It was late at night as I quietly sat in my small chair, listening to the muted humming of the monitors, the hushed conversations in the hallway, and the rhythmic puffs of air that allowed my son to breathe. It was in that dark room that I found myself feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed. And, honestly, I didn't like it.
For the past twenty years, I had been the tough one. I had helped my son survive heart attacks, seizures, surgeries, pneumonias, and a life of severe handicaps and challenges. The more we went through, the tougher we got. And although things were never easy, as a Christian I knew they would always turn out okay in the end.
But this time things were different. This time our problems felt just too big.
Learning Through Pain
My son, Aaron, was no stranger to challenges. As a result of a childhood brain injury, he was completely dependent on others to meet his daily needs. The beautiful thing about Aaron, however, was that he was truly a beam of sunshine. With curly red hair and a face full of freckles, his smile was a gift he freely shared with everyone he met. As Aaron's mom, I quickly learned important lessons. I learned that everything took way more time and energy than I originally planned. I learned that handicapped parking spaces were never wide enough. And I learned that our lives were always one step away from chaos.
As a Christian, I also learned important spiritual lessons. I learned that God was faithful. I learned that God had my back. And I learned that his plans were, ultimately, bigger and better than anything I could ever imagine.1