TODAY’S FORECAST: Empowered
Our son, Jake, was born seven weeks early. At 3 lbs. 11 oz. he was tiny from the start. He was in the NICU for the first few weeks of his life growing, exercising his new lungs and learning to eat from a bottle rather than a tube in his nose. When Jake was 6 months old, we realized he was not hitting developmental milestones. With Cerebral Palsy being a very real challenge to many “preemies,” we sought the advice of our pediatrician who said, “No, he’s just got some poor muscle tone, let’s try some physical therapy sessions.” We took him to his PT appointments and before we knew it, he was sitting up, rolling, crawling and eventually walking, just like other babies. Actually, I think he skipped the walking part, he went right to running, all the time! 🙂
At 18 months we discovered that Jake had severe food allergies. At the time, he was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and allergies to eggs, lentils, fish, shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts. Adjusting to the new diet and making sure all of Jake’s nutritional needs were met was a real challenge, not to mention a hefty expense! Around this time, Jake was also diagnosed with asthma. With my CF, I was more than a little familiar with inhalers and nebulizers, so we just added them to our routine. Jake flourished and grew up “normally” on his own growth curve.
Early on when Jake went to preschool, we realized that he was a very intelligent little boy. Math came very easy, as did reading. Sitting still was not his forte. He was squirmy and talkative which unfortunately drew the wrong kind of attention from teachers and fellow students. We worked with his kindergarten teacher, his first grade teacher and now his second grade teacher on behavior. It’s gotten better each year, this year being his best year yet. He’s not bad, he just needs to remember when it’s appropriate to share information, showing a bit of restraint, if you will. He’s so charming and polite though that he worms his way into everyone’s hearts, I swear that kid could charm a wall!
Unfortunately, his stature is not as big as his heart which is causing some issues with his peers. As a second grader, when there are kindergartners that are taller than he is, it’s a little bit challenging. He comes home and says, “I’m so small, why am I so small?” Bob and I try to tell him that God makes people in all sizes and that what matters is the size of his heart. Bob even printed off a list of “famous” people who were/are small, to try to convince Jake that “good things come in small packages.” Jake’s fairly good at sports. His size makes him fast on the soccer field and good with hitting a baseball, but as we all know, kids can be cruel at times. Especially being a boy, the kids see smallness as weakness, even though that is certainly not the case.
As of late, I have prayed a lot and have others praying that Jake will turn this over to Jesus. For a seven-year old kid, he has an amazing faith already, so I think that is important for him to hold onto. We try to teach both our kids that Jesus loves them unconditionally and that when they’re “feeling small” they need only put it in His hands. Couldn’t we all stand to learn this lesson?
Dear Lord, for all of us that are feeling “small” today, we ask for Your love and strength. Help us to know that we are not “small” in Your eyes as You made us in Your perfect image. Let us put our cares before You and find our strength and empowerment in You. Help us to use that power to share Your Love and grace. We ask this in Your name, amen.