Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hope Ambassador

A few months ago I posted an original design of mine that was given as a gift to a couple getting married in South Dakota.  I don't know them, but my in-laws do; the bride is from the States, and the groom is from Haiti.  They met while the bride was on a medical mission trip to Haiti.  To me, the quote was lovely and fitting for their marriage.  Here it is if you don't feel like clicking over (and also, I misquoted the phrase in the artwork and it is k i l l i n g me):

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

Maybe you were blessed with a spouse who is a lot like you.  Maybe you're surrounded by friends and family who are like your little clones, replicating your personality and beliefs.

Koby and I were not.  Koby and I were blessed with spouses who challenge and counter nearly every point of our personalities.  We are not alike.  Even though we come from very similar upbringings, even though we were raised in the same church, even though we have the same eye, hair, and skin color,

sometimes it feels as if WE may as well speak different languages.  (Married people, can ya feel me?)

Here are some things we've had different opinions about lately or ever: the Dallas Cowboys, the appropriate amount of red meat one should consume, the extent to which the Founding Fathers have been deified, best teaching practice, the environment, Miley Cyrus, the appropriate way to voice political beliefs, where to put the second Direct Tv receiver, bedtime rituals in general, how often Knox should brush his teeth, the extent to which Knox should be clothed when he goes to bed, where to put the soap in the shower, appropriate topics in public . . .

Most are trivial.  Some are not.  Sometimes our different natures work incredibly in our advantage; when Koby is stressed, I remain calm, and vice versa.  Sometimes our disagreements leave us laughing, sometimes they jar us off course and we spend a few angry minutes cooling off in separate rooms before we can realign our marital compass.

But 'we' work.  (And please know, it takes work, as I think any marriage should.)  And I think Mrs. Rowling was on to something when she noted that differences matter not when you're supportively working together towards the same goal.

Today I took Hayes to his neurology check up.  The doctor was very pleased with his strength and progress, but he was concerned about some of the cognitive (mental) delays that Hayes is still showing.  For example, the fact that he isn't supporting himself with his arms while sitting or catching himself when he topples over isn't solely related to his vision impairment.  (Completely blind babies should be able to sit unassisted by 12 months.)

It's worrisome to think about Hayes having some degree of cognitive impairment (mental retardation), but it's not something that was out of my scope of considered possibilities.  It's not something fun, to have the doctor echo what rattles around in your brain in your weaker, doubting moments.

But it's irrelevant to worry because I left the appointment with yet another "We'll just have to wait and see," because that's exactly what we'll have to do.  The realm of possibilities is thankfully and frustratingly endless when it comes to Hayes and his condition - but couldn't the same be said for every child?

And I've realized that God has given me an incredible weapon and force to combat worry and anxiety about Hayes AND to empower our son to achieve at the best of his ability - and that is that I've been blessed with a different habit-ed, different language-speaking, open-hearted, aim-identical husband in Koby.

God can work through our marriage to give Hayes (and Knox!) the BEST possible life, whatever that may entail.

Hayes's AWESOME first birthday was this past Saturday (if you haven't read Koby's birthday post for Hayes yet, check it out), and at the party, I was struck (for the jillionth time) by something else.  God blessed Koby, Knox, Hayes and me with different habit-ed, different language-speaking, open-hearted, aim-identical hope ambassadors in the form of family and friends.

How have I been so incredibly blessed to have so many people who make it a point to strive for the best lives for my own children?

Finally, I want to end with a wonderful verse that gives me comfort and reminds me that not only do we have hope for eternity, but that we've also have hope for the present day, and it has the power to permeate and radiate in our lives now.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . .

- 1 Peter 3:15