned that the little things are just that.....little things! Yet, sometimes it's the little things that matter the most! I've become a better mother and friend, yet a less better mother and friend! This is a hard one to deal with. I have to make more time for Gavin and my other children, which leaves less time for others. I have to give so much to Gavin, which leaves less time for our other boys. But, in some ways having him makes me a better mom during the time I can spend with them.

Would I have chosen this life? No! Would I change my life? No! I am a work in progress and having Gavin has helped to form me into what God wants and needs for me to be. In church on Sunday we were told an analogy. The analogy was that delicious cookies are made from many ingredients. Each ingredient alone does not taste very good, but when stirred together and baked they become something wonderful! That is what we are like. Alone, we don't amount to much. Every part of our lives has meaning and purpose. And when I look back on my life, I can now see that each ingredient was necessary to make me what I am and what I am to become. I have faltered and wished that I could remove some of the ingredients, but once the ingredient is added, like we learned on Sunday, we can't remove it. We are to just keep stirring the mixture and let our batter be stirred by God. With the continuous stirring of God in our lives, we may some day become something as sweet as a cookie. I just pray that I may always try to glorify God in all that I do, knowing what He has done for me!


"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.........Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 58.



8 comments:

hennhouse said...

Just fantastic!

So many of your remarks I could have substituted my name and my daughter's name.

I think this piece is worthy of submission to a magazine.

Just simply wonderful.

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

I too am a work in progress, and I feel somedays like the progress is regressing.
This was beautifully written.
Thanks.

Cathy said...

Thank you for the beautiful writing and such great truths. I too, believe that through Annabel my relationship with my Lord is so much deeper. What wonderful gifts our special children have brought us! Cathy & Annabel

Laura said...

I just found your blog, and love the post I just read. I too have a son with DS. Jonathan is 9 and life always seems to be changing, I'm thankful God is leading the way. I'll check back to see how Gavin is doing and on your beautiful family.

Annette Selden said...

It's an interesting journey, Alicia. It's just like Psalm 23 (which makes sense, doesn't it), with travel at times beside still waters and sometimes through the valley of the shadow, and even some green pastures now and then. But we don't get to stay in any one of those places forever in this life. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your honesty. I know you're ministering to a lot of people!

Amy said...

Alicia, I've always been proud to be your sister (always!), but in the past 2 years, my pride has exponentially grown. You've opened the eyes of not only me, but many, many others who might not understand their faith as well as they could. It never ceases to amaze me how well you handle everything that has come your way since Gavin came into our lives, and while I do know God is lighting your way, I must sing YOUR praise, as well! Thank you for being so open with your feelings and for teaching me how blessed we truly are.

I shared this with a friend, who passed the link on to her pastor...she read it and felt so thankful to have these reminders, too. Again, you have changed so many lives through that little Gavin. When you were given that Dare to Be Great situation, you certainly stood strong to the test. (((HUGS)))

The VW's said...

Hennhouse,

Thanks! I'll be checking out your site soon. Thanks for visiting ours and for your kind comments!


Jessica,

Thank you! And, some days I feel like I've regressed as well. Those are always tough days, but I know that a brighter one is always around the corner. Hang in there! You are a great momma to Alex!

Cathy,

Our special children are definately gifts from God! Your little Annabel is one of the most precious!

Laura,

Thanks for visiting! I'd love to meet your gift from God!

Annette,

Thanks for always knowing just what to say! You have been a true blessing throughout our journey!

Amy,

Thanks for your kind words and for always lifting me up! I'm proud of you as well! LOVE YOU!


Love, Alicia

ruehshouse said...

Alicia,

I can relate to alot of things you said with our foster children---people ask me everyday--How do yo do it?? You just do--when you look into the eyes of these children we know that god sent them to us for a reason. Your post brought tears to my eyes but it also gave me strength. Sometimes it is hard to see these children go through so much and sometime I want to quit--but I know that EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON---and YOU CAN'T GROW IF YOU DON'T CHANGE. I live by those words everyday.
Love you lots--
April