While driving out, I wondered why it's been so hard for me. I have a loving husband who comes home by 4:30 on workdays and helps out amazingly with the kids. I have three precious, beautiful children, and by golly, I now have a garage and a backyard! How much easier could life with three children be? Besides that, I know several other moms with multiple kids with disabilities who are medically fragile, in and out of the hospital, or severely affected, and maybe even with no typical children. There are also mothers who would do anything to have a crazy day with a child they've lost or with a child who was never born at all. Thinking about this, I wanted to punch myself in the gut.
The truth is, in spite of all the blessings, and although I really do have it good, it's still a difficult season for me. I could try to list it all out, but basically, one of the main reasons why I feel so stretched is because Marcus is incredibly dependent on me for virtually every need. And because of that, he has much anxiety when I'm not close by. So, getting food prepared, taking care of bills, or even going to the bathroom can be very tricky and anxiety-inducing for me, because I know that Marcus could end up being upset somehow. Throw in a side of Derek's tantrums or a brotherly brawl, and it's another beautiful mess.
But what puts me over the top is that I know Marcus doesn't want to need me as much as he does. "It's so hard for me," he said randomly on the way home from Audrey's soccer practice. "It's so hard for me to play soccer and walk on the thick grass."
We had been watching the girls run on the field and Marcus wanted to run with them so badly, but his walker was hard to maneuver on the grass and each step was accompanied by a loud sigh because it was so belabored. Yet he saw Derek walk around just fine and realized, "Derek's walking regular." And this was just an hour after the kids were chasing each other around the house and Marcus, having to crawl to catch up with them, decided to give up and with a frustrated tone, said, "They're going too fast. (sigh) I want to just lay down and rest."
As hard as it is for me to care for the kids with Marcus' needs, it's exponentially harder for Marcus himself. And that's what daily tears at my heart.
I thought about all this as I drove out of the house and once I got to the restaurant, the host seated me at my table for one and I opened my Bible to this:
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Immediate comfort, renewed hope and excitement for my future reality...that's what the Lord pumped into my spiritual IV through this passage. "We will always be with the Lord." Not that He isn't with us now, but the thought of physically being with Him, being gathered up to be with Him forever, that is a picture I don't want to let go of.
I came home so rejuvenated, smiling as I gave Mike a hug and thanking him for my night alone. I also was excited to tell the kids about this in the morning and to tell Marcus about how things won't be so hard for him later when he's with the Lord. The kids were pretty stoked that we would be taken up to the clouds to be with God, who was preparing a room for us. Marcus obviously loved that the trumpet of God would announce His arrival and I think he was intrigued that he would one day be able to run and jump with ease.
"But Mommy," he said with a pause. "Will you be there with me?"
"I will," I answered. And I just left it at that. Because if heaven for Marcus means that I will be there to help him and care for him so that none of his needs or desires will be unmet, then he has no idea how incredible it will really be. And I can't wait to see the look on his face when he realizes that heaven will be so much more than me being there.
His Creator, the One who knows what every cell is or isn't doing in his body, the One who holds the universe in His hand, the One who ransomed his life with the sacrifice of His perfect Son, He will be there to take care of him...forever.