You would think that having Marcus and all the trials that come with his special needs would completely break us and strip us of our pride. Truth is, we've been finding more pride swell in places of our hearts we didn't know existed. For me, I've seen more pride in myself in the area of suffering. I've found myself thinking towards others, "You don't know my pain. You are not familiar with this kind of heartache I have for my child. Your trials aren't as significant as mine." I'm embarrassed to say it, but it's true.
Audrey and I were at the park last week. I couldn't help but notice the little boy playing next to us. Whenever I see boys around Marcus' age, I see all they're doing and think, "His mom doesn't know what a blessing it is that her son can talk to her and run around the park having so much fun. She doesn't know how good she has it. Since her boy is healthy, she probably doesn't know the kind of heartache I have. Her life is probably so free of trials."
I ended up having a conversation with this boy's mom, who happened to be sharing a bench with me. She asked me if Audrey was my only child and so I explained to her that Marcus was in school. I eventually got to explaining to her about Marcus' condition, which then opened up the conversation even more.
It was her turn to share with me. She and her husband tried for 4 years to get pregnant. After 4 trials of IVF and multiple babies lost, she finally got pregnant. She had complications in pregnancy and had pre-term labor at 27 weeks gestation. Her boy, Luke was born far too early and was helicoptered to the nearest children's hospital where he would be in the NICU for 70 days. But the most devastating part was that he was born with his identical twin brother who died shortly after birth. His name was Marcus.
I had no idea that this woman who I assumed was "pain-free", had gone through so much more than I have ever experienced myself: infertility, miscarriages, the dangers of pre-term labor, the death of her son. Upon first seeing her, I had no clue that she carried in her heart, the pain of her own Marcus.
God was gracious to allow me the chance to peer inside another woman's heart, even for a little bit. He kindly used this situation to humble me and to expose my pride. I felt He was showing me that there is no merit in exalting my trials over another's. For He sovereignly and lovingly ordains pain where He sees fit and although it is mystery to us, His purposes are higher than ours.