"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." -Proverbs 19:21
It never ceases to amaze me how, when I start to feel sorry for myself, the Lord slaps me with a heavy dose of "get over it"!!!
Today, I sold a little shelf that I had in my craft room to a lady here in Maumelle. I had never met this lady in person, only had spoken with her via email and phone. She came to look at the piece today, and she had with her, her daughter, who is almost exactly Ava's age. They are less than 2 weeks apart. This little girl is a typical child, and it was the first time that I had really interacted with a child that is right on Ava's age but of typical development. The little girl was so sweet and shy, and immediately sat down and started playing with a few of Ava's toys quietly while her mommy and I talked. I was taken over by just a wave of sadness that came out of no where. Looking at her, I saw all of my hopes and dreams for Ava that I have had to let go of over the past month. But it didn't take long for me to snap back into my reality....this evening I was trolling facebook, and happened upon a post from a friend. Her niece, who is two, is battling brain cancer. Her older sister went to Heaven as an infant due to another illness. Those parents have lost a child and are watching another fight for her little life. And I am sad that my kid doesn't sit quietly and play like her peers?!?! Or that she won't go to prom?!?! How silly!!!! My baby is here, with me! At home. I can love her and kiss her all I want to! That, my friends, is perspective.
The reality of it is that my child isn't typical. She is special! Earlier in the day, I met a lady that had made and painted some wooden doll furniture as part of Ava's Christmas gift. As I was driving to meet her, I was thinking to myself how sad I was that Ava probably wouldn't play with the furniture as intended for quite some time, if ever. Then when I was talking to the girl, I was telling her about Ava. Turns out that she had lost her only daughter just hours after birth. And I just thought to myself "how selfish are you, Rachel?!" And this lady just kept talking to Ava and loving on her. Because, given the chance, I am sure she would opt to have a "special needs" daughter over one in Heaven any day! And Ava is so very lovable! If you have never met her in person, I don't think I can adequately describe how she just pulls you into her being and engages you with a smile that lights up a room! And I am so thankful for that part of her- be it Angelman Syndrome or just her personality, maybe a combination of both? But it is remarkable!
Ava's life, and our life with her, will not be without it's significant challenges. But it will be one filled with love, hope, memories, and joy! And for that I rejoice. I still pray that one day a cure will be found, and that one day my baby will be able to do the things that her body and that
And lastly, I would like to issue you a challenge. And this isn't just for you, but (mostly) for myself as well. I challenge ALL of us, that each time we start to feel sorry for ourselves or our circumstances, we take a moment and take stock in what we do have. In our blessings. I think if we all spent more time counting our blessings, we wouldn't have much time at all to worry about the things we don't have. Because there is always someone who is hurting more, struggling more, more in need... And what a blessing it would be for everyone if we all prayed for them first?