As the morning light flooded through my bedroom window, I realized today would have been my grandfather’s ninety-first birthday. Though he passed away four years ago, I can still hear his laughter, his deep baritone voice, and see the image of his open Bible resting on his lap. 

When I was growing up we lived nine hours away from my grandparents’ one-stoplight town in Arkansas. My brother and I looked forward to these visits for weeks. Their home was quaint, with a lovely porch and swing. Bright flowers, in shades of pink, purple, and white lined the sidewalk. As soon as we pulled into their gravel drive, we leaped out of the car and met them with big hugs and squeals of excitement. Almost immediately upon our arrival, we climbed up into the back of Papa’s pickup truck to head to the grocery store for what Papa called our Little Debbie Run. He let my brother and I choose our very own box of any Little Debbie snack we wanted.

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Without a Word

Photo by Kandra Benton. Used with permission.

Nothing defines my life more clearly than being the mother of a child with profound medical and developmental needs. My oldest of three daughters has radically shaken my faith countless times. Questions have arisen that will never be answered on this side of heaven. I must daily choose Jesus over answers, submitting my desires and dreams for my child to His ultimate authority. 

Watching anyone suffer is painful, but when it is your child it reaches a new threshold–anguish that is indescribable. Because I would never want to limit God’s divine plan for her life, or for my own, I’ve had to choose to trust Him. He has carved away at who I once was through my child, who without realizing it, beautifully reflects Jesus.

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