Days are hard. Not some days, or most days, but all the days are hard. Evan goes with me wherever I go, still. And, honestly, I don’t want to leave him behind.
I took him shopping with me recently. I was in a store trying on pants and I forgot he was with me … until I had to take off my shoes. I looked down and saw my Mario Kart Toad socks. Then I saw the dressing room door had about a foot of open space at the bottom. That door faced out to the entire fancy-pants store for all to see my Toad socks. I know this because earlier I saw my friend’s stylish little black no-show socks peeking out from her dressing room door. Toad. Welcome to my world.
I read something online from a woman who said she was tired of reading about grief. She had never experienced any kind of grief in her special needs journey. She was so grounded in her faith and the word of God that she trusted whatever he laid before her. Wow. I’m not there yet. I trust, but I know grief and big ole’ obnoxious, snotty, ugly crying. But, in the same day I read from Scott Sauls in his new book Irresistible Faith that even Jesus cried. Even Jesus knew the grief of this world.
Over and over this week I’ve been drawn to the end of Isaiah 52 and beginning of Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant part that focuses on the coming Savior who will die a not so pretty death and live a life rejected by so many. God will use our coming Savior in not so great ways that not a one of us would choose.
But the Glory of the Servant, oh the glory to come. By His wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5 NIV).
I read everything through the special needs lens at least once, and this was no exception. If God chose to use his own Son in the most spectacularly difficult, painful, yet glory to come way; what makes my life and the life of my child any exception?
“his appearance was so disfigured … his form marred … so will he sprinkle many nations … they will see.” (Isa. 52:14 NIV)
We know how our children are watched because of their differences. They are heard more because I know we had no volume control. We stood out. Stood out like Toad socks in an elegant store.
Today, I stand out because I’m the one who can’t make it through one single worship song in church without sobbing. Our nose blowing draws sideways stares. But God can use this time in our lives, our children’s lives, to His glory just like he did with Jesus. It’s okay to cry, grieve and still trust. Just like Jesus did.
Our kids may be loved, yet despised and rejected at times. Our grief may be accepted, yet hurried on or evaded. Still, during this Christmas season, I can’t help think of what glory is to come. The book of Isaiah foretold the coming of a Savior who would know love, yet, pain and suffering. The same Savior who will tell us later in the New Testament that if we follow Him we, too, will know pain and suffering. But joining with the Suffering Servant means we join in the Glory of the Servant.
Christmas so often means focusing on a baby and His birth. This season I’m thankful for that baby’s life to come; the pain He knew would come and He chose anyway. I’m praising God for the Savior he sent as a baby only to die to give us a place of a Heavenly home someday.
So if suffering a while here means glory later. I’ll wear my Toad socks, my Spongebob socks, my Mario socks and sob snot balls in worship for a little while longer. This grief is but a moment.
Favorite Song Today: By His Wounds // Mac Powell & Friends