This is a personal one for me. One I don’t share much of, but I know many are quietly suffering in this way, so here it goes –
Most of my fifteen years of motherhood have been spent sitting outside or inside my precious child’s room, trying to protect him by keeping him (and I) safe as his illness turned him into someone he couldn’t control. Fifteen years of memories and experiences I must carry mostly alone due to its nature.
But that’s not the focus of what I want to share. I want to share the miracle God has been doing in our lives (and his) in order to give others hope.
This same child, who I wondered if he even had the ability to grasp the gospel with the complexities of his illness, gave his life to Christ five years ago in the most miraculous way possible.
Did that take his illness away? No. But it took the enemy’s power out of it, removing the scary darkness behind his eyes in these moments of heartbreaking struggle. He was still sick, but Satan’s power in it was restrained.
Fast forward to this year and we had to make one of the hardest decisions a parent has to make to get him the help he needed. I’ve never endured something so painful.
But God worked miracles in his heart and mind during this season. Christ’s power penetrated through the impossible, not necessarily healing him physically, but enabling him to heal and grow spiritually despite it. Yet, as thankful as I was for some of that healing, my heart still struggled deeply with the effects of 15 painful years. I honestly didn’t know if our relationship could ever be fully healed.
This week, out of the blue, my child looked at me and said, “Mom, I’m so sorry for how much I’ve hurt you in my life and how badly I’ve treated you. You didn’t deserve that and I feel so sad for how much pain my struggles have caused you. I didn’t think I’d ever feel hope in life, but I do because you haven’t given up on me.”
Once I picked my jaw up from the floor, tears welled up. This was nothing short of God’s miraculous work in a heart and mind that mental science would deem impossible. But that’s God’s specialty. Doing the impossible.
I know we aren’t the only ones who have walked this lonely, excruciating journey. And none of us have a guaranteed outcome. But here’s my encouragement –
Even after fifteen years of living a story where healing and redemption seemed impossible apart from a miracle, my son and I can both say with confidence as Joseph said to his brothers (and to satan who was trying destroy him),
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”Genesis 50:20
God’s power is greater than the enemy’s. And no matter how impossible your situation may seem – nothing is impossible with our God.
Don’t lose hope. Your story isn’t finished.
For his glory,
You can now order Sarah’s new book – Tears and Tossings: Hope in the Waves of Life, releasing May 2nd.
To read more on the hope we have in suffering, you can purchase “Hope When It Hurts – 30 Biblical Reflections to Help You Grasp God’s Purpose in Your Suffering” authored by Sarah Walton and Kristen Wetherell here or here. Jeff and Sarah Walton’s marriage book, Together Through the Storms – Biblical Encouragements for Your Marriage When Life Hurts.