After we received Madison's diagnosis in 2009, I started looking at life completely different. I learned very quickly what really mattered in life. Things that didn't bother me before, and things I never would have thought twice about after hearing, were now driving me crazy.
For example, seeing new born baby pictures on Facebook with the caption "Blessed to have a healthy baby!" Am I not blessed because my daughter wasn't healthy? Or hearing, "My child has been sick for two weeks, I am SO tired and ready for this cold to go away." Really? Try dealing with a disease that you see every day of your child's life knowing that one day, this disease is going to take her life. And, "Our kids drive us crazy. We just need to get away. We need a break from our kids." I would give anything to spend one more minute with my child and you want to complain and get away from yours?
Then you see the picture perfect families on FaceBook, which I truly believe some are photo shopped. I'll run in to people who I usually only see on Facebook and they look nothing like the pictures they post! Sad. I just want to grab these people and tell them, it's okay to not look perfect all the time. Anyways, back on track . I see people who want to give the impression that they have exactly what they always dreamed of.
We always dreamed of having two or three kids, they would be "x" amount of years apart, we would have a dog, our weekends would be spent watching our kids at sporting events, going to birthday parties, etc. It was my picture perfect dream.
Why couldn't Shane and I have what we always dreamed and planned of having? Why are we not able to see our Madison celebrating more birthdays, graduating kindergarten, playing sports, getting her driver's license, graduating high school, getting married, having children, etc.
When I think I about what we are missing out on, I quickly think about what all we have gained. This is not a tragedy that our Madison left this life early and that our life is not going the way we had planned. I feel like if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, tragedy shouldn't even be in your vocabulary. We REJOICE in knowing that Madison is in Heaven, made whole, and healed from the disease that she was born with. Knowing that our child is going to spend ETERNITY in Heaven worshipping her Savior....THAT is what my dream is.
God had other plans for us and thank goodness he did. I have never learned to trust in Jesus more than I do now. Now, my picture perfect dream is to live a God honoring life, trying to further his kingdom to the best of my ability. I truly live every day for eternity. This life seems so short when you think about where you will be for eternity. These petty things that bother me now, won't matter in Heaven.
I want to close this ranting post with a challenge for you. We knew from an early age that our time with Madison was limited, so we had the opportunity that not every one gets. We knew that every day we had with her, was going to be lived to the fullest. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. What if you lost a child suddenly? Would you have regrets? But most importantly, would you have the promise of spending eternity with them?
Our life may not be going the way that I planned, but thank goodness I have the promise of knowing that our family will be together for eternity and that should be every person's desire and dream. My prayer is that every parent will raise their child to know Jesus so they too can have this promise.