God’s Value System

I grew up in a great church community, but one of the things that was communicated to me over and over as I was growing up was that God had a BIG amazing plan for my life. For those of you who also grew up in the church, I’m sure you heard the same message. There was an amazing plan for me that was BIG and it was from God and I was excited. I couldn’t wait for the BIG thing to be revealed.

Through my 20’s and beginning my 30’s I was busy raising kids but was still waiting for the big reveal from God – that the direction and skill, talent would all come together. I had a beautiful daughter and son Megan and Joshua. They were great kids and I loved being a mom. Well, as I got a bit older and started my 30’s, I had my last child.  Caleb was a beautiful baby but there were some developmental problems in that first year and the doctors decided to get more serious about looking into them. I knew there was something not right – I just didn’t know what or how bad. It was a scary few years of knowing something was wrong but not knowing how serious it was.

After many years of trying to find the answers of what was wrong with Caleb, he was diagnosed with autism and a developmental disability. So my life became managing therapies, doctors appointments, cleaning up after tantrums, changing diapers on a growing child. Trying desperately to communicate or find ways to communicate with a child who wouldn’t and couldn’t talk to me. The stress was overwhelming and exhausting. Caleb is 13 years old now and not much has changed since those early years. He is still in diapers, still can’t communicate well and is cognitively at a 2 yr old level.

I  felt so hurt by God. The BIG thing I was waiting for was to be stuck at home with a disabled son? Was that all I was good for? To clean up after tantrums and change many diapers a day? I felt God had put me on a shelf, or that my worst fears had been acknowledged by God – that I really didn’t have anything valuable to offer the world. My isolated life with Caleb and trying to manage was my “BIG thing”? I know all this sounds horrible for a mother to be thinking and feeling, but its the process I went through, as ugly as it is. I really was brought face to face with my selfishness and entitlement issues and all kinds of horrible things that were hidden under the surface.

I rode the roller coaster of loving my son completely and knowing he was a valuable person and worth my time and energy to feeling sorry for myself and not being able to function. I often thought that I just couldn’t do this one more day, I was done. However, the next day I would get up and continue. I loved my kids, they were my life, and  I wanted to be the one to look after them. I should stop and mention here that I have had the most amazing husband  through all of this – Randy has been on this journey with me, on the same roller coaster. We have loved and supported each other through the frustrations and sadness and stress, it certainly hasn’t been all bad, there has been fun and laughter and beautiful lessons we have learned along the way.

I find perspective crucial to my survival, Its so easy to drown in the everyday frustrations and sadness. If I can change my perspective I can continue day by day, but that is not as easy as it sounds. Why is perspective so easy to lose? What is Gods perspective?

 Jesus said when you do these things to the least of these you do it to Him.  He was talking about giving a cup of water or feeding and clothing the poor, taking care of people who were valued least in society – the least of these. People who are typically valuable to us are people who contribute, beautiful people, rich people, smart people, talented people. But who are the least? Homeless? Drug Addicts? Disabled? What about those who need to be looked after and have to have everything done for them. Jesus said that when you do something for one of them you do it to Him. What a thought! What a perspective!

That’s the perspective I need. I love Caleb with my whole heart, but would I find that it was more noble or valuable if I chose to go to the other side of the world and take care of someone else’s child? In the eyes of the society and church that sounds much more noble. So I struggle day by day to find value in the eyes of everyone else.  I’m not sure why I care so much about other peoples opinions. I understand that God’s value system is different from ours, and I am working on having His, but those old attitudes and perspectives have their hooks in me and when I have finally shaken them off and “get” my new perspective they reattach to me when I’m not looking and I have to fight to get them off again.

So then maybe Gods plan for me was BIG, it was just Gods version of BIG, not mine. The BIG thing in Gods eyes is not success, fame, talent and recognition, but its to focus on the countless little things we can do everyday to make a difference, to love, to make someone elses load lighter and to see ourselves and others through His eyes, His value system, His perspective.