Imagine yourself in a foreign country for an extended period of time. You can’t understand the language. No matter how hard you work on it, you cannot make yourself comprehend and speak clearly. After a time, you get the basics, but are never really able to make your mind known. People are nice and they try to help you, and you really want to communicate with them and enjoy their company the way they seem to enjoy one another. However, you always feel apart from even your closest family and friends. It is easier to stay inside yourself. No one really knows you and you know no one other than yourself.
I’m not really sure, but I think this is what life is like for my twenty-one year old daughter, Kaci.
And my heart goes THUD.
Kaci has autism and cognitive disability. She’s been impaired since the day she was born. She is a beautiful child. A resilient, strong, happy girl with a sweet sense of humor. She is affectionate, caring, and sensitive. She loves her family, caregivers, house mates, and friends.
But, Kaci cannot write her own name, she does not toilet independently, and she has no sense of danger. She’s mostly non-verbal and communicates through a combination of signs, gestures, photos, and one word grunts. She has horribly aggressive episodes that put her and those around her at great risk. She has a seizure disorder and other health issues.
And my heart goes THUD.
I scream, cry, and yell at God. How can he allow this vulnerable child to suffer this way? Why does parenting her have to be so difficult and painful? How can I do this for the rest of my life?
“Hear my prayer, LORD; let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me. When I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.”
Psalm 102: 1-2
And His heart goes THUD.
As a father (or mother) has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers we are dust. Psalm 103:13-1
God knows my pain. He watched his son suffer to a depth I cannot fathom.
There is nothing about Kaci that is a mystery to her Creator. He is inside her head. He knows her. And I have to be okay with that.
But from everlasting to everlasting. The LORD’S love is with those who fear him,
And his righteousness with their children’s children—
With those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” Psalm 103:17-18
God, this journey is tiresome. I ache to know my child, to find a way to free her from the prison of her disability. My head knows that you love her more than I, that you know her intimately, that you made no mistake while forming her. Help my heart learn more and more to embrace your perfect plan and rest in your love for Kaci. Amen.