Girlie has been sick with a “mystery virus” the last few weeks.
Her nose would run, just occasionally, and she would rub it in her eye at night and get her eye infected. She had no fever. But her energy level and tolerance were pretty low. She slept A LOT. She had many seizures.
Doctors verified by CBC (complete blood count) that it was viral, and no ear infection, so waiting it out was the only course of action.
Being nonverbal, mom and caregivers had to guess at her state each day. She could not tell me she was achy, she could not tell me she was extra tired, she could not tell me something hurt.
Girlie had to silently suffer.
She had to allow others to try and do what was best for her, hoping they would figure out how poorly she felt each day.
Being a parent to a special needs child is lonely. There are very few, wait, there are no places to share the emotions of this journey. People, especially ones who don’t have a special needs child, or even one as severe as girlie, can’t handle all the emotions. They can’t handle all the thoughts, the extraordinary depth of it all.
The result is another type of suffering in silence.
As a society, those who are suffering are told:
“if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”
“there has to be something good you can dwell on”
“be thankful for something”
Words hurt. Thoughtlessness spoken by those who can’t even begin to fathom what it is to live it. The shutting up and shutting off those who are hurting the most. The silencing and the creating of more marginalized people.
What would happen if we allow ourselves and others, freedom ….
Freedom to speak aloud
Freedom to speak aloud what they are feeling
Freedom to speak of the depths
Freedom to speak of the hard
Freedom to speak of the sadness
What if Christ followers said “I don’t know and can’t fathom this, but I am here to listen, and you can say it aloud to me”?
That is a true friend, that is a caring friend, that is real love.
What if I, we, us, became Jesus with hands and feet and ears and a listening heart?
That is what Jesus is, He wants to hear it. He wants to know it, and He wants to feel it along with us. He knows there is beauty in the midst of the depths of the sad.
Journaling, for me, is that outlet of the really hard. Because, when I go back and read those hard and sad and really hurting feelings that I have poured out on God, I can see what God has done with it, after He has taken it on himself.
Psalm 91:1 – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
God as the “shelter”, the “safe place”. The friend who listens and loves regardless.