When you were a teenager was there a point in your life where you almost made a really stupid decision that would have ruined your life forever? I can relate, I was one of those foolish girls…
When I was in high school and was at an age where I knew better than my mother what life was all about, a band came to town.
My girlfriend Linda and I had met the group of four young men somewhere in our town of Wawa. I can’t even remember how we actually first met them. But I hung out with the band the week they were playing their gig.
I was bored with life and was looking for some excitement and an escape from my boring existence. I was tired of being a good girl.
Up to this point in my life, I never had drunk, smoked or done drugs. I was a good, dull Christian girl according to my peers. Sometimes I wished I could break away from the label and just fit in with the rest of the teenagers my age.
Wawa’s centre of attraction was their local beach which was just a ten-minute walk from my apartment. Linda and I met the band at the lake on a few of the beautiful summer afternoons.
One of the young men whose name I think was Roger took a bit of an interest in me, and I spent most of my time talking with him.
One afternoon they invited another friend of mine and me up to their room above the Lakeview Hotel. They said we’d only be up there for a minute or two. My conscience told me this was a bad idea, but I ignored it.
I had never had a boyfriend, so I really knew nothing about young men. When we got upstairs, they pulled out some alcohol and a funnel and a tube. I had no clue what they were for. I was beginning to get really nervous, something didn’t seem right.
Then they explained they were going to insert the tube down my friend’s throat and pour alcohol into her tummy. I was out of there in a flash and told my friend to follow. I ran outside and down the back stairs and waited at the bottom for my friend. She came out a minute or two later and looked unharmed.
A few days later I saw Roger, and we went for a walk. He said they would be leaving on Friday and if I wanted to come on the road with them, to meet them at the hotel in the morning.
Doesn’t he sound like a knight in shining armour ready to rescue a damsel in distress from her small town life?
Fast forward about thirty some years…
Our son Kyle who has severe autism and is twenty-eight years old goes out with his staff each day if he’s feeling well. One morning he was having a bit of a rough time getting out, so my husband Vance told his staff to wait in the van, and he would help Kyle get dressed and out the door.
I was getting ready in my room and open the door quietly because I thought I had heard Kyle come down the stairs. I peeked through the opening and I could see Vance getting him ready. As he helped him get on his coat and hat, Vance looked up and smiled at Kyle. I could hear him talking to Kyle in gentle tones.
My life could have been different…
Suppose I had run away with that band over thirty years ago. The offer sounded exciting to a small town girl at the time. Let’s pretend in the best case scenario they had become famous and were rolling in the dough, and I instead am now sitting in a mansion, with servants and diamonds on every finger…and a rock ‘n roll husband.
Do you think I would be happy?
Vance has given me something I cannot replace with all the riches of this world. A father for my children who is devoted no matter what the health of our child is. I have seen unconditional love through his dedication to Kyle and his daily care.
Many babies are selectively aborted each and every day in our hospitals because they are not perfect. People want perfection. They don’t want the inconvenience or financial burden of a child who will cost too much.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. -Matthew 10:29-31 NIV
When I saw my husband smile at my special needs son what did I see? It would take a thousand words to describe. But I will sum it up in four sentences:
“I love you. You have value. Your life matters. You are mine.”
Imagine the world missing out on this display of unconditional fatherly love because we need to have perfect children and are fearful of the future.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. -1 John 4: 16-18
I have to admit I am thankful today that I never took off with the band when I was a foolish girl who thought I knew what was best for my life.
I wouldn’t have married Vance my Knight in Shining Armour. Okay, it took him a few years to get the shining part figured out, but I love this man flaws and all.
I have seen God’s compassion and grace through my husband’s care of my son. I have also seen Kyle’s unconditional love for us, his parents. Kyle brings meaning and purpose to our lives just like our other four children do. You can read about Kyle’s amazing strength and character in my book, Beauty from Ashes. (You can see the novel to the right, in the sidebar.)
God had a different plan than mine. One that allowed us to have a special needs child so he could show the world through our son’s life that human life has value, and is not to be weighed and valued according to one’s IQ or physical abilities.
You matter because you are a creation of God.
It’s that simple💗
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
-Psalms 139:13-18 NIV