We all know it. That deep breath in, and the sigh that follows that slumps you shoulders down

reflecting the condition of your spirit. It’s the sign of a defeated person.  We’ve all been there.  For some it’s like circling around and around a parking lot, hoping to find a parking spot of relief.  We’ve been there before and will return many times in our lives.  I am in one of those spots.  A conversation about how long your child will be able to stay with you, if you will say goodbye to them in your home as a child or an adult, is a sobering deflating moment.  It brings fear as well as sorrow.  When I was giving birth to my first son, never in my mind did it remotely occur to me that one day I could lose him.  Honestly until this last week, it still didn’t. Questions arise like “Will he think we are abandoning him?”, “how often would we really be able to visit him?” “I can’t imagine sitting for dinner without him and knowing he is having dinner with someone else.”and more echo in my mind.  The most guilt producing thing is when the idea of having a normal household enters in your mind,  you entertain it for a moment. No more double deadbolt locked doors to the outside, and windows you could actually open more than 4 inches because like the doors, they won’t have the special locks either, etc. I joke that once you’re inside my house you only get out if I say you can:). And for a small moment, before the guilt sets in, there is respite. You then think “How terrible of a mom am I?”.  The truth is, as wonderful as these circumstances would be, they would not be enjoyable knowing my son is away.  My mind neglects to take Taylor out of the picture when it is

picturing these said ideal situations.  I’ve always tried so hard to feel as normal as possible because I didn’t want to be alone and feel I don’t belong. Only when I realize the cost of normalcy, I don’t want to be normal anymore. Being normal is not worth your family. It can be a lonely world where you hide inside because you so often feel an outcast.  Now, I know, people will jump on my use of the word normal. I know that “no one is normal”, but there is an undefined understanding as to what passes for “normal” or “average”.  You may not notice it if your life falls in its parameters, but for those who are out of the median, it is painfully obvious that we walk a fairly different path than would be expected.  Only lately, when things got so hard, I had no choice but to lean in, truly in, for the first time in my life.  My husband and I have a community group at our church that we have been in for our whole marriage, but not until this last year or two have we been reaching out.  You see, we have been burned before. Not by our church, but elsewhere.  Finally our circumstances became to hard to handle on our own. We asked for prayer, they gave it.  They came together and blessed us at Thanksgiving last year (2012).  Members have reached out and blessed us by watching Taylor at the service time our group meets so we can attend. We couldn’t attend church as a married couple for about two years, and it took a toll on our marriage. Recently, I asked for more prayer for Taylor about the conversation we had with his teacher of will he be able to stay with us through high school.  I thought I’d be fine sharing and then all of a sudden I broke down, more than I ever had before, after half a sentence.  I thought I might not even be able to finish. I could see the faces of the group show shock as I told them of our situation.  The room was already quiet before, but now it was as if no one was breathing. Amazingly I was able to reveal how hard our circumstances were in honest and concise (considering the subject matter) words.  For the first time I was able to let go and be real. And in a moment people gathered around and prayed. A friend grabbed my hand.  I tried not to sob.  For the first time, I felt we truly fit in.  What I thought and hoped might be was confirmed in a powerful way.  Fear is still there about Taylor and his future. Sadness comes as well as joy.  In all this I know we are not alone.  Thank you, our friends at CORE. You are a blessing to us… More than you know.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. 11 Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10(NLT)

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.

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5 Comments on Weakness, Trust, and the Power of Community

  1. (Copied from feedback and pasted here in comments)

    Oh Sarah, I don’t know what to say. As I sit here (crying) thinking of you, Taylor and your beautiful family, I am overwhelmed by how unfair life is. You are such wonderful parents, so loving, and yet you have such a difficult road ahead. I wish only the best for your beautiful, blue-eyed boy with the smile that can bring joy to even the worst days. And I pray that, no matter what the future brings, you and Ryan will find peace, comfort, strength and rest in Gods arms.
    ~Tammy E

  2. Oh, Sarah, it's hard to put into words my thoughts after reading this. First, you are an excellent writer! Perfect spelling and grammar, which may seem petty in light of what you wrote, but for someone like me, it keeps me interested in what you have to say.

    I have wondered, as Taylor gets older and stronger, if he would eventually need to move into a home that could address his specific needs and protect him, and his family. You have shared with such poignancy the gut-wrenching difficulty this will be for you and Ryan. You are such good parents! Navigating this unplanned life and being Taylor's greatest advocates has been the hardest and best thing you've ever accomplished. I commend you for realizing that you may need help in your future.

    I look forward to reading more posts (I didn't know you had a blog!). I love you!

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