There is a poem written by Emily Perl Kingsley that talks about what it's like to raise a child with a disability and that's what I want to discuss today. Now, if you are thinking, oh this topic isn't for me today because I don't have a child with a disability, stop right there and continue to read, you may be surprise where I end with this and may find it's for you after all.
First the poem, she writes that having a baby is like planning a trip to Italy. You get prepared, pack the right things, get the tour books and plan all the sites you are going to see, learn some new phrases. You're excited! All your friends are going to Italy and talking about the trip they're planning or the one they've already been on. You can't wait! You board the plane and the excitement mounts and finally you land and the flight attendant says "welcome to Holland". You start to freak out because you're supposed to be in Italy. The flight attendant says sorry but there's been a change. You aren't going to land in Italy, Italy has been canceled. You're in Holland, enjoy your stay. You are freaking out, your friends went to Italy. You know Italian phrases. You know what to visit in Italy. You have prepared all your life for Italy. You don't know anything about Holland and you don't want to be there. So what do you do? Well, you have to buy new guide books, maybe learn a few new phrases. There's pain involved here, because you wanted to go Italy and the pain of not going there won't ever go away. But if you stay in that place of grieving the loss of Italy, you will miss the beauty of Holland. You will miss the tulips and the windmills, you'll miss the Rembrandts, the people you would have never met, food you would have never tasted, and the beautiful experiences you would have never had if you hadn't gone the Holland. If you spend your life grieving the loss of Italy, you'll miss the extravagant beauty of Holland.
Now, having said that...don't we all have our own detour to Holland? You may not have a child with a disability but we all have our own Holland. We all have a place we were supposed to go, a dream we dreamed of for years that for whatever reason, wasn't fulfilled. We all have a detour. Some of us have let our detour take us to a place where we spend our lives feeling sorry for ourselves and making those around us miserable because we didn't get to go to Italy and we miss out on the beauty of our Holland experience. We spend our time grieving our Italy and don't embrace the fact, that Italy was our dream, our plan, not God's and that God's dream is far greater than ours ever could be. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future". If you continue to read in that chapter it goes on to say to seek the Lord with our whole heart and that he will bring us back from captivity and restore us. Now if I relate this to our Italy and Holland chat today, this is what I hear. We planned to go to Italy because the world said Italy was the place to go and the place to be but it was never God's plan. We held ourselves in captivity with that plan and judged Italy to be the beautiful place through the world's standards. But that's not where God wants us to be. We were actually on a detour and he is merely bringing us back to the plan that He laid out for our lives. Italy was the detour, Holland was the original destination.
So whatever your Italy is, may I suggest learning to embrace Holland knowing that God's plan is greater. He will never harm us, He will never forsake us and He will show us the beauty of His plan...His Holland.
The Garth Brooks Dilemma.
3 years ago