Growing up, I never spent a lot of time wondering why things were the way they were.
They just were.
I can't even explain it another way.
My family...we just aren't that inquisitive about things, I guess. And we're not that dramatic about things, I guess. And I don't know how I learned it...if I was taught or it came by observation...but even at an early age, I remember being very thankful for our blessings. I remember being very aware that God had a plan for our lives.
My Dad was and is a very content person. He is solid and steady and constant. He is quick to acknowledge God as the giver of every good thing in his life.
You know it had to be hard...never putting down roots as a child because his Dad was in the Air Force and they moved every year or two (wait a minute! I can relate to that!). And then my Dad chose that same career...working hard in one place until he was transferred...and then moving a family of 6, and working hard in the new place. And, as Joshua would say, "and so on and so FOR."
Some places we lived seemed better than others. Actually, the place we were at the time...it was always the best place. And the new place we were moving to? It was going to be the worst place. Ever. I remember my Dad would come home and tell us that he was being transferred, and we would all cry. No one wanted to move...AGAIN. My poor Dad. Actually, my poor MOM...she was the one who had to pack and move and find the house and the schools and the doctor and the utility office.
One of my most vivid memories of moving was when my Dad came home and told us we were moving to Taiwan. TAIWAN. We were living in Washington State at the time. We couldn't even find Taiwan. I remember getting the globe and searching it over...and we found the teeny TINY island, about 90 miles from mainland CHINA. Yep. God has a sense of humor...because THAT'S where we were moving.
And there was weeping and gnashing of teeth...
But my parents took it in stride. If they ever questioned the timing, the new assignment...or GOD's hand in all of it...they never let on to us. It was just the way it was.
And altho my family and Jim's family are very different, this is one area where our upbringings were alike. You don't whine and complain about your circumstances...your life, your job, etc. You just work hard to make things better, because there are a million people with real problems who would love to be in your shoes.
So, when we had Joshua...not gonna lie. I had some questions for God. But one of them wasn't "why me?" Not even in my most private, grief-stricken times. I wasn't raised to respond in that way (not that there's anything wrong with coming to God with ALL of our questions, concerns and fears). No, my questions were...and still are...along the lines of "why did You choose US?" Because we felt so unprepared. And so unworthy.
And my prayers were, "Lord, give us strength," and "Lord, show us the way," and "please don't ever leave...because we cannot do this without You."
And the further down the road we got and the more I lived this new normal...I realized it was kind of like the sweet old lady from the church nursery who, when I picked up Joshua from his first time in there, said, "well, he's not half-bad!" This life...this Down Syndrome diagnosis? It wasn't half-bad. Don't get me wrong. It was hard. Gut-wrenching at times. Sad. Frustrating (not with Joshua...but with people around him, or the system, or even just at the situation). Scary.
But it was also seeing pure JOY in the every day; being excited for all of the little things; slowing down and reaching out...and loving people.
And it was me asking myself, "why NOT me?"
"Why not US?"
We are nothing special, Jim and I. We are so imperfect...we are probably off the chart. We have faults and weaknesses and sin that you might not see or know. But God knew...and He gave us this little life anyway...so innocent and sweet...and so unaware of the ruckus that was going on around him. And, like with our other kids, we were called to love this life...to teach, instruct, discipline, guide, disciple; to "train up...in the way he should go." (Proverbs 22:6) We have not been called to give our son up for someone else...to allow our son to die for our sins, or yours...or for the sins of the worst criminal the world will ever know. But God knows how that feels, and that's what He did, sending His Son to die...for me and for you...and for the worst criminal the world will ever know.
So this life I've been given...why NOT me?
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16