Growing up in an alcoholic home, I thought that would be my story. That would be a part of my testimony of how God led us through the valley and heartache of how alcohol stole years of my Dad's life and caused deep pain. But how God continues to restore, forgive, and heal, how He always provides, and how He continues to show how that pathway has lead to so much more. And I would never, ever change it. I love my family and so thankful for the lessons I have learned through the tears, joys, valleys, and peaks. It led me closer to Him and I was never alone. So...I thought that was my story.
Now my story is being a mother of a child with Down syndrome. Do I truly believe what my heart longs to desire? Do I really mean, "If you want me to, lead me through this valley." When I see a baby boy that is one week younger than Jack and is so much more alert, stronger, and a typical infant do I feel that way? Even when other infants will be starting to sit up, walk, talk, and feed themselves...will I say, "If you want me to."
Honestly, I can't tell you how much I am clinging to the parents and families of those that have children with Down syndrome. I called the family I babysat in college who has a daughter with Down syndrome and told them I had Jack. Yes, God was preparing me in college as K was four years old when I started working with their family. K's mom said she wouldn't trade it for a million dollars. She told me that in ten to fifteen years I would look back and laugh at how sad I was. She said, "Carissa, you've got this! There will be hard moments but you will be blessed in so many ways." Another mother said, "Welcome to the best adventure you never knew you wanted to be a part of." This mother said goodbye to her sweet 18 month old one year ago, and is now in the process of adopting a baby with Down syndrome. These families are so encouraging to me and give me hope.
And here I am trusting that God has a plan for this pathway. As I mentioned before, I have never trusted more and relied more on God for direction because I am scared. I know that many of the fears come from my ignorance of what I do not know about children with Down syndrome. As I have had a chance to learn more and hear from these families, this pathway may not be the valley I had thought it was really going to be. But I do know that He promises I'd never go alone.
So I say, "If You want me to..."
Ginny Owens-If You want me to...