".... so there's a whole bunch of us who honestly, Lord, feel a whole lot neglected & overlooked & forgotten, who feel like failures, who are flailing in these oceans of unspoken grief that nobody even knows about..." Anne Voskamp
Yet, You, Dad, my Abba, draw me close and I feel the warmth of Your grace. You whisper to me, "I will hold you close" (Psalm 27:10).
Can a mother forget her child? I know I don't. Each of my children are remembered daily and often in my prayers and thoughts. So much of what I do is for them.
And today marks the 4th anniversary of the death of my son, Jerard. This little boy, so precious in his special needs brought so much healing and joy and sorrow and love and laughter and anguish and hope and growth to me.
Some may not hold special needs kids as valuable, but let me tell you, my son, my Jerard - he taught me so much. I thank God for my visitor from Heaven.
The night we got James and Jerard scared me. I was afraid to hold Jerard due to his big head.
When he was placed in my arms it was a weird sensation. His head so heavy, his body so light. Like a tweety bird. I was concerned if I held him wrongly his neck would snap. Innocence and vulnerability lay in my arms. Tiny body, large, heavy head beckoned my heart to love this little boy and do what I could to heal him, to relieve the pressure of fluid build up in his cranium. Love ensconced this innocent, hurting boy and wrapped it's tendrils around my heart for my little son.
Bathing that little body and soul for the first time, I did it so carefully, so concerned for his neck due to the weight it carried.
As I think back to that night of first holding my son, Jerard, I ponder. His heavy head and little body symbolized my spiritual life at that time. I had a heavy head of knowledge that my Heavenly Dad, God, loved me. I knew Bible truths and doctrines. But was my life living out what my head knew and believed? Had the depth of His love for me sunk from head knowledge to heart? Not then.
Only through the caring for and loving on Jerard with all the turmoil, uncertainties, anxieties, joys and duties did that knowledge drain from head to heart.
Like Jerard needing shunts to drain cranium fluid from head to abdomen, needed surgeries to accomplish this, needed medicines to control seizures, I needed surgery of soul to release knowledge of head to heart felt believing-settled deep-truth and knowing.
My Jerard, my visitor from Heaven. A loving gift sent to me from my Abba. So many lessons learned through him. Thank You, Dad, for the gift of Jerard.
Early on in the care of Jerard this song by Twila Paris became a background theme song in my head for our Jerard.
A visitor from Heaven If only for a while A gift of love to be returned We think of you and smile
Jerard had a great laugh. A wonderful smile. His smile and laugh could brighten up my day so well.
A visitor from Heaven Accompanied by grace Reminding of a better love And of a better place
Jerard's life has reminded me of a better love...the deep, deep, love of my Saviour.
Jerard could be messy. I changed diapers on him all his life. He drooled. He liked to bite and pinch.
He'd throw up, get sick, be messy....and isn't that how each of us are? A mess? And yet Jesus continues to love each of us just as we are, no matter what mess we are in.
With aching hearts and empty arms We send you with a name It hurts so much to let you go But we're so glad you came We're so glad you came
I am so thankful Jerard came. I have no regrets having taken him in and walking him through his life. He is my son, even if the legal paperwork was not completed. His name is Jerard Gonzales Symanzik.
A visitor from Heaven If only for a day We thank Him for the time He gave And now it's time to say We trust you to the Father's love And to His tender care Held in the everlasting arms And we're so glad you're there We're so glad you're there
Not a day goes by that I do not think about and thank God for my son, Jerard.
With breaking hearts and open hands We send you with a name It hurts so much to let you go But we're so glad you came We're so glad you came
Jerard has been precious to me.
Jesus made him just the way he was just as Jesus made me and my other children the way we are.
Jerard's special needs have been irons of fire Christ has used to mold me more into His likeness.
Jerard's blindness taught me to see the depth of love Christ has for me and for each of His children.
Jerard's weakness helped me discover more deeply the truth in God's word that when I am weak, He is strong.
Jerard's inability to balance taught me the need to lean into my Saviour always.
I loved the way Jerard just seemed to melt into me when I'd hold him.
It was a perfect reminder to me of my own need to lean into my Saviour, resting ever in His arms no matter what storm is raging around me.
I thank God for Jerard.
The road our family traveled in caring for Jerard was hard I do not regret the road: It's been a road full of mercy a road leading me closer to my FATHER's love
And all I know is that all is grace And my FATHER knew what He was doing when He created Jerard, When He brought him to our family. I rest in HIS loving arms Thanking HIM for HIS gift, Thanking Him for Jerard.