Favorite and I have spent most of our time together discussing Ryan, his future and our hopes for his life. That sentence alone makes me gag with sentimentality because if there's anything I attempt to avoid in the general public, it's the overwhelming sense of emotion I can't seem to tamp down when necessary.
So gag if you must. I promise I completely understand.
Like most people this season, Favorite and I find ourselves looking in store windows and staring at our reflections, hardly able to believe we've been graced with so much blessing. And I find myself more aware of holidays past--the ones where I choked down emotion, smothered by what we were missing, still grateful for all we'd been given and holding my breath for the revelation of possibility.
They were hard days. There was so much internal construction happening, but, in winter's typical form, no fruit or foliage to be seen. Then, out of nowhere, "what was frozen through is newly purposed/Turning all things green" (Nichole Nordeman, "Every Season").
We're learning to breathe again. This is an entirely different terrain, and I wonder how much we would've missed had we not trekked the previous jungle.
Gratitude grows in strange environments. And that realization alone was enough to breathe new life into a conversation about our son.
Without divulging too many private thoughts, I can tell you that Favorite is admantly hopeful Ryan will not suffer through similar circumstances. To him, there were needless things, and while he definitely wouldn't describe the last ninety months that way, he would prefer Ryan not cycle through scenery that ultimately leads nowhere.
But here isn't nowhere. I keep arguing that the last ninety months will serve for the next 220 (and then some, God willing). That we had to see those days to see these. That, while there were things I would have definitely avoided had my vision been 20/20, they served as the catalyst for change and understanding to my broken heart. (And certainly in Favorite's life, though I hesitate to speak for him...)
Call me a fool, a sadist or a bad mother, but I won't pray for my son to avoid that particular environment.
Whatever brings him to his knees...
Whatever brings him to the acknowledgement of Christ...
Whatever draws his heart to the understanding that the universe does not revolve around him...
Whatever reminds him he is not his own...
I would pray every.single.one of them. Even if it means gritting my teeth and squinting through tears to watch my precious gift suffer.
If that's what makes every breath worthwhile. Every sunset spectacular. Every cloudy sky brilliant. Every day worth living. I.Will.Pray.It.
And when he's cycling those valleys, I'll pray he's looking for Higher Ground.
Seems like a powerful thing--the prayers of a mother. It makes me wonder what mine was whispering when I was in the inbetween.
And it makes me oh-so-very-thankful she didn't pray for something easy. Because sweet? Tastes entirely different when it follows the bitter.
And I want him to know sweetness.