There are times when I have myself convinced that I am doing this life alone. That it all rests on my shoulders and I have no one to share my burdens with. But that is just a lie straight from the pits of hell. That sounds dramatic but, I’ve found it to be oh so true.
At the ultrasound I speak of in Part 5, we found out that our baby-without-a-brain was a boy…..no question about it, actually:-) That threw me for a loop because, well, we already had a boy. And I thought that people just have a boy and then obviously have a girl next. Not so much….our child-who-would-survive would be having a brother for however many hours our new little guy would be alive.
My mother-in-law lived across the country from us at this time so she was unable to make it to the prayer meeting I talked about in my last post. When we talked on the phone before that meeting she told me of a story in the Old Testament that I have since retold numerous times when I talk about our son-who-grew-a-brain. It comes from Exodus 17:
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hurwent to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
“Let your friends do this for you, Natalie” my mother-in-law said. “I know you don’t feel like you have the strength to go on, nor do you even have the words to pray. Let others carry you and let them lift you and your little one up to the Lord.”
As a mother, as a woman, and as an employee, I have to give myself permission to let others help me. I have to throw off the notion that if I am not doing the thing, supervising the thing, or micromanaging the thing, it may not get done “right”. Failure IS an option. Failure is still progress because it means something is happening. And failure is not defeat. I can pick myself up and walk on….and even still walk PROUD. I can ask for help and I can intentionally lean on people because “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
We decided to name our son Aaron. Aaron Benjamin Ringsmuth, to be exact. I consider it a privilege to say that I can’t even count the number of times that I have had the opportunity to tell perfect strangers about the way God used my friends and family to hold me up during the trial of the baby-without-a-brain. If I haven’t had a chance to tell you in person, let me say it to you now:
You see, friend, in our deepest, darkest hours of need, God meets us there. But sometimes, we don’t recognize His presence so we collapse to our knees and scream at the sky: “Where are you, God? Why are you allowing this? I don’t want this and I most certainly don’t like this.” And then, a special person in your life comes along, scoops you up of the floor, gives you a rock to sit on and holds you up as you fight through the storm is beating at your front door. Jesus in disguise.
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer