Ever felt like you’re a yo-yo? I remember when I was a little girl I used to watch some people do amazing tricks with yo-yo’s, like Rock the Cradle or Walk the Dog. But now yo-yo tricks have taken it up a notch: They even have tricks called Darth Vadar or Chuck Norris’ Beard (huh?). Sometimes it was hard enough for me just to get the thing to go up and down without the string getting stuck somewhere in between…
Speaking of getting stuck, I’m finding my emotions are definitely in that position this past week. I had a good couple of “up” weeks, and then came crashing down to the bottom when we picked up our son at the airport before Christmas. Now I’m wavering somewhere in between.
As many of you know, our remaining son Jeffrey has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is full time in a wheelchair. However that didn’t stop him from moving out of our house after graduating from high school with a full regular diploma, and fulfilling his dream of moving to Arizona to attend college.
That was 5 years ago. Since then there’s been a few setbacks on the whole college thing, but each year he has flown back and forth by himself to visit us for Christmas, and sometimes even has visited us twice a year. No problem. Yes, sometimes the airline folks have questioned him flying alone, but once they speak with him and realize all that he’s done with his life they have allowed him to travel.
Then came this year…
I got a call from one of his caregivers who was at the airport with him to help get him checked in for his flight, and she tells me the airline that he typically flies with decided that they will not let him fly alone anymore. Immediately we all go into panic mode. What? Why? He’s been doing this yearly for over 5 years!!!
No dice – the airline says no. So the caregiver (God bless her!) decides to hop on the plane and fly with Jeffrey to Dallas so he can visit us for Christmas.
As I got off the phone with this dear woman I came crashing down emotionally. Oh, Lord, no! And of course I’m thinking of all the possible reasons “why” the airline has decided they will not allow it anymore. Does he now look so weak and listless that they just don’t feel comfortable having him fly alone any longer? My mommy-heart was splitting in two.
I could go on and on, however let me go back to the yo-yo thing. Since Jeffrey’s been here I’ve found my heart-string stuck in the middle – just like what happened sometimes with my old yo-yo. Because Jeffrey has gotten weaker, and has gotten thinner because he hasn’t been taking care of himself…
So on Christmas Eve the 3 of us are sitting in church for candlelight service. A very simple service, reminding us all that when Jesus came as a baby he came born in a lowly manger, not with great fanfare. One of the songs the soloist sang was “O Holy Night.” I started to melt and became a sobbing mess.
As I got up the next morning and reflected on the previous evening’s service, I thought back to that beautiful song. And I prayed this to my Lord and Savior: “Father, if You want to continue to use me struggling through my pain and times of sorrow in order to comfort and encourage others who are hurting, please do so…”
Because to me, it’s worth it. It’s what the Lord has called me to do. Yes, I’m a mess right now emotionally. But I know I have many dear friends praying. And I know that someday:
[God] will wipe every tear from [my] eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Rev. 21:4 NIV)
And what does the future hold for Jeffrey? I don’t know exactly, but I do believe the Lord told me years ago that He was going to heal him. When and how? That’s for Him to decide, not me. I must just continue to keep trusting Him, and keep my eyes on the God of All Comfort.