I can’t see it.
I love foggy days. They have a mystery about them. They can feel cozy and warm. They are hot coffee and beautifully lit candle mornings for me. But they can also feel terrifying when you are walking or driving, and you can’t see clearly.
On those days, you can look through a fogged up window and see the outside world a little veiled. And until you decide you want to wipe away the moisture on the window, it can be misty for quite a while. Fog can keep you safely cocooned or shield you from the possibility of suffering.
I must confess that I do not always see things clearly because I neglect wiping away the blurry areas in my life. Sometimes I just do not want to see what is on the other side. I squint slightly to see just a little bit, hoping the sight will not scare me too much.
When I least expected it, someone else would usually clear the window for me when it involved Robert. It could have been a family member, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher or a therapist. I needed help through the years to have the courage to look at those foggy windows and dare to see into the world that I was really facing. It may be this way for you, too. Our vision just gets foggy and scary sometimes.
This way of looking at the world is probably not unique to families caring for medically fragile children, but it is very commonly discussed in the circles that I run in. We hope beyond rational hope sometimes because it is not easy to accept that we as parents could possibly outlive our child. Or even more devastating, multiple children. I have a friend who lost two children to a rare disease, and that kind of diagnosis would make any parent unwilling to “see” clearly.
I know I grew better at being willing to face the facts as time went on. It seemed the more I let go of each little expectation, the easier it was to get to the truth of who Robert was and what he was capable of doing. Time also gave me a chance to look back and see that the fog had not always engulfed me. There was fantastic joy sometimes!
I would encourage you to just use your eyes to peek into your child’s potential future as you wipe away the fog. Seeing the other side of the foggy glass into the truth, no matter how awful, may give you time to strengthen your heart, adjust your expectations and mourn slowly. Mourn? Yes, eventually you will need to mourn the loss of many of the things you thought were possible. Taking these small glances is the start to seeing clearly.
Just open one eye, wipe just a little of the moisture away, and look. You have been given the honor of seeing a beautiful sight that only you can take in. I know you will need encouragement, but imagine the future possibilities if you can clear the fog away. There may be sunny days that hold memories to cherish filled with roaring laughter or silly activities. (Nothing like it!) Or perhaps you know too soon that each day is precious and time is unkind in its generosity. Fog or no fog, find a way to cherish the minutes.
And when you can’t see it…just try to imagine it, my dear friend.
Listening Library: Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) Live - Hillsong UNITED
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song)
Take this fainted heart Take these tainted hands Wash me in Your love Come like grace again
Even when my strength is lost I'll praise You Even when I have no song I'll praise You
Even when it's hard to find the words
Louder then I'll sing Your praise I will only sing Your praise
Take this mountain weight Take these ocean tears
Hold me through the trial Come like hope again
Even when the fight seems lost I'll praise You
Even when it hurts like hell I'll praise You
Even when it makes no sense to sing Louder then I'll sing Your praise I will only sing Your praise
I will only sing Your praise I will only sing Your praise And my heart burns only for You You are all You are all I want
And my soul waits only for You
And I will sing 'till the morning has come Lord my heart burns only for You You are all You are all I want And my soul waits only for You
And I will sing 'till the miracle comes I will only sing Your praise I will only sing Your praise I will only sing Your praise
Even when the morning comes I'll praise You Even when the fight is won I'll praise You
Even when my time on earth is done Louder then I'll sing your praise I will only sing Your praise
Songwriters: Houston Joel Timothy
Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) lyrics © Hillsong Music Publishing Australia