Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Growing Up

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’”
-John 9:1-3

First of all, I realize it has been awhile since my last post!!  I know you all have busy lives and have not been holding your breath, haha, but I want to apologize for the unannounced hiatus.  I guess I didn’t realize I was taking a break until the weeks and then months went by!  I really appreciate this outlet and how each one of you continue to care and support our family as we share what the Lord is teaching us and doing in John’s life on this redemptive journey.  I won’t make any promises, but I do miss you and hope to post more frequently going forward!

Today was a very exciting day in the Stone household, so exciting we had to share: John went off to kindergarten!!  He is still at his amazing school but now going for a full day for the first time ever!  Our little boy is growing up!

"Kindergarten Rocks!"

We experienced many mixed emotions heading into this day: grief, envy, joy, anticipation, hope.  Certainly, this is not what we expected kindergarten to look like for any of our children.  We did not expect a one-on-one intensive therapy setting without the traditional classroom or back-to-school supplies shopping trip.  Bottom line, we did not expect a special needs scenario.  Who would?

However, God knew what John’s future would hold the day he was born, and He is not taken by surprise by how kindergarten is unfolding.  He also knew the “experts” would be wrong when they predicted he wouldn’t live past infancy and definitely not past 5.  God knew every day would be a gift, and it is.  Not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  But in John’s situation this has always been evident and therefore we want to live celebrating each day, despite the earthly range of emotions we may experience.

Today as I dropped John off in the carpool line and as tears pooled in my eyes, the overwhelming emotion that trumped all others was that of extreme and utter gratitude.  Gratitude for John.  Gratitude for his amazing school and the staff there. Gratitude that we have access to it.  Simple gratitude to God…. for all these gifts and for opening my eyes to see clearly, to see in the light of His truth at least on this special morning.  I know I will continue to grieve and mourn (as we all do in a broken world that is not yet as it was intended to be) and I certainly won’t always have the proper perspective, but today I am simply grateful.

So my big 5.5 year old boy is growing up.  And so is his Mama. I recognize that John has true joy.  And as the Bible says, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10).  That is where our true strength lies.  And my little boy teaches me that more than anyone else.  The world sees strength and success one way, but I want the kind of strength John displays every single day despite obstacles and despite his “special needs.”  Like the opening verse, John was born with challenges.  But the work of God is undoubtedly displayed in his life.  Thank you, Jesus, and thank you all for your continued prayers!  We are excited for all this new school year will hold!