Saturday, August 30, 2014

Choosing Life Over Fear ...

Some have asked how could we make the decision to be open to more children knowing that any future child has a 50% chance of having the same extremely rare disease our other children have.  Here is my response:   (Originally published in The Courier.)

Sympathy and Love. More than anything else, married couples and families need sympathy and love from their friends and especially from their brothers and sisters in Christ. God never said He gives you the ability to discern what’s best for someone else’s family. We have grace only to discern our own and we have no idea what another person or family is going through. Simply showing sympathy and love can do more than endless conversations on faith.
Life can be difficult; it can be challenging; it can even feel like everything is collapsing at times. Yet, where do we put our faith? Life can sometimes be a struggle because of finances. It can seem, that no matter what you do, it is never enough. Why would you even think about bringing a child into this situation if you can barely keep up with yourselves or the children you have now? Is it worth the risk?
Forget money; let’s talk about sanity! Children demand so much of your time, your energy, and your whole self. How will you mentally survive being a parent of another child? What if you have a breakdown and can’t care for any of them? Is it worth the risk?
Personally, we have had an interesting year ourselves. Finding out that not only one son, but three have an extremely rare, incurable disease, is hard enough. Realizing that it is genetic is even more difficult. It means that any child we might have in the future would have a 50% chance of having this same disease. That means that a future child has a 50% chance of having to undergo medical tests and doctor visits every six months of his life, get injections of medicine every single day, and endure extensive pain. Is it worth the risk?
Is it?
All of life is risk. There is a risk every time you walk out the front door, get in your car, ride a plane. There is a risk every time you love someone, trust someone, give a gift to someone. There is a risk every time you learn something, build something, try something new. Yet, we are encouraged to overcome fear in life. We hear "believe in yourself”, "just do it”, "if you can dream it, you can achieve it”, "travel the world”, and "overcome your fear”. Yet, when it comes to family, it feels like it’s all "whoa, Nelly!” and putting on the brakes. You don’t want to be that crazy!
If a couple prayerfully discerns a call to be open to life again or for the first time, would it be crazy to trust God? Do we believe God loves us or not? Do we believe God will help us and give us the grace we need every day or not? There comes a time in a couples’ life that only they can discern what God is calling them to.
We have chosen to walk in God, to walk in life! We are expecting our next precious child on March 29, 2015. This child might not be perfect, but that makes him or her no less precious in the eyes of God. Disease or not, healthy or not, life is precious. My children have brought me joy, worry, love, overwhelming happiness, but mostly, they have brought me to my knees – right where I need to be: in God’s hands.
The fear of what we might lose or might go wrong should never direct our actions. Let self-giving love direct your actions. Let self-giving love guide your thoughts and decisions. Let this love soften your heart to give sympathy and not judgment to other couples and families, whether they have a few children, many or none at all. None of us can know the heart of another except for God. Let us choose life over fear, to choose to live in God and trust Him. He will never forsake you.

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Did you miss my Radio interview? Here it is!

Hey folks!

I was on Radio Maria's show "Outside the Box" hosted by Vicki Thorn on August 15, 2014 speaking about raising a child with chronic illness. If you missed it live, here is the link to hear that interview again!

There are four segments. The first two are an introduction to our family and the particular disease that my son(s) have CAPS/NOMID.

Also in the second and third segments, I reflect on motherhood and how one copes with the chronic illness of their child. (What if you don't want to carry that cross?! Can a mother ever really "let go"??)

In the last segment, I answer the questions about our new baby (due in March). Why would we chance having another child when the baby has a 50% chance of having the same genetic disease as three of his or her brothers?

It's an interview of pain, love and much hope!



Friday, August 15, 2014

On the Radio at 10am Today!

Tune in at 10am this morning to hear me discuss the struggle of having a child (or children) with chronic illness. I'll be a guest on Vicki Thorn's show, Outside the Box.

If you don't have Radio Maria locally, you can listen live online!

And I only got choked up once! ;-)