All Things Work Together for Good
Nearly two years ago I wondered how any good could come out of our situation. Our baby was about a week old. She was in the intensive care unit and we had no idea how long she would be there for. (She has Down Syndrome, she was very fragile and she needed heart surgery). Our children were staying with my parents 5 hours away.
Before this I had always looked after my children myself. So it was hard to have to give that job/responsibility to someone else. All the uncertainties didn’t help and my youngest was only 1 1/2yrs.
I remember one day I was very upset. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work for the children to come and visit and I had no idea how long it would be before I saw them again.
In tears I asked God, “How is this good? How can any good come from our family being separated? Isn’t a mother supposed to be able to look after her own children? Isn’t this going to affect our children?”
I believed God’s promise that all things work together for good to them that love God, but I couldn’t understand how.
God didn’t show me the answer right then. But he gave me the grace to give my children and my family to God and trust Him to help us.
This week I have been reflecting on the last two years with all its difficulties and I can now see some of the good that has come out of it. In fact, there is quite a list! I hope there are more that I don’t even know about.
Here is the list I made…
1. I have gained faith that God can help me through any trial
2. Much experience
3. Growth (spiritual and social)
(I have learned many lessons spiritually and also learned that I can live surrounded by an audience! That was a good experience for a ‘not very social’, shy, home lover like myself!)
4. The sweetest happiest little girl that brightens up our home and makes many people smile
5. A stronger bond with my husband
6. A special bond with any family with DS or health problems
7. Empathy---to know what it’s like
(Now I know how devastating it feels to be told your child has a disability. I know what it’s like to be ‘trapped’ inside a hospital for a long time. I know what’s it’s like to have your world turned upside down…)
8. Meeting many new people we wouldn’t have met otherwise
9. My book of encouragement
(Before Lydia was born, I started to fill a small notebook with encouraging verses, hymns, poems, quotes etc. that would help me while Lydia was in hospital. Since then I have continually added to it, and I often go back to it when I’m finding things difficult. I’m thankful I got the idea as it’s been a huge help.)
10. Losing my fear of disabilities
(Before Lydia was born, I was scared of people with intellectual disabilities. And I was not at all attracted to people with Down Syndrome. It took having my own child with DS to cure that!)
11. More opportunities
(For example… at the airport a few weeks ago, an old couple stopped and talked to us for a while. They had a ‘big downie’, as they called their daughter with DS! If we hadn’t of had Lydia, they wouldn’t have talked to us.)
12. More perseverance
(I think I have learned some patience and perseverance through our experiences with Lydia.)
13. Other people have been encouraged
(Some people have told us that they have being encouraged by seeing God help us through our trials.)
14. I am more thankful for simple things
(like seeing my family each day, being at home, being able to do housework…)
15. We value each other more
16. Time alone with Johan
(Johan likes to have time away together without the children sometimes, but I find that more difficult and don’t like to ask people to take them. But this situation was completely out of my control, and since Lydia was in intensive care a lot, we were able to have special times together with just the two of us that we never would have had otherwise.)
17. Some verses and hymns have a much deeper meaning to me now
One time while waiting for an x-ray for Lydia I was chatting to Lydia's nurse about our situation. At that time, Lydia has been in hospital for around 7 weeks with a complication after her heart surgery. The nurse was saying how difficult it must have been for us. I said, “Yes, but it has been a really good experience.”
She looked at me as if I was crazy!
But I was right! Or should I say, God’s promise is right.
“All things do work together for good to them that love God…”