Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hope for the future

A couple of nights ago we listened to a CD that my brother had given me months back. He had heard this talk on our local Christian radio station and had ordered it for me. It was entitled VICTORIOUS LIVING. Now I was expecting a well-known Christian leader to give us the “5 steps to victory” or something similar (yawn – I don’t do steps, but that’s another story). I was completely blown away when the hosts introduced the speaker as some one who had cerebral palsy. His name is David Ring. As he started talking I struggled to follow because he is not able to fully pronounce all his words, but soon my ears adapted. He shared his life story – filled with tragedy of losing both his parents and experiencing much rejection. Yet as a teenager he discovered that God really loved him despite everything – and this changed his whole life. It’s didn’t take away his cerebral palsy but it meant that the cerebral palsy was not going to limit him. Today he is an evangelist – he has spoken at thousands of gatherings, encouraging and challenging people to live their lives to the full.

I was blown away.

I was blown away that God could truly use David, with cerebral palsy, in such a dramatic way. This is something that I have wanted to believe in for Matt. Not that he necessarily becomes an evangelist travelling the continent, but that God has plans and purposes for his life, regardless of his medical diagnosis. Now I am convinced of this in the deepest part of my soul.

I was blown away by how God provided for David even when his mother died. This is my greatest fear – that I would die and no-one will love Matt the way that I can. But the truth is that God loves Matt more than I do and He will provide. That fear in me was quenched as I listened to David share about God’s faithfulness to him.

I was blown away by how God did for David more than any one could think of imagine. In fact his family had told him that he mustn’t even think of marriage because no-one will want to marry him. Today David is happily married with 4 children! I felt a deep challenge that my love for Matt must never become a cage (even though I want to protect him), but rather my love should be a springboard – launching him into all that God has for him, and all that God has created him to be.

I was blown away by the hope for the future that God has restored in my heart. Up until hearing David talk I have been dealing with my fear of the future by avoiding it. You must understand that when you have a child with special needs the future is a Very Scary Place. In my mind I imagined a big iron door between me and the future – I refused to contemplate it, telling myself that “I will deal with it when I get there”. That is how I coped, that is how I managed to maintain joy in the present. To some degree that was helpful, but avoiding the fear is not truly being free from it. Through David’s testimony I felt God lift up that iron door and invite me to look to the future with hope. I was still to remain in the present, but no longer hide from the future and the fears that lurk there. I feel remarkably freed by this – my fear has been replaced by hope.

After the talk finished I googled David Ring – you can check out his website by clicking here. I see he has published a book called Just As I Am. I’m going to try get myself a copy, I suspect it will make an excellent read.


Cindy said...

What a positive and uplifting experience! I like the "springboard" part.

Thanks for sharing, and for sharing your new perspective. I love seeing us all grow.

hennhouse said...

Isn't it amazing that even though what God has planned for a life may be difficult, taking it away (which is sometimes my prayer for my kids) would change what God has planned? I'm going to check out David's site and this book. --Karin at the HennHouse.

hennhouse said...
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bridge said...

I like this one 'cause I often wondered how you tackled the future in your head. This is a story to hold on to with faith.

Nicole, Graeme and Janel said...

Even if your kids don't have special needs, the future is still a Very Scary Place, so I can only imagine just how scary it must be for you. I look in to the future and can see all sorts of trouble for Nellie. I'm really glad that God has shown you that his plans for Matt are plans to give him hope, and a future, not plans to harm him, or you through him!

carina said...

There is only one thing I learned...we shouldn't fear love, life, death. It steals valuable time. Hope like there is no tomorrow and live like today is your last. Matt will be cared for and your belief will make it true.

Micha said...

I listened to David on CCFM Focus on the family, just a few weeks ago, on my way to work. I was in tears! And deeply moved.It just shows once again, that things are not the way we see them and God is so much bigger!!!!!Can't wait to hear all the testimonies about/from MJ! You go, Matt!!!!!
Lv, Micha

Chelsa said...

Keep up the good work.