When life doesn’t look like how you pictured it, or when things aren’t going your way, it’s easy to complain, or even turn against God for not helping you. It is so much easier to focus on what’s going wrong in your life, and blame others for our troubles. But what if we didn’t? What if we looked for His greatness in the midst of suffering?
When Brandon & I pictured a family together, this is not what we envisioned. During my pregnancy, we dreamed about Graham playing little league, building sandcastles on family beach trips, and road trips galore! We beamed thinking about the milestones he would reach, planning his future and his success. But those visions for Graham do not exist anymore & our family picture will never be the same.
Since Graham’s passing, many people ask if we want more children. The answer is always a quick yes. We know another child will never replace Graham or fill this hole in our hearts, but when you watch a piece of yourself grow into this beautiful child who laughs, smiles, and is just picture perfect, you want more. It’s like a drug. And we want our parent “fix” again. When the doctors presented Graham’s diagnosis and explained how his disease was inherited from us, we immediately asked how will this impact future children. We learned that if we choose to have a child naturally, that child faces a 25% chance of having Alpers’ disease. 25% does not seem too high, but after watching the symptoms of this disease manifest in Graham, we know it’s not worth the risk, especially since there is no cure for Alpers’ disease. We were given a few other options, from adoption to IVF-PGD, and we explored the possibilities in depth, analyzing what will be best for our family. Whatever we decide, it will be very different from our first daydream of raising a family together. Again, it’s easy to dwell on how unfair this, or how unnatural this may be, or how expensive it is. But at the end of the day, I think it is wonderful that we have options. I think it is amazing how far science and technology have advanced, giving us an opportunity to have future children who are genetically our own but healthy. Whatever ends up happening, we will be grateful for this new possibility.
Life isn’t always full of butterflies and rainbows. Complaints, frustrations, and heartaches are always present. But these obstacles do not define me, or you. And I will not let them cloud the beautiful life God is creating for me, nor should you. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (II Corinthians 4:17). As we encounter troubles, remember they are fleeting. They are trivial compared to God’s plan for you. They are minor compared to God’s promises for you. As your perspective shifts, you will notice that “picture” you originally envisioned isn’t nearly as beautiful as the one that He is creating for you.