It’s been couple weeks since my last post. I’ve been meaning to write numerous posts – all incredible and brilliant posts (in my mind at least). I start but can never finish. It’s just been that kind of time where my heart and mind has wandered to other places.
Namely, they have wandered to health issues of one of my children.
While I need to be careful what I share and how I share it (for the sake of honoring my child’s privacy), I thought it would be good – for my own sake – to share a bit of my heart and thoughts when a parent cries for their child and a when a parent comes to the painful admission that he or she just can’t fix everything.
When a parent cries for their child.
You see, I have cried on many occasions over the years. There are times I cry alone. There are times I cry with my wife. There are times I cry with my sick child.
The past few months have been particularly difficult and heartwrenching as Minhee and I seek to care for this child that’s had life-long struggles with severe food allergies, eczema, and everything in between.
I know. I know what some of you are thinking.
Really? Tears over food allergies and eczema?
I know. Sounds so timid in comparison to the plight of others who are suffering from more arduous struggles but when it comes to a sick child:
It doesn’t matter. It hurts like a _______.
It’s been painfully tough because it’s been life long. While we’ve hoped and prayed for healing over the years, we continue to hope and wait. We’ve consulted doctors, dermatologists, natural herbalists, acupuncturists, faith healers, etc. We’ve spent significant resources on ointment, medicine, pills, tests, and then more stuff.
We’ve adjusted our child’s diet in order to avoid eggs, nuts, gluten, soy, wheat, and corn.
When your child begins to see herself not through the eyes of God or her parents that love her but through the gossip, snickering, and judgments of others…they add to the tears of this parent.
When a parent can’t fix things
This is the hardest admission.
For me, I like to fix things. I can do many things. I’ve accomplished many things: I can plant churches, start cafes and music venues, start non-profits and movements, raise millions of dollars to enable empowerment and projects, get written about in the NY Times and various media publication, and be invited to meet the President of the United States…
I can do a lot of things. I feel like I can change the world…
and yet, I can’t fix my own child.
Oh, how I’ve longed, tried, prayed, and desired to make it all better. To fix it and make it all better.
I just repeated myself inadvertently but it only shows the longing of my heart to fix and heal my child’s woes and make it all better.
But I can’t….and it hurts so much.
Learning to surrender to a God
Ultimately, this is what Minhee and I (and our child) keep learning again and again. As much as we love our child and all our children, we genuinely believe we worship a God who loves them infinitely more – beyond our comprehension.
And so, our life is a journey where we grow in our trust and learn to surrender. Sometimes, we take stumble, fall, and take a few steps back but again and again, we’re reminded of God’s mercy, grace, and love.
I pray. I believe. I know that God can and will use this to strengthen our child and our family. It will help build character and strength. It will help build empathy and compassion.
It will. God will.
My wife and I not only learn about God but we’ve learned so much about one another but especially about the heart and character of our children. And when we think it’s impossible to love our children more, we experience the impossible.
And love her and all our children even more.
This only makes us wonder and consider the sheer depth and vastness of God’s love for humanity.
And this humbles us and compels us.
I saw this video featuring a song entitled “Stronger” this past week created with some patients at Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
I cried even more.
I prayed for strength for all the children I saw in this video. I prayed for those not in this video who are sick. I prayed for their parents.
Strength and courage. Covered in love.