Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We are the same, I cant do this either.

Since I began this new normal, this incredible journey, this up hill climb, I have heard many people say "God never gives you more than you can handle", or "He chose you because He knew you could do a good job", and even "I know I couldn't raise a special needs child".

I hate to take the beauty out of those nice thoughts, but I cant handle this, I cant do this either. This is too big for me, but I have to do it.
Alex is my boy, of course I will do this, of course I will choose to handle this. I'm not some special creature that was created to do super things that others cant do.
It seems people find relief in saying they couldn't do it, so that's why God hasn't given them a special needs child. Like they get a free pass on raising a special child because they just know they couldn't handle it.
I'm no different than those people who think they cant. Well, the difference is I have to, and I choose to do the best I can.

Don't treat me like I was chosen, or I am better, or stronger, because I'm not. This is hard, I cant, I kick and scream, but I have to, so I will, and I will do the best I can every minute of everyday, not because I'm stronger or better, or can handle more, because I cant, but because I have to, so I will, and I will do the best I can.
We are the same.


Marissa said...

I couldn't agree more Sister.

God never said he wouldn't give us more than we can handle. In fact, he says the exact opposite. He told us he would put us through the fire, put us to the test, but we would not walk alone. If we trust in Him and cling to Him, He will bring us through the other side and we would enter paradise. He never said this would be easy. We do not do what we do through our power, but His.

We special mommies are not superhuman. We can't handle what we go through most of the time, but we don't have a choice. That is not to say that there are not alternatives. But those alternatives are unthinkable to our mama's ( and daddy's) hearts.

It is not my choice to get up every morning and unhook my daughter from the three machines that help her live and be healthier. It is not my choice to change trachs, trach ties, trach sponges, suction her trach time after time. It is not my choice to feed my child through a tube in her stomach. It is not my choice to do anything else I do, but my love for my God and my daughter mandates that I do it.

I do believe that our Father has sent us these special angels to draw us closer to Him, and to draw others closer to Him. Take MckMama for example. (mycharmingkids.net)

Most of the time I feel like I am hovering just below the surface. Every now and then I can come above and get a quick breath, but then I am pushed back below again. I fail over and over again, in my duties as a mother and and as a child of God. But by His grace, I am forgiven for my shortcomings.

Sorry I wrote a book and got "preachy". Can you tell how passionate I am about this?

Thank you again for your honesty and your willingness to put your emotions out there so that others may learn.

God Bless,


bookworm said...

Although our situations are so very different, I can relate to what you are saying here! While I understand that people mean to be encouraging and often don't know what else to say that will acknowledge our burdens, I so often want to say--that comment does not acknowledge the reality of my life right now! That's not how it feels to live this day-in and day-out!
I think of and pray for you often too...

Cindy said...

Well said, Jessica! I, too, am tired of the trite "God picked a special mom for a special kid."

I salute all the moms who came before us, who decided that we would raise our kids instead of institutionalize them...that used to be the way to go, and people could just "forget" about their kids that weren't typical. Praise God that our society has changed and now we expect people to raise their kids, and the institutionalized kids are the exception, not the rule. I know my path is easier because of those who trailblazed before me. And my path is easier because of blogging friends like you!

Our Journey said...

wheewww!! it definitely is a daily struggle in my house too. some days i can handle it some days i cant.. some days i say WHY and HOW? anyways, you arent alone!! i think in the long run we will be stronger because of what we had to endure

take care and thanks for saying what i couldnt!

Laura Q. Stone said...

I am sorry that I too am guilty of saying things such as "God doesnt give you more than you can handle.." But I do believe God doesnt make mistakes and that there is a constant, endless, supply of strength he can and will provide you as long as your humble enough to ask. I am not in your situation. I cant even begin to comprehend but I know that the will to endure and the divine love one has for a child was invented by him. He owns that love and it is only possible to have because he first loved you that same way.

angie said...

I will admit that I have been very angry with God...not because he chose me to be Emma's mom, but because Emma has had to struggle. I have asked time and again...why her? why any child? I'm not just talking about RTS here....but all of the medical stuff on top of it too. When people have said that to me I have just been dumbfounded, unable to even process a response. Believe me when I say that I.AM.NOT.THIS .STRONG!!! However, I do what I have to do. Emma is the one who's strong....not me!

Here's my question to you....how do you reply when someone says that? A part of me for a long while (when we were waiting for transplant, right after transplant, when people didn't know about RTS...which, oh yeah most of them still don't) just wanted to smack the person. Of course I would NEVER do that...BUT, what do you say?

tomandcheryl said...

You don't know me but please, please go visit my blog. I just wrote (on Novemember 17th) something about God, His plan and why people are chosen. I really think you might enjoy it. It is mostly me questioning God and His actions but it is along the same lines as this post you wrote.
Please let me know what you think.

Finding Normal said...

I right there with you. I'm not this strong either. Nearly every day I think I could either go crazy or just curl up in a ball and cry. There is just so much, and anytime we get one thing managed or diagnosed or "fixed" something else will pop up. And the .00099% they talk about when they give you risks? That would be my kid. What can go wrong, will. Well, not everything, obviously, since she's had 9 surgeries and months of hospitalizations, but enough.
I know this is all making me a better person, and she is changing the world one little giggle at a time. But I do wish it could all be easier for her. And me.

