All of us dream and make plans in life. But not all of those dreams come to life. As if I need to explain that to you.
Last week, my son asked Daddy, “When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
“Well, when I was really little, around 5 years old, I wanted to be a doctor during the week and a preacher on the weekends.” The children thought this was such an awesome idea. My husband went on to say,” And when I got a little older, I wanted to be a magician.” This made everyone at the table smile or giggle a bit. Although I have full confidence that if he were to be a magician, he would be incredible. But the reality is that the most magic my husband has ever made has been his 7 kids.
I’m a dreamer and always have been. As a child, I not only got lost in books because the characters came to life, but also because I could take the characters other places and make up my own stories. I would dream of flying with Amelia Earhart; Annie Oakley and I went on all sorts of adventures together. I was as good a shot as she was. In my dreams.
Yesterday one of my dreams died.
You see, my Taylor girl has been quite fragile since autumn. Between seizures and her continual loss of skills as the gradual neurological degeneration infiltrates her brain, she has stayed home from school day after day and we do our best to hold on to her mobility. She is still breathing on her own and eating by mouth; for this we are thankful and focus on making the most of each day. But her pace to life is much slower than the rest of the world. I’m learning to appreciate it.
When the diagnosis was issued that Taylor’s projected lifespan would be 10-15 years, I looked down at her little pigtails and I had this dream. The dream that one day she would walk across a platform and receive her high school diploma. Graduation day- isn’t it the pinnacle of the teen years? Doesn’t everyone have this dream for their child? And in spite of disease and in spite of diagnosis, my dream for my girl has been that she would graduate from high school. Not with honors or accolades or scholarships, but just the ability to walk and receive a piece of paper that signifies she lived her life to the fullest for the school years allotted to her. Each day she put one foot in front of the other and took one more step.
Since Taylor hasn’t been well enough to attend school, although she is 18 years old, at this point, we are forced to let a dream die. Due to state regulations and stipulations, today I have to make the choice to disenroll Taylor from school. And we will never see that dream of Taylor receiving a high school diploma. It’s a very hard mama place to be. To be honest, Taylor doesn’t care. She doesn’t know and it does not hurt her feelings because she doesn’t understand. It’s a strange feeling to be thankful that your child doesn’t have enough cognitive ability to know when she’s being deprived of a simple joy.
I really didn’t want to share all this with you, as it is deeply personal for me. But the Lord kept me awake last night because I felt him impressing on me that you too have big dreams and big goals for your life and your children. There’s nothing wrong with those big dreams and plans and goals, except that sometimes they are not a part of his plan. We can’t wrap our heads around it; we don’t understand all the details. But we can hold on to the promises of Isaiah:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8&9
For those of you with children graduating this year, be thankful and enjoy every moment to the fullest. Soak up extra moments on my behalf.
For those of you with dying or dead dreams, he is with you. His promises are true and his plan is always best. God is good and makes all things for our good. His plan is far greater than we could ever dream.
I doubt I’ll have a single thought of high school graduation when we stand before his throne in eternity. In fact, this morning I was thinking about what it will be like to see Taylor in heaven one day, without disease, fully healed and I thought:
Now that’s the ultimate graduation.