Back towards the beginning of the year, I had asked Truitt’s pediatrician if he qualified us for a handicapped parking permit. He wasn’t walking yet, and I was hauling him in the backpack with 4 other small children across Walmart’s parking lot. Truth be told, I wanted it for the other 4 kids more than for him. She said he more than qualified and registered us for the permit.
When the permit arrived a couple weeks later, so did the cloud. I always knew it was there, but I was on top of it. God had formed Truitt this way for a reason, he gave him to David and I on purpose, and as long as I kept this perspective I was on top of the cloud, riding it where it took us, but hanging onto it by the reigns from above it. Now somehow I was swimming blindly in the middle of it. The handicapped permit brought a flood of labels into reality for me. Disability, handicapped; chronic; no cure; one-of-kind; the rest of his life; future unknown; can’t predict the outcome; never seen this before; progressive disease; custom made shoes; compression therapy; durable medical equipment; we’ll watch him closely; prone to infection… The words swarmed through my head constantly, and their color tainted everything I saw. But nothing had really changed. I just had a new sticker hanging in the window. God had not changed. He still had purpose in making Truitt the way He did. He had still made me and David qualified to take care of him. But the feelings. The cloud. I couldn’t shake it. And I couldn’t find my way to the top of it. For weeks.
As I write this, I can honestly say that I am not in the middle of the cloud. I have come up and down out of it a few times since then though. And I can’t say I know exactly how I made it to the top each time. I do know though, that God is good. That He has purpose in the way He made Truitt. Purpose for me. Purpose for him. Purpose for my other children. Purpose for our family. Purpose for our friends. Purposes that Truitt’s chronic, never-seen, incurable, disabling, inconvenient, sometimes scary condition is a part of. Sometimes I have faith for this. Most often I am given faith for this. I would never have chosen this path for Truitt or our family, but I am convinced that if I could see our lives with Heaven’s eyes, I would have without hesitation chosen this for us.
And as for being in the midst of the cloud, I am so grateful for the people God has placed in our lives who help us find footing when we can’t find the top. People who encourage us, support us, and practically help us. People who pray for us, watch our children, tell us we’re doing a good job, clean our house, invest in our marriage, invest in our children, listen to me ramble… People who encourage our faith. People who help lift us out of the cloud. People who are obeying God’s command to “bear one another’s burdens.” I pray that our family will be those kinds of people for others.“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14