Acts of Grace

The last year has been a pretty tough one.  A few months ago I was finally able to put the word “depression” on what I felt.  I was having a hard time adjusting to three kids, and Gabriel’s needs and therapies had really ramped up in the months leading to William’s birth.  When Michael started homeschooling with a full time therapy schedule in the fall, I completely burned out.  I was so tired of spending entire days on the verge of tears or staring blankly at a wall.  A visit to the doctor confirmed my hormones were all over the stratosphere and making a rough time a whole lot darker.  It was getting hard to even take care of basic needs for my family, and I had to ask for help.

I was so blessed with what followed.  I seriously have the world’s best support system.  There is no way I could go through what I do without the network God has given me.  I have an amazing husband who runs an emotional buffer for me when he gets home in the evenings.  I have parents who babysit on a moment’s notice when Nate and I are starting to lose it and need to run out of the house.  I have literally the best in-laws in the whole entire world who learn everything the therapists teach and are totally involved with their grandchildren.  I have a church that embraces special needs kids, and women in my support group who will let me call them and pray any time I need it.  I have friends who still invite me to their houses, despite how much my kids’ struggle outside of their home environment.

This whole group kicked into action.  It was amazing.  People prayed for me, offered me help and babysitting.  No one minded that I slacked on extra duties.  A beautiful mom of a girl with Down’s Syndrome came to my house with hot food, let me cry, told me I was normal, and washed my dishes.  My mother-in-law sacrificed hours of time I knew she really didn’t have to help me get back on my feet with housework.  My dad started driving Michael to therapy, and my husband didn’t complain once that dinner was never ready when he got home.  I was so overwhelmed at how God provided when I really needed it, and boy, did I feel the love!

It’s been coming more and more often in little ways.  Strangers are gracious when we are out in public.  They don’t mind when my kids walk up to them and babble incoherently.  They smile and talk back.  They don’t stare when the boys start shrieking or acting bizarrely.  Cashiers are friendly and understanding when my kids struggle with boundaries in check out lines.  I didn’t get dirty looks when one of them peed on the floor in the middle of the craft store or broke down at church and flipped chairs for a half an hour.  One beautiful supermarket manager even distracted my kids once with little bottles of bubbles when a wrestling match broke out in a shopping cart that proved to be pretty deafening. 

I’m finding grace in so many places, and I just have to say thank you.  Thank you to my family, friends, and church who didn’t let me disappear through the cracks when I felt like I was sinking.  Thank you to all you strangers who give me random acts of kindness.  Thank you for holding doors open for me or helping me with a shopping cart when you see me juggling my rowdy crew.  I have no words; it means so much.  Thank you for giving me kindness when I probably wouldn’t have made it without.  I had prayed several months ago that God would really show me how much He loved me.  Life started to get awful soon after that prayer, but that’s when the grace and acts of love appeared. 

I’m getting help for my hormones, and I’m starting to have more good days than bad.  But I’m also grateful for the hard times because I have been able to see just how blessed I truly am.  It’s going to be a long road, but God has answered my prayers and poured on the love.  I only hope I can show how grateful I am one day and pay it forward.

5 thoughts on “Acts of Grace

  1. Mr. Rogers once said something like, ” When bad things happen, look for the helpers.” God sends his blessings all the time, but it’s in the midst of storms that we are more likely to recognize them for what they are. The storms wake us up to what our amazing God can do! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Well said! We love you!

  2. Thank you Sharon for expressing so eloquently your personal struggle and the blessings of hope, grace and love that God supplies. I have no doubt that your post will be a source of encouragement and hope for other mothers and fathers. We love you!

  3. Sharon, I’m in tears – but mostly tears of joy because you are so willing to let people know what’s going on and accept the help God is sending to you. Take it slow… a minute at a time if necessary, and keep on asking for His help – He will not let you down.

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