To begin with, GO SEAHAWKS!!! We are so excited to watch the Superbowl tomorrow and see the conclusion of our team's exciting season. If you hear wild screaming and loud cheering coming from Washington State, it's all of us 12ers making our opinion known. Now on to the rest of the blog!
It's my opinion that Dale is either made of sterner stuff than the rest of us or that drowning accident changed his DNA on a molecular level. He falls frequently---more than anyone else I know!---and still he has yet to give up and stop walking. Oh, he gets scared a lot; he shows hesitancy when encouraged to walk on his own sometimes, especially in a busy place or unfamiliar territory. But to see him walk around my classroom or at home or even out of the auditorium and down the hall to the parking lot after church---that's an awesome sight! To watch the young man whom doctors said would probably never survive the 20 minutes spent in the ocean until those brave men pulled him out actually walk on his own is to witness a miracle straight from the halls of Heaven all over again. To observe the teenager whom we were warned might never leave the hospital or respond to our voices or feed himself or talk continually prove those statistics wrong is to see the hand of God clearly visible in our daily lives.
Dale has every reason to give up, to quit trying, to make excuses as to why he can't……and sometimes he does! We find ourselves frequently scolding him for his lack of initiative and his frustratingly accepting attitude toward his "disabilities." And, it's true, he needs to keep walking every day, keep working on his balance (which seriously needs some help!), keep striving to think clearly and memorize his school work. He is not quite the same Dale we said goodbye to that sunny morning two and a half years ago. He struggles with his studies now; he needs assistance walking to and from his classes; he gets shaky when there are too many distracting issues when he's trying to walk. He doesn't like walking past the basketball team as they practice because he's always afraid a ball or a person might come his way, and he simply lacks the ability to quickly adjust and move out of the way. This is why his face frequently bears the scars of yet another fall; he can't stop himself once he starts falling. Chad and I are absolutely astounded that he hasn't injured himself worse than just scrapes and bruises so far. No broken bones, no concussions, no head trauma. Just another sign that God takes care of Dale! Dale is in His hands, and there's no safer place to be.
We wonder what Dale's future might hold. Will he be able to graduate from high school? Is there any chance he'll go to college? Will I be able to let him go to that extent? Will Dale ever get married, have children, hold a job? The plain, frustrating, undeniable truth is---we just don't know. We. Don't. Know. But we know Someone Who does. And this brings a smile to my face every time I re-arrive at this conclusion: God knows. He has a specific plan for Dale, and His plans are always good. Since I can't know the future and I won't know until we get there, I have no choice but to trust that unknown future to a known Father. I can trust unwillingly, fighting against the unfairness of it all, crying and screaming at God, worrying myself into a dozen ulcers; or I can trust willingly, daily letting God keep control of my life and my family's lives, obeying His Word and accepting His comfort, secure in the knowledge that I don't have to be in control for things to work out. In fact, if I were in control, if I were God, we'd have a lot bigger problems to worry about! Every time I try to take the reins and run my own life, I wind up careening out of control, crashing, and burning. Seriously. God reminds me so many times in so many ways that I am not qualified or capable of managing my present, much less my future---just look at my past! He is my Captain, my vessel, my charted course, my going……..and He is more than able to provide my son and my daughters and my husband and myself with all that we need both now and in the future. He will perfect His work in our lives, and His work in Dale isn't finished yet!
We have a big God, big enough to create the entire universe yet small enough to live inside our hearts. We have a powerful God, powerful enough to hold back the Red Sea yet gentle enough to cradle each sparrow that falls. We have a loving God, loving enough to die on an old rugged cross for our sins yet compassionate enough to only give us what we can handle. He's worth trusting.
I'll close with some verses that I know I've used before, but they are so true:
Proverbs 3: 5 - 6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."