Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Stop Blaming Yourself!

John 9:1-3

New Living Translation (NLT)

1 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?”  3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.

Friends, I have to say I was stumped on a blog post for today, yet my desire to write was great.  I just hoped and prayed that God would give me a word.  God never fails - He provided the word.  In my Bible reading this evening, the above passage was the very first thing I read.  It really struck me.  To the core.

If you are the parent of a special needs child or a chronically ill child, maybe you can relate to my experience.  Blame.  I spent so much time blaming myself for Peyton's condition.  After all, wasn't it me who carried her and tried to nurture her in my body for those 37 weeks?  Wasn't it my body she was dependent on?  Wasn't it my genetic material that formed half of who she is?  So, then, wasn't it I who failed her when she was born with a laundry list of problems?

multiple brain malformations (including Dandy Walker malformation)
hip dysplasia
heart murmur
severe hearing loss
severe central sleep apnea
chronic respiratory illness
a period of seizures a couple years ago
failure to thrive
severe vomiting
20 surgeries
5.5 years old

...friends, the list goes on...

Yes, I spent a lot of time blaming myself for this list of problems!  How on earth could I possibly be to blame for this???  That's what I ask myself these days.  Especially right now after reading John 9:1-3.

The people questioned Jesus about the blind man.  Perhaps he was born that way out of retribution for his parents sins or his own sins.  There had to be a reason for his blindness, right?  This struck me because Peyton was born with cataracts which were removed in two separate surgeries when she was two weeks old.  As a result, she was left without the natural lenses of her eyes, causing her to be legally blind.  {She's been wearing contacts since she was 2 weeks old!}  So how could this precious child of mine, who knew no sin, be born with all these issues and have them be a payback for her sins??  Or for mine??  

No.  I look at things a lot differently now.  God wasn't getting back at me for the misguided ways of my young adulthood.  He wasn't getting even or settling a score.  Peyton being born as she is is quite frankly not about me at all!

Peyton is Peyton because she is who God planned for her to be!  He created her as she is for a purpose.  He created her so that His power could be seen in her.  I've often told myself and others that Peyton has taught me far more than I could ever teach her.  I have seen God through her in countless ways.  Others have as well.

So, take heart.  If you are someone struggling with blame issues over the fact that you have a special needs child, a chronically ill child, a wayward child, or whatever the case may be - stop blaming yourself.  Now!  Jesus himself said that they have a purpose - so that the power of God might be seen through them!  Is that something to blame yourself over?  I didn't think so!

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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