Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm Angry. But I'll Get Over It. After I Post.

I vowed I would never blog angry. I figure somewhere in The Message version it says, "Do not let the sun go down or allow yourself to pick up your laptop while you are angry, for this does not bring about the righteousness God requires." I have seen how blog entries posted in anger can fan flames that just need to die out.

I'm blogging in willful disobedience.

Now I will confess up front that what has gotten my goat is not the specific point being made by someone on Facebook, but the inherent idiocy in how the comment was phrased. I will also tell you up front that the person who has raised my ire is someone I really like, and although we share vastly different spiritual perspective, I usually enjoy a good discussion with this friend. We do not always agree. For that matter, we hardly ever agree. But I really like him. Heck, I even pray for him. (But don't tell him. He'd freak.)

Today he was voicing his frustration/annoyance at the Duggar family, linking to an article about how 12 of their 19 children at home have chicken pox. His comment went along the lines of how he found the family disgusting for claiming that "God's will" induces them to have so many children, even into the ages where they have an increased risk of Downs and how this is beyond him.

I threw up a little in my mouth.

And then I thought about my friend Addie.

Addie is 11 years old, and she has Downs. I met her several years ago, and she and I have become good friends. (Her mom and I are good friends too. Forgive me, Mary Lee, if you read this. I am getting ready to go off.) There is nothing "less than" about my friend Addie. Ask anyone who has ever met her. She is, in every sense of the phrase, more than. She is spunky, funny, stubborn, loving, interesting, and fun. She likes pedicures, eating out (no reflection on your cooking skills, ML!), and she knows what she likes. And she will tell you.

Being close with Addie's family, I have learned that there are very specific challenges to raising a child with Downs. It isn't the same as raising a typically developing child. Having Inessa around has helped me become a little more sensitive to this. Inessa isn't considered "typically developing" either. It isn't easy to navigate those waters as a parent. Sometimes it downright hurts. It isn't all sunshine and unicorns and beauty and peace. It can be socially, emotionally, and relationally difficult. All at once.

Every family wants a perfectly healthy child. Sometimes families don't get what they want. But those children who aren't "prefect" (or typically developing - that's more P.C.) aren't any less welcome or helpful or a blessing. There is nothing irresponsible about loving a less-than-"perfect" child. There are families who choose to adopt Downs children. What do you call them? Foolish?

My other gripe about this entire discussion (and many like it in the Christian community) is how we all want to call "dibs" on God's will. In reality, the struggle to find God's will for your life is really a question centered solely around you. It isn't about God at all. I don't say this in judgement, but in confession - I have spent more time than I care to share wrestling with the "what is God's will for my life" question. I want to know what is my calling. What is my value. It is a constant heart struggle to remind myself that God's will is about...wait for it...wait for it...God. And honestly, God's will is clearly laid out for each one of us: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.

Certainly, how that is walked out looks a bit different for everyone. For some that may mean parenting a large brood of children. For others that may mean a life of singleness devoted to missions. To others that may mean adopting. Some may be called to pray for unbelievers who phrase things poorly on Facebook. :) God's will is always focused upward (loving Him) and outward (loving others). It is never about us. It is never inward focused. It doesn't have to be. When we love God, He takes over our inward stuff. When we stop looking at ourselves, quit taking others' spiritual inventories, and begin just loving them, we will be in God's will. We will discover our own convictions about family size, adoption, the lost, and a host of other debatable topics when we love God and love others.

Now that I am done writing, I feel a little bit better.

I may even go delete my Facebook reply.


Carrigan Family said...

you go girl! all he needs is to spend a day with my girl and he'd be forever changed .... loved your top 10 things to never say to families who are adopting. it is the same with having a child with special needs - like Rob always says about Addie - she's the best gift God ever gave us that we never knew we needed. I hate when people say "God only gives special children to special people" - I always want to say - it's not like she was sitting up on some dusty shelf in Heaven and God was searching for some family to take pity on her - He created her exacty as He wanted her to be - He didn't fall asleep and wake up realizing "oops - extra chromosome on that one" - He chose her for us, just as He chose us for her. Same goes for Inessa - as she was being knitted together - she was your girl. love you - want to talk or see you soon!

Renovation Girl said...

Ann, I adore you and I applaud this post. I have a hard time with some of our fellow "major" friends and the things that they post. Love them, don't like their views. And I love that you pray for them (if these are some of the same people!!).