Kelly said...

Thanks for writing it while we were all thinking it. We are no different!


connie said...

Amen, Jessica. I have so much more to say, but not the time or the words or the right emotions right now (I'm exhausted ... some of Alex's up-at-nightness is going on at our house, plus pulse ox cable problems).

I'll think it over some, first.

I love checking for what you write, because you always make me think.

Pinkalicious said...

Wow! So perfectly stated, Jessica. Thank you so much for writing this. We deal with what is given to us because we have no choice.

And I like what Angie said above. Our children ARE so much stronger than their mommies, I believe, too.

We are the same as everyone....thank you for pointing that out.

Hugs, Sara

Brandi said...

Oh Jessica,

Your words are mine exactly. I get this everywhere I go, even at church! I've come to the conclusion that people are just uncomfortable and can't imagine walking in our shoes and they have nothing else to say.

Lately I have told people plainly "I don't believe that statement, but thanks anyway." It has taken some people back, but those that know me and walk with me understand.

I've told God that if he truly doesn't give us more than we can handle then to please quit dishing it out because I'm not handling it as it is.

Nathan is stronger than me and will be stronger as an adult. I kick and scream in silence every day and in the same breath I smile back at him. He needs me to be strong.


Terri H-E said...

You struck a chord with this one, for certain. Well said.

My own sister once silenced me by saying in reference to my daughter's diagnosis, "well, it's a good thing it was you and not any of the rest of us (9 brothers and sisters)." Um, just what does that mean?

On the flipside, I vividly remember being out and about when I had only my older daughter at that point, seeing mothers of kids with disabilities and thinking (NOT saying!) "wow. You are something. You are really something I am not. Your strength and endurance confirms my suspicions of my own mediocrity..." And within a few years, Addie was born, making me, as you say "the same" as these seemingly stoic women.

Now when I get such comments, I try to remember my own thought process, I remember that comments like these, though awkward and outright false, come from good intentions, a desire to recognize the ease with which they live, relative to what they perceive are my hardships...and I gently say exactly what you posted "We are the same. We are mothers doing everything we must to keep our children happy, healthy, progressing. We are exactly the same."

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

I was just telling someone this today! A lady at my son's school, in charge of the fundraiser kick-off, said "You must be a saint" when we were talking about my Peanut. Uhm, no ... I'm a mom. She then goes on about how God never gives you more than you can handle, etc. Blah blah blah .. this IS more than I can handle. I am NOT a saint. I am a Mom, doing what I do because I have to. I would not choose to feed my child through a tube in her stomach. I would not choose to give her 8 different medications a day. I would not choose to catheterize her to help her pee.

But I will continue to do these things, as will you. Because we are moms, and we have no choice. And along the way, the joy is immeasurable. :)

Rebekah said...

You have said this so well!!! People always say to me "I don't know how you do it" or "I could never do it." When Ricky was born/diagnosed my grandmother informed me and anyone listen that God never gives us more than we can handle, and that I was chosen to be Ricky's mom for a special reason. Well guess what... I hate hearing all of that stuff. I have days where I kick and scream and cry that it isn't fair. I don't feel like a chosen one; I feel like an unlucky one and I hate the unfairness of it all. But my stock answer is, I do it because I HAVE to. What would he do without me being here to fight for him?

Thank you for saying all of this. You said it way better than I ever could.

Mashel said...

Jessica, I agree and disagree with you all at the same time. I do know that thos of us with kids with special needs are not super human or extra special, but I tell you what, whether you want to admit to it or not, Alex was hand picked as your child, and you are a wonderful mom of a special needs child. Yes, we do it because we have to, but, You took the challenge and accepted it. Some women who say they couldn't do it just haven't been challenged and would do the exact same thing as us. Others really couldn't do it, and it are those who write the crazy comments like the one from a few days ago about "that poor child should have been aborted" It is sick that some people think that way, but you have rose to the challenge. No it is not easy, but whether you like it or not, you are good at it. Alex is very blessed that God chose you to be his mom.

Andrea "The H family" said...

amazing words from a get it done momma. I get it girl. I GET IT.
I love your blog. I just read 'my heart' and loved that as well.
I have a picture that looks just like Alex's pic at 5 days old. My Luke had the same head of hair, vent, probes, tape, etc. I honestly thought it was Luke. Your blog makes me somewhat weepy. I'm sure you can relate. I do believe that we are sisters. Sisters not only in Christ..but a whole other sisterhood.
You are understood sweet blog friend. You are so very understood by my heart.
Much love,
A (mommy to Luke and Hannah)

Anonymous said...

I just found you. My special is 8 with a completely different set of circumstances, but I know your address very well. People would come up to me and say the same thing "God doesn't give these babies but to special people" and every fiber of my being screamed I DON"T WANT TO BE SPECIAL!!!!! Dad didn't want the baby...so here I am over 8 years later a single mom with this gift. Yes there are days when I feel like I can't but what choice do I have....there is no choice but do what needs to be done. There are blessings. I tell others that I get to see a side of God that they don't. I get to see the side that loves....not for what you can do or who you are but just for the sake of loving. Would I have choosen this road...NO...but it is the one that God chose for me and I will walk it to the best of my ability....and I do not walk it alone.