My pastor taught today about being interrupted by God, about how Mary must have felt when the angel came and told her she was going to be a mother. She was engaged to be married. She had plans for her future. I’m sure she had dreams of how her life would turn out. Then Gabriel came and turned all her plans upside down. Instead of having her happy, little, uneventful life with Joseph, she was about to be the scandal of the town. People were certainly going to talk about a virgin woman who turned up pregnant. This was going to be a problem, a MAJOR interruption!
This sermon hit home for me in a lot of ways, so I thought I’d share my interruption story…
Twenty seven years ago, when I was born, my parents had no explanation for why I had spina bifida. There was talk of folic acid deficiency and some other things, but there wasn’t a definite answer. Skip forward a few years and word came out that Agent Orange may have been responsible for certain neural tube defects in babies born to Viet Nam veterans. Bingo, or at least I think so. There was a settlement made that all children born with spina bifida whose father’s could prove exposure to Agent Orange would receive monthly payments based on their level of disability. They would also receive medical care for all issues related to SB. My parents submitted the paperwork when I was 8 years old. I was denied. I was denied repeatedly for years, to the point that the last time my dad submitted the paperwork, the army told him he could not apply for benefits for his adult daughter. I’m 27, and I received my first monthly payment about four months ago. I’m not dogging the army here. I believe it was a God thing that my money was with held for this long. Let me tell you the story that leads me to this assumption…
After a long, long fight as explained above, I finally received the letter that stated something to the effect of, “We have approved your claim for benefits under title (I don’t remember) section (who cares). In army talk, I was getting my money, and they had deemed me fully disabled! My salary doubled within a month, and they gave me a little padding too, to make up for denying me for so long. Life was good! James and I made plans! We could finally afford to replace our old cars which needed to go! If you saw us driving them, you know what I’m talking about! We were going to buy a two bedroom house and have a baby (after years of being told not to try, I had finally been given clearance by a specialist to, “call me when you’re pregnant”). All of our dreams were about to come true! We were on our way!
Now back up with me a little bit to when I started attending my current church…
After receiving what can only be called a God sized emotional healing about my SB, I began to feel a calling to minister to people in some way about my life, and how disability is not what the world thinks it is. I even went to California for a weekend, for a one day conference to learn about writing, and how to get my name out there. I came home with tons of information, more than I could hold onto. The speaker there had told me to start a blog, and to get an audience. I even bought a book on how to get started! I was pumped! I was going to start a blog and change the world’s view on disability! Right…I sat on, “I’m going to start a blog,” for at least two months, and never typed a word. I sat comfortably in excuses. I didn’t have time. I would get to it soon. What if I was completely nuts to think I could change anything? Who was I to think anyone would listen?
About a month after receiving that first golden army check, my interruption occurred…BIG TIME! I got laid off. We weren’t getting a house. We weren’t having a baby. Life, as I planned it, was over. I was shattered, I was angry, and I didn’t understand. I had a total breakdown in my mother’s office. Total. Snot and everything. It was the lowest of lows. Everything I thought I had was taken away. This feeling lasted for the entire afternoon. Yes, one afternoon. Something occurred to me when I was driving home from the hospital I worked at for the very last time. Remember that blog I was going to start?…I found time!
In the days following the lay off, I gained a new perspective on “losing everything.” God had known that the lay off was coming. He provided for that with the settlement money. That check came right on time! Never early, but never late! That seems to be how He operates! Now I can sit at home and write all day long if I want to! My medical needs are covered, and I’m making more money writing than I was at my old job!
See, God had put it in my heart to minister to parents of spina bifida children. When I said I didn’t have time, he provided some! I suppose that when God asks you to do something, its a total waste of energy to worry about how it will happen.
In the beginning of all this, if an angel had come down and told me, “God wants you to minister to mothers, and you’re going to lose your job and your future as you know it,” I would have told the angel that he was completely stupid! Okay, maybe not. I don’t think we’re supposed to talk to angels that way, but there would have been a protest!
Today, my life is not how I planned it. We do not have a house. I don’t know when we’ll get one. We can probably rent one when our lease is up, in September next year. I’m not sure what will happen there.
About babies…I have twenty on my facebook page, whose mothers read my blog. I get to watch them grow up in pictures and do the things that doctors said they never would. One of the mothers recently bought me a pendant that simply says, “SB Godmommy.” I can’t wait to receive it. I think the pendant says it all. God gave me babies; tons of them, and I love them all! I don’t know when our biological child will come. I know she will though, when God is ready. Yes, I’m certain she’s a girl! <—-Watch me eat my words later! Until then though, I will watch my God given babies grow up all over the world, and hope I’ve given their parents a taste of hope for the future. Yep, my life was interrupted, but I wouldn’t trade it. God’s plan is ALWAYS bigger and better!