This post is going to be a little different as it is actually written by by husband. He doesn't know I'm sharing this, but, as I prepared to share during a recent Moms and Tots at church, I came across something Brandon had written back this spring. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, so, I wanted to share it with you all.
You faithful blog readers have only heard my side of our struggles, growth and changed perspective since our Nolan was born. Here is the perspective from the husband, daddy, and faithful seeker of Christ. I love that his perspective is different than mine (could you imagine if we were both a hot mess like me?:). I love his ability to accept knowledge....actually, I just love that he does . just. accept. Be blessed.
Brandon: So, “why” is the question that has plagued us from the beginning. The question has brought us sadness, anger, and confusion. But more importantly God has poked and prodded us to earnestly seek the answer. While it still seems unfair and sometimes surreal, we have begun to better understand that God’s ways are not always our ways. One of my first thoughts when we received Nolan’s diagnosis, was “my punishment has finally been delivered.” I can’t believe it now, but for most of my life I felt that eventually God would have his fill of my sinful ways, and give me a smack down, so to speak. I was living my life in a sort of bondage of self righteousness. I knew Christ, and I had accepted his free gift of salvation, but I still felt that I had to bear my own punishment. Living with that burden often creates fear, guilt, and frustration. No matter what, I will always fall short. On my own, without relying on the Spirit of God in me, I fail. I struggled with why God would use an innocent child as a vehicle for punishment. Through some needed counsel, prayer, and God revealing himself through his Word, my twisted understanding of my relationship with God was revealed. Though looking back I feel a little embarrassed for not understanding this, but God did not give us Nolan as some sort of punishment for some unforgivable sin. God does not punish His children for being inadequate. He has delivered us from our inadequacy. Romans 8: 1-2 says, “1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” And Romans 6: 23, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s it…. the punishment is death, but Christ bore that punishment when he offered himself up on the cross. Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient. Even though we face trials, they are meant for our refining. We found comfort in Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” God is always growing us, sharpening us, and giving us opportunities to glorify Him.
Deep breath… so if we are not being punished, God must have a different purpose for this detour from our plans. We still feel sometimes like, “God why have you chosen our family to use in this way?” But he always pulls us back in. He reminds us, “Hey, I’m God. I’ve got this. Just trust in me and enjoy the ride.” He entrusted us with Nolan to accomplish His purposes. Nolan is such a blessing to our family and honestly, everyone who meets him. It is truly amazing to think about the journey that God has taken us on thus far. From the sadness and utter despair when this all began to the peace and joy that we are able to experience now. We have been given the privilege to have our perspective on life completely changed in a powerful way by God. The expectations that we had for our family and our children seem to not be nearly as important as they once did. We’re human, so we still like to be in the driver’s seat, but we are definitely looking for God’s leading in a way that we never did before He gave us Nolan.