She started jumping up and down waving her hands wildly. I thought she was trying to be funny and started to laugh. Then I saw her face was changing color rapidly.
My daughter Aryanna had a friend over, we’ll call her Clara, so I don’t embarrass her by telling this story. The girls had been sitting at the forest green counter in our cheerful white kitchen. I was puttering around washing dishes and putting away the lunch food when Clara started doing her hilarious show, and I was laughing. Then her eyes were getting bigger and bigger, and I realized she was choking. I ran behind her and did my version of the Heimlich since I’d never taken CPR.
I always meant to take the course but never got around to it. My version would have to do. I must have done something right because the hard candy came flying out and ten-year-old Clara was soon in my arms, crying softly. I was shaken, just thinking of how Clara could have died if I hadn’t been in the kitchen.
It wasn’t the first time I happen to be in the right place at the right time.
I was on the top floor of our two-story house heading to the washroom when I looked in my ten-year-old son, Kyle’s, periwinkle room. He had wanted to take an afternoon nap and was now convulsing violently on his bed. I yelled for my husband, Vance, as I rushed into the room.
I flipped Kyle unto his side. His blue eyes were rolled back, and he was slowly turning redder and redder, from lack of oxygen and pressure on his face, as he convulsed. By now Vance was with us, and he and I didn’t know what to do.
He was going to die.
“Oh God help him. Please, God, help him!” I just kept chanting that over and over, begging God for his help.
Kyle’s seizure slowly subsided. He was gasping for air for a good ten minutes as his body tried to revive itself and get oxygen back to his starved brain. The vessels in his face had broken as though someone had put their hands around his neck and choked him.
Hundreds of times this child almost died and not just because of epileptic seizures. It seemed as though someone wanted his life snuffed out.
I would ask myself, “Why is my helpless child with severe autism, epilepsy, bipolar, OCD…. going through this?
I had many friends with twelve-year-old boys, but their children didn’t seem to have near-death experiences week after week.
I had called the poison-control hotline so many times they threatened to call the police on me because they thought I was one of those mothers who was poisoning my child on purpose. Believe me, if I had wanted to kill a child, I wouldn’t have messed up about fifty-four times in five years.
I loved my son.
Kyle had swallowed, paint, drugs, tinfoil, freshener pouches from vitamins bottles, his own seizure medication (the whole bottle)… the list can go on and on.
I began to wonder how he could survive so many poisonings and not die. It seemed as though he had a fluttering of angels following him around where ever he went. At times I pondered whether his life had a more significant purpose.
He preferred the four walls of his bedroom where he wanted to live a hermit life.Life was more comfortable for Kyle if he could just live in his room. His world was small and insignificant.
Have you ever look at your life or your child’s and wonder if there’s any meaning or purpose in it? Does life seem bleak and hopeless? Do you feel like giving up and tossing in the towel…you are done?
I’m here to tell you to not give up. To hold on. To have hope. I used to feel like you.
God has a purpose for all your pain and heartache. It’s not all…for nothing.
Years ago I sat on the floor outside Kyle’s bedroom door weeping. I was pregnant with my third child, and had just opened Kyle door and peaked in. To my mortification, his whole entire room was covered in feces: walls, bedding, toys, clothes, etc. I had been getting up ten to fifteen times a night with Kyle for a couple of years since he had a sleeping disorder. My husband worked out of town during the week, so I was on my own Monday to Friday.
I had just had another all-nighter, and when I opened the door already exhausted and saw the disgusting mess I had to clean up, I lost it!
I fell to the floor weeping uncontrollably. I raised my fist in the air shaking them at the heavens.
God, I hate YOU!
YOU don’t care about me.
YOU sit on your high throne doing nothing…while you watch me suffer.
I #$@&$!# hate you!
I was too selfish back then to think about my son’s suffering because I was so focused on my own. It feels shameful to write this story and show you how disrespectful I was to God. Thankfully, he has big shoulders and would prefer I use words like these ones I spewed at him than to never talk to him at all.
Yes, he is genuinely forgiving, or he would expire me a long time ago.
He also understands we are human and don’t always see the BIGGER picture.
We don’t get to glimpse behind the scenes, where God is intricately designing beautiful, fragrant roses amongst the painful thorns in our lives.
You’re not alone.
Nick Vujicic was born without arms and legs. There was no medical explanation for why this happened. At one point in his teenage years, he gave up any hope of having a bright future and wanted to end his bleak life.
Nick thought his life had no purpose.
After many years of depression and searching for meaning, he slowly came out of his despair, through the encouragement of friends and family. Nick eventually realized God had a plan for his life.
Today Nick is married with children and travels the world speaking to millions of people.
These are Nick’s words, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!”
His purpose: to give people hope.
What if Nick had been born healthy? Do you think he would have reached six million people with his story? I don’t know about you but when someone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth, has never had a problem, and has a comfy-cozy life, I wonder what I can learn from them. I’m not trying to be high and mighty, it’s just that I want to know how people survived a life that seemed bleak and hopeless. What was their story? What answers did they find to this life’s problems? How did they get through?
I wish I could tell you I travel the world, like Nick, with my son Kyle, speaking to millions of people about having hope and believing their life has a purpose. My reality is: I sit in my small corner of Amazon with a lovely book, Beauty from Ashes, and a website encouraging people, who are drowning in life’s abyss to reach out, to ask God to use their experience to make a masterpiece others can use for inspiration.
My son’s life has really turned around this past year, and we live each day with a renewed sense of purpose. We know in the world’s eyes Kyle looks insignificant. But in God’s eyes… he is a treasure, inspiring hurting people. There are hope and purpose in Kyle’s life now, I just didn’t see it when I was weeping and shaking my angry fists at God. If I could have had a glimpse of today, back then, I may have been joyful, despite the circumstances.
If he can take my life and my son’s, and create something meaningful from it, he can do the same with yours.
God loves your broken pieces and desires to turn them into something of beauty. Ask him today to do that for you… you’re worth it.
Keep hoping, praying and believing 💗
Isaiah 61: 3 NIV
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
Believing and hoping
Cindy Seaton 💗
Read about my transformation in my novel, Beauty from Ashes, which can be viewed or purchased on Amazon.