I had a full-on cry last Friday morning at 11:45. In fact, I sounded like I needed a sinus flush after 15 minutes of bawling.
While finishing a fantastic book about hope and repairing our broken lives . . . like patchwork . . . the author spoke of her friend whose disabled son had to be placed in a “home.” A “home” is a place for those who need some extra help to get along in this life . . . which may well be in my son Jon’s future.
I usually keep my heart under lock and key when the word home is mentioned, but this book managed to pick the lock and my soul flew open.
There, I Said It!
I KNOW I’m not supposed to worry about what will happen to my son after I’m gone because that makes me believe I’m more sovereign and smarter than the Lord. But I have to say, thinking about my son’s future welfare is terrifying at times.
There, I said it. It’s okay to say I’m afraid for my son.
When you cherish someone who isn’t able to keep up in this life, home means so much more than four walls with food on the table . . . it means so much more than being out of the rain, so to speak.
What Is Home?
I’ll tell you what it means . . .
- Home means helping my son use his money to pay correctly, even though he spills every last dollar on the counter, and making sure the checker doesn’t pocket the rest thinking he or she has pulled one over on the “dumb” guy.
- Home means helping my son tie his shoes, start the zippers on his jackets, and button his buttons—even if he is 45 years old.
- Home means helping him find his all-important papers he carries every day, such as pictures of video games he’s checked out.
- Home means helping calm his shaking hand when he tries to write his name.
- Home means being patient because he walks slowly and talks funny sometimes.
- Home means listening to his same stories, calming his same worries, answering his same questions over and over and over, because he can’t remember everything.
- Home means choosing him for your team, win or lose, not because he’s the best athlete but because he loves to be included.
- Home means ensuring my son’s care after my husband and I have died.
Grief and Home
Grief feels like loud chaos for a while and is so untimely. It shows up Fridays at 11:45 AM or in the grocery store or at Thanksgiving. And grief has its own voice, which is sometimes louder than God’s truth.
Yeah, but . . .
- IN MY HEAD, I know Christians are commanded not to worry (see the book of Philippians for example).
- IN MY HEAD, I know the Lord promises to be sufficient (the angel Gabriel covered that topic with Mary, Jesus’s mother).
- IN MY HEAD, I know that God sees all and knows all, which pretty well covers it.
I also know that we are broken people; fallen, hurtful, mean, sometimes brutally awful. And most often the disabled or rejected take the hits. I don’t want my son to be hit; I want him in a safe, loving, fun, active “home” when I’m gone.
Maybe you are a parent with the same emotions, or just maybe you’re healthy but home wasn’t what you needed it to be. IN YOUR HEAD, you know God’s truths, but your heart is broken. It’s okay to cry, to admit fear or worry. Grief is humbling, revealing, and raw. But grief slowly reminds us to walk by faith and cling to something firm . . . God’s truth.
As suffering brings our heads and hearts together, we become sturdy and real and kind. By 1:00, I left to get Jon. I planned to hear the same stories, the same questions about the weekend. And I thanked the Lord for His listening to my same stuff, as He prepares me for heaven, our real home.
Let Me Hear from You
If you and I were walking together, what would your story be? Have you grieved? Are you looking for home? I would love to connect in our comments section below.
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