Journaling reads:
I don’t suppose anyone anticpates having a child with a disability, but in my case I was absolutely sure that I wouldn’t. When Bonnie and Cameron were small and I was expecting Blake, we happened across a group of disabled people on an outing. Like lots of little kids, they began asking loud questions which I carefully answered to the best of my ability. The next question was, “What if something like that happens to our new baby?” I told them with absolute confidence that we would trust in God to look after us and the new baby and that nothing would be wrong with our baby. Even when their father added that if there was anything wrong with our baby we would love and look after it just the same, I just felt that he was saying the “right” thing and that none of this would apply to us. I was right; Blake was just as beautiful and perfect as a newborn can be, and that conversation never crossed my mind again, until I began to worry about Claire. After Claire’s diagnosis, I felt that my whole existence had somehow been shifted sideways - that I wasn’t living in the normal universe anymore. After all, in the normal universe things didn’t go wrong unless it was your own fault. All of a sudden I seemed to be living in some parallel universe - an abnormal one that I didn’t deserve to be living in. Slowly, as I began to adjust to my new universe, it became obvious that in actual fact my whole existance had been shifted sideways - but from an unreal one to a real one. I had begun living in a universe where doing the right thing; being a kind, law-abiding citizen can’t actually save you. I had begun living in a world where absolutely anything can happen to anyone. This was just the first gift that Claire brought to me. I began to know and truely believe what I had only ever understood in a theoretical fashion before. God has never promised to protect His children from all the sorrows, disappointments and tragedies that life can bring. What he has promised is that he will provide the strength to endure if we can but trust him enough to stand still and see his salvation. It is not what happens to us, but our response to what happens that determines whether we have been faithful or not. I had felt that it was my right to feel secure. I wanted stability, familiarity and predictability, and I fought for that at the expense of my closest relationships in heaven and on earth. I did not want to deal with or be confronted by anything outside my very narrow comfort zone. I have learnt that comfort and security in this life mean very little; that all can be lost in a moment. I have learnt that we can only look to God’s promised future for blessings such as these. I am so grateful that He is long-suffering and merciful; that He is still trying to teach me. I have learnt that life, by definition, is uncertain and unpredictable. I have learnt that only Yahweh, everlasting and unchanging, can be relied on. He will always be there, despite what we may find around the next corner. I am grateful for the gift of Claire - a constant reminder to look always to the future.


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