There are moments in your life where God calls you out to something so much bigger than yourself. Something that requires you to transform your heart to be so much more like His but terrifies, stretches, and even overwhelms you. Marriage, motherhood, tragedy, profound change. Some of these moments are so wonderful that you immediately recognize the beauty and joy that come from it. Others first come as something you never asked for, may not "deserve" (since I often feel so entitled to God's blessings to me), or even just truly don't want. As time passes, your heart changes, and God heals, you immediately begin to see the flecks of beauty. You begin to feel the ways He's called you to a world that is so much bigger and more beautiful than you ever knew. One that allows you to love with bigger love, dream bigger dreams, and see with clearer eyes.
I remember first seeing Parker and thinking that I was born to be his mom. His little life began to pull me out of my selfishness and teach how to love a little life that I truly felt I didn't deserve.
Marriage has taught me how to love better. How to understand the emotions and thoughts of another even when I don't want to. How to fight for God's desires of faithfulness, commitment, and plan even when you're tired and just kinda wanna give up.
All of these moments I immediately recognized as beautiful, happy, "big" life moments. I immediately knew they changed me right when they happened.
But then, almost exactly a year and a half ago to the minute that I'm writing this, a little boy with almond eyes, curved pinkies, and an extra chromosome completely rocked my world. And, in all rareness, at first I was devastated. Oh, how I loved him but he came with so much more than I expected. I didn't understand his differences and the fear of the present and future shook my life in a big way. As I look back on this day, the rawness of that day is still strong. When compared to all the days of my life full of color, this days feels like it was put under a different filter. Like the photo of this day looks better with black and white. Simple yet so commanding. And maybe there's a reason for that. God used that day to cleanse me. To call me out of a place of comfortability and "Leave It to Beaver" Christianity and into a new desire. As I've lived in this world for a year and a half, I feel like I've lived so much more life than I did in the 26 years before. I've had to determine the life I want to live and the woman I want to be. The type of mother I hope to become who's children are kind, thoughtful, and mighty. The kind of wife I need to be that supports, loves, and encourages her husband even when our relationship and I feel weak and weary. I've been blindsided by the loss of a beautiful friend. My family has been raggled by the loss of my beautiful Aunt who we yearn for daily.
God has used Cash and his 47 chromosomes to call me out. At first it didn't feel "fair." I didn't feel strong enough and I didn't understand how that little soul would challenge me in ways I never knew.
But this world, y'all. This new world is brighter, full of more color than all those days before. It still has it's fair share of heartbreak and sadness. But, it contrast so beautifully with that first day in black in white. We love better and deeper. We set and push for big dreams. We understand the beauty of different and how we all are really just the same inside.
Today begins what I'm sure you'll see on social media, the first day of a month devoted to bringing awareness to the unique characteristics that come with Down syndrome. I hope you'll not only learn and understand more about Down syndrome but that you'll also learn more about yourself. That you'll join us in new world that still has sorrow, sin, and loss. But also a world that allows you to love yourself, your family, your friends, and even strangers in a way that Jesus does.
My Parker said something profound the other day. He always talks about his Daddy "fighting bad guys." He was talking about those bad guys in the car on our way home from school and how he was going to fight them in typical 4 year old fashion. I said "Parky, did you know that God loves those bad guys even though they make bad choices." "He made them just like he made you and me." He thought for a second, and so matter-of-factly said "Well then we have to love them, too."
I hope it's always that simple to him. That we just love others purely because Jesus does. That's our new world.
Happy October and Happy Down syndrome awareness month! I hope you'll walk with me on this journey.
Follow us on instagram @blueroselife and we'll take you with us! :)