On being forged into a warrior mom
If I could summarize our journey from Hell to HOPEISM, it would be in my faith, which I call HOPEISM. It has been my weapon of choice to get me through each battle I have had to fight in my mission to win our war called life with autism and seizures. Vaccine injury to be more specific. It would also be in committing to heart, soul, & mind the words and motto's from Forged, NDCQ, the Lone Survivor, and Levi Lusko in his book, "Through the Eyes of a Lion." I will be forever grateful to the inspiration, encouragement, and mental fortitude found through all of them collectively. Because of that, I am not allowing this tragedy of vaccine injury that has come into our lives to be an obstacle to being used by God. I am instead turning it into an opportunity to be used like never before!
This blog is dedicated to Brandon. His life has been forged by difficulty, obstacles, & all too often because of seizures - pain, blood, broken teeth, & broken bones. Yet through all that he has shown such fortitude. The bravery, strength, & resilience of a true warrior. He taught me that having strength through adversity means that even if you lose every battle, like the Lone Survivor, you never quit fighting until you win the war. That in the words of "NDCQ," you keep "dreaming," keep "daring," & keep "doing." As Team Guppy has yet to be able to escape vaccine injury, we have no choice but to as Levi Lusko writes, "Run toward the Roar." God has indeed given us such incredible power in enduring such impossible pain.
Some days the HOPEISM in that simply takes my breath away.
August 4, 2011
On being Religious, Radical, Rebellious, & Ridiculous.
Recently I've been a bit bummed-out by Religion and how it has affected those I care for, as well as myself. The hurt feelings that fester simply because someone chose to take the easy way out of ignoring instead of being open and truthful. The rumors that start, and spread, because someone chose to assume and not verify. The misunderstandings that go without being asked and clarified because the person chose to harbor resentment instead of resolution. All of these things I have experienced. All of these things hinder the Kingdom of God. All of these things fortify satan's stronghold. And all of these things are down right ridiculous when we are called to be radical. Rebellious I would dare to say. Radically rebelling against sin. Against complacency. Against ineffectiveness. Against a lost community. Against satan.
Ugh. I just don't get religion at times.
But I do get God.
A letter I received in the mail reminded me of that. That whenever religion doesn't make sense, and becomes downright ridiculous, squelching the very desire, fire to serve, and serve radically, that God so desires to be in each and every one of us; that it's not "religion" or "religious people's rules" I need to "get". It is GOD I need to get. Religion will never make sense. People will never make sense. But God will always make sense.
And He does.
A letter proved it to me on a day I needed proof. It was a letter from Brandon's Camp Counselor. A young man. It was addressed to Brandon. No one has ever sent a letter to Brandon. No one has ever sent a letter to Brandon about God. No one has ever sent a letter to Brandon about God, encouraging him, my Brandon, my Brandon who cannot read, write, or talk, - to pray to God. But his Camp Counselor did. He started off "Hey man, I hope you're feeling better!" (Brandon had seizures at camp) "I had a blast with you at Camp and I can't wait to see you again next year." He's not only writing a letter to Brandon, but he is writing a letter to Brandon and talking to Brandon as if he's his "typical" buddy. You cannot know what that does to a mamma's heart. This mamma's heart who has personally had a church in the past ask her not to bring her child back to that church because his needs could not be met, served. The letter goes on... "Camp ended for the summer. On the last day I decided that I wanted to send you a letter of encouragement at the beginning of each month. Each letter will have a challenge from me. It will be something to work on over the next month to strengthen your relationship with Christ. The challenge until my next letter comes is to pray. I want you to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It is such an important part of having a healthy relationship with Christ! Now you don't have to pray out loud, but I want you to pray in your heart. Too often I think that people assume you can't because of your special needs. But I think that people who think that way don't understand that spirituality is completely separate. The Holy Spirit does his work in us and no "handicap" can prevent that. People that try to say otherwise, who are they to question the work of the Lord? I want you to pray every chance and never sever that spiritual communication with the Holy Spirit!"
It was signed by his counselor.
I could only sit in my 120 degree car in the Post Office parking lot stunned & speechless after reading that. I know people who have been beyond discouraged from serving, who were denied serving in some way for some reason, and here I was reading a letter from a young man who knows that nothing can hinder a person from praying to God. And dare I say from serving God? Nothing can. Not sin. Not disability. Not autism. Not the fact that my son can't talk, read, or write. Nothing. He is encouraging him to seek the God who loves him, hears words not spoken, and who accepts him despite all of his imperfections! He is challenging my son, who schools think can't learn, who society thinks shouldn't be a part of, who insurance doesn't think needs equal coverage, who churches don't think need to learn about God too, who the government won't treat as worthy of help (not a hand out), -- to pray. To pray to the God who overcomes all that.
"The Holy Spirit does his work in us and no "handicap" can prevent that..."
That blows my mind. We typical adults with all the smarts in the world do not even fully grasp that. But yet here is a young man who not only grasps that, but is encouraging my son with a disability to grasp it too!
I wonder what would happen if we in the church, we who get caught up in why we can't do this and that, why we can't have this or that ministry because it's not "Bible Study" enough, why so and so can't serve in so and so position because of some so and so reason; --- would exchange the word "handicap" for "sin." For "blemish." For "political incorrectness." For "prejudice." For "blue streak and a feather in her hair." For "controversial stuff."
How about we go further and replace "in us" with "church".
This young man's letter was written to Brandon, but I pray he knows how much it has blessed me. Much like Brandon, I am different. I think different. See things differently. Do things differently. And when I feel squelched because of that, I need to remind myself of the wisdom in that camp counselor... In how for him it all boiled down to such simple, yet radical, things: Loving the Lord. Serving Others. Sharing the Gospel.
And when I think about it, that's the very motive behind anything I do.
While the church, any church, any one in the church, is busy tangled up in the web of all that "its" not about --- I can smile and be blessed by the people God has placed in my life, in my son's life, who truly "get" what its all about.
Thank you Brandon's Camp Counselor.