How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
There have been quite a few unexpected packages in my life. I have had three miscarriages. Three babies I never got to hold. The first one was absolutely devastating. After praying and hoping for a second child for two years we were finally pregnant. And then I started bleeding on Thanksgiving day. How could this be a blessing, something to be thankful for? As time passed I was able to see some blessings in that package. A greater reliance on God, a trust that He could get me through even hard things. A closer relationship with my husband.
One unexpected blessing from those times did not come to light until I learned of Mason’s Spina bifida. Here was an unexpected package dropped in my family’s lap. One we never dreamed we would be given. In those first days after diagnosis it was not known if the Spina bifida was just plain old SB or if is was a symptom of other medical issues. Those issues all centered around genetic problems that would guarantee our son would die before or shortly after birth. It was not only raining, it was pouring in our life.
I didn’t want to open the package we had just been given to see what was inside. Well, like any gift, we started to unwrap it. Trust in a loving God that had been developed over the loss of 3 babies gave us courage. We knew God’s promise that Mason’s body was created on purpose, not on accident:
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…” Jeremiah 1:5
We learned Mason had severe but garden variety Spina bifida with no genetic complications. We would be able to hold this child in our arms. Yes, he was coming with medical issues, many of them. We could see it as a gift because we had gained perspective from our previous unexpected packages.
As time went on we learned more of what we would all be facing. We unwrapped a layer of this unexpected package to find another box to unwrap. Lifelong medical needs. Brain surgeries. Spinal surgery. Catheters. Wheelchairs. Each unexpected package could be seen as yet another trial or as a blessing.
I faced my own inadequacies. My weakness. I was stretched raising six healthy children, how would I ever handle the added needs of this son? There is not enough time in the day and now I would be adding therapies, appointments, and extra care? Would I ever sleep again? The only way I could see getting the basics accomplished in daily life was to give up sleeping.
In the midst of my worry and exhaustion God used a song on the radio to adjust my perspective. It’s Blessings by Laura Story:
We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?
There are more verses to the song which you can listen to here if you would like. It was a song I needed at the time, a reminder that these storms and hard things were really blessings. That the lifelong challenges are blessings. Mason changed our lived irrevocably - for the better. He is an unqualified, undeserved blessing in my life.
What unexpected packages has God given you? Have you seen the blessings yet?