my mama heart hurts today. today was hard.
we pulled up and I just knew. I knew it was going to be hard. my heart started pounding and I thought about just turning around. but then I knew I had to be brave.
brave for my sweet two and a half year old.
brave for me.
the park was swarming with kids, five and six years old. one of my favorite age groups from my teaching days, but also the age group I fear the most as a mama to a child who merely looks different than other kids. kids that age are raw and filterless and I know when Lucas goes to school it will be tough.
we walked over, chick-fil-a in hand, and I nervously watched as things panned out just as I thought they would. kids that noticed us could not stop staring at Lucas. pointing him out to their friends, asking “why?”, and “where’s your arm?”, and almost giggling with amazement. tears streamed down my face behind my sunglasses as I helplessly watched from the sidelines. I understand their curiosity…the mind of five year old is amazing and honest… but it doesn’t change how much it hurts.
Lucas has no idea what these kids were saying or thinking, he is still so young and naive. and for that I am thankful. my heart aches in anticipation of the day he comprehends what is happening.
i’m still navigating these waters, and i will be honest, it is not easy. I want to run and protect Lucas, I want to defend him and “teach those kids a lesson”. sometimes i want to hide from big crowds just because it would be easier.
The redeeming part of this whole situation was, Lucas was so, so happy. he was running around like a little wild man, seemingly joyful about all the attention he was getting. there was an innocence there that was just pure joy and freedom.
not all hope is lost, my friends. THERE IS JOY IN THE SORROW. there is hope, there is something to hold on to here.
it was a tough day, a really tough day for being a mom. but it was good for us. good for me. good for Lucas. he had the time of his life running around with those kids, and I got to be reminded how much Jesus loves my son. loves me.
I have felt that having Lucas as my son has been one giant metaphor for what it means to follow Christ. it is going to be hard for Lucas. people are going to be mean and say dumb and hurtful things. it’s going to continue to be hard for Ben and me. Christ never promises us this life will be easy. in fact, he says the opposite, “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16.33). i could wallow in the sadness and let it get to me, which would be valid. i could muster up my own strength and soldier on, until the comments and wounds get to be too much and i get knocked down again. OR I could choose to follow Christ. who gives us ALL we need … ALL the strength, ALL the compassion, ALL the comfort, things we don’t even know we need… he is ready and willing to give us. John 16.33 starts off with telling us this world is going to be tough, but it concludes with “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” wow. what a relief.
how do i know this? because Jesus gave us everything when he paid for our sins on the cross. we deserved to be eternally separated from God because of the state of our sinful nature. but God couldn’t bear it. he couldn’t bear to not be with us. so he sent his one and only son, Jesus, to pay our penalty. because of this, we are given the door to everything…we just have to step through the doorway and accept the gift Jesus is giving us. the gift of salvation.
slowly, I could see a handful of kiddos showing some kindness and gentleness towards Lucas. a couple of them took turns pushing him on the swing. a few kids stopped and i heard a couple “hi, buddy-ies!”. i also heard a few kids gently explaining to others that “he was born that way”. i have hope that not every day is going to feel like this. I have hope that God is going to put some buddies in Lucas’ life to have his back.
it is so, so amazing because the lord has already answered some of our prayers for Lucas. he has two little brothers – two built-in best friends! a team, a pack. it makes my heart happy just thinking about it. He is good and I know he has good things for Lucas and for our family.
I’m so thankful that I can rest in the security of the Lord. that he gives me everything I need. everything my son needs. and at the end of the day, even the hard, lots of tears days, I can find joy in the sorrow.
below are some scriptures that came to my mind as I was sorting through all this. I hope these can be encouraging to you.
2 Corinthians 1.3 – 4 – “praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who COMFORTS us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 3.17 – “now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”
Galatians 5.1 – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
John 16.33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
photos by Lori Baskin