At just 4 weeks old, our sweet, newborn boy was diagnosed with a rare abnormality. This led to 3 surgeries and a colostomy bag before his first birthday. As a mother who carries her child for 9+ months trying everything possible to stay healthy, it was only normal of me to think, “what did I do for my sweet boy to be born with something wrong, a congenital abnormality from birth. Was it something I ate, something I didn’t eat, something I did, something I could have prevented? I remember these thoughts filling my mind and my heart becoming so heavy. And then the 9th chapter of John comes to mind. As they approach a man who was born blind, Jesus’ disciples asked Him who had sinned, the man or the man’s parents for him to be born blind. Jesus replied, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him" (John 9:3). The heaviness wasn’t so heavy anymore. There was nothing I did or could have done to prevent this from happening. This was in the Lord’s plan for Zayin’s life. I soon came to understand and accept that the Lord had a plan for this abnormality and for Zayin. Nothing happens by chance. Everything that happens is meaningful. He would use this abnormality to reveal His glory in Zayin’s life and our life as his parents. This truth, to me, soon became so beautiful. Would I ever desire for something to be wrong with my child, absolutely not. Would I change it and wish Zayin was born “normal and healthy” absolutely not. I am okay with Zayin not growing up how a “normal” child would grow up. Reason being, the Lord has chosen Zayin to reveal his glory. Zayin has shocked many (his parents included) with his rapid recoveries, pleasant demeanor through pain, and smile although suffering. It has been the most incredible representation that our physical bodies are only one aspect of our full self. There's still our mind, soul, and heart which impact us greatly in how we perceive certain situations and God in those situations. Whatever physical ailments we may possess that stay with us through this life are still temporary. How we approach our ailments speak volumes to who God is, His glory, plan and purpose. By the good graces of God, Zayin's heart is teaching us joy in pain, his soul is teaching us contentment in each and every situation, from his mind comes patience in affliction, and through his infectious laugh and smile he's teaching us unconditional love amidst swelling storms. He is teaching us that God is so real, tangible and still good through pain and suffering. I could not help myself but to think about the day coming when Zayin asks myself or Devin why he has something wrong with him; “But why was I born like that Mommy, why Daddy?” (Heart breaking, but rejoicing in truth) we can reply with this truth, "The Lord chose you, my sweet son, to exemplify His glory, power, and purpose to bring people to Himself. We may go with or without things here on earth, but when we finally get to be with Jesus, we will have everything we need. We will lack in nothing."
Through the pain, the Lord has gifted you a testimony. Through the pain, there’s purpose. It’s hard to see, but as John Piper proclaims, don’t look to what you can see. Look to what you cannot see. Zayin’s abnormality, food restrictions, and unpredictable bowels leads our family to purpose. These things breed a drive for seeing reason, a passion for health, and a reliance on our Creator like never before. Nothing’s meaningless. It's all working for us an eternal weight of glory. All of our pain, our ailments, our suffering will be wiped completely away some day, but until that day, we will run the race that has been given to us and proclaim the name of Jesus, exalting the Lord in each situation. There’s beauty in the mess, and if the only beauty we can find is Jesus, we’ve found all we need.
We initially made this video almost a year ago to eventually show Zayin the impact of prayer and power of the Holy Spirit's Healing in his first year of life. I pray it blesses your heart.