I began my “special” journey really mad at God. Subsequently I stumbled upon the concept the God’s perspective was wholly different from human perspective. The concept that what I see isn’t at all what God sees. He is all-knowing of past, present and future while I am befuddle in all three of those. Learning and understanding a concept, however, is not the same as putting it into practice. That’s what I mean by surrender – actually letting that concept guide my thoughts and actions requires a challenge to every natural instinct I have. When my little boy was about a year old, I had a conversation with the instructor for a counseling course I was taking. He happen to mention a chronic illness with which his wife was suffering. He casually commented to me “keep her in prayer”. We were walking to our cars, and I stopped in my tracks and asked, “Do you continue to pray for healing? I mean, if you’ve asked God for healing a bunch of times, do you ever get frustrated ?” He knew immediately I was referring to Nicolas and he said “God knows what you want, He wants you to pray for what HE wants –for His will” I then snapped, slightly indignant, “I just want Nicolas to be perfect.” His reply was so profound, yet so simple, it rocked me to my core: “He IS perfect in God’s eyes, you need to pray for God to change your vision to His, so you’ll see that Nicolas IS perfect”.
He then went on to tell me the story of some friends of his who have a child with Down’s Syndrome. He said they were having dinner together recently and the mother of the child had stated that, if given the chance to go back and change everything and have her child born normal, she wouldn’t. He kindly suggested that that is where I need to get myself, at the place where I wouldn’t want to change anything about Nicolas. Well, I cried all the way home because I knew there was no way I would ever, ever feel that way. Really, how could any good mother say that? I mean, what mom would say “I’m glad my child has to struggle?” I thought that friend he referred to was wrong to say such a thing. I vividly remember a conversation I had with God as I drove home. I told Him that if this “perspective of perfection” was right, then He would have to do a really serious miracle in me, in the very deepest recesses of my heart. I told Him I couldn’t imagine ever uttering the words that mother had said. Still, deep within me there was a nagging about the words of this woman, whom I had never met, that would not leave me.
I now realize that even in my sincere disbelief, my prayer opened the door to transformation for which I am now so very thankful. Begrudgingly, I gave God permission to change my heart. I recognize through experience that God does not barge into areas of our heart which we choose to keep hidden. This truth I have lived out over and over again. Unless I invite His presence and His word to search an area of my heart, it will remain dark and hidden. He sees and know it of course. But God does not force us to surrender. He waits upon us to turn to Him and freely give in to His way, so that He can then show us His better plan. In this prayer of protest, I said those word He was waiting to hear “Change my heart”.
Here is where my story meets Moses in the desert, staring at the burning bush. When God said to him, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is hold ground.” I did not see, understand or agree with the thoughts that were whispering through my mind. But I was aware of a “Big Picture”. That term, “Big Picture” makes me laugh because it has been used by a lot of people in a lot of very different ways, and to excuse plenty of selfish behaviour. But when used in the context of God’s plan versus what I can see, it fits perfectly. Moses did not understand why God would say that the next patch of sand was Holy, it didn’t look different or seem to make any sense, but he followed through anyways. He decided to stick with the burning bush long enough to see what would happen next. If he hadn’t gotten beyond the initial request, and had simply stayed in his sandals because the sand was the same (from his perspective) what would he have missed? What came next was even more outrageous and unbelievable as a patch of identical sand being holy. It was the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, of what Moses was about to experience. Such an easy first step.
With this prayer, I took off my sandals, and allowed God to speak to me. This began a process of transformation that honestly continues to this day. At first it was slow, and challenging at every turn. Over and over my perspective would be confronted and then changed. With each obstacle – small or large – I was presented with a choice between my human perspective or a divine perspective. Would I view something as a problem, or an opportunity. Whether a developmental set-back, a surgery, a financial crisis, or one of the many other challenges Nicolas faced, each proved to be a blessing in disguise. Every single time, without exception, I was able to see God working behind the scenes to accomplish something better. I did indeed see that Special is Special.