I remember the first time I took the girls out of the house in their wheelchairs. We went to Target, and as we navigated getting past the masses, the stares began.
Looks of pity.
Glances toward then quickly away.
Mommas pulling their littles close, hoping their childlike state wouldn’t let their supposed awkward questions out unannounced.
Anticipating these reactions, I had done what my flesh always does- fixed their hair as best as wheelchair head would allow. Put them in cute little dresses with matching shoes to boot. I had done everything I could to speak to a watching (okay, staring) world one thing:
Don’t feel sorry for us.
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ- provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”- Romans 8:16-17
Happy and healthy.
It’s a phrase most just let slip off their tongue when talking about a baby yet to be born.
Once the child is here, if nothing unexpected occurs, often times a text, email, or social media post cries out gleefully, “He/she is here! Both momma and baby are happy and healthy!”
It’s as if everyone is breathing a sigh of relief in saying, “Everything went as planned. Life can continue as we thought it would”.
You want to know a reality?
I sent the same text the day the twins were born.
This week at Hope Heals camp, I met several families who could have spread that message the day their loved one entered this earth- only to experience its brokenness years later.
The truth is, whether at birth or days, months, years later- at some point- we are all going to come face to face with the reality that this world is not our home.
At some point, dreams are going to shatter and we are going to have to decide what to do with all the shattered pieces- or rather, who can put them back together.
Thanks be to God, over time, our family has realized that maybe the pieces were never meant to be put back together in the first place. Maybe- just maybe- they were meant to be shattered in order to be given to the One whose Plan A was this life from before the beginning of time.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable bestow the greatest honor“.- 1 Corinthians 12:12, 21-23, emphasis mine
On the last night of HH camp, at a beautiful banquet put on by so many members of this diverse, gorgeous Body, these truths were displayed in such an intricate and intentional way- and I would be amiss to not attempt to pay them forward to you.
Instead of receiving the typical stares of pity, our girls received beaming smiles of admiration and love.
Instead of glances of, “I’m sorry”, or, “Bless your hearts”- Hugh and I were given hugs and nods that reminded us yet again what a holy privilege it is to be equipped and entrusted to be Ally and Bailey Grace’s earthly parents.
Because of Christ, the way it was meant to be all along.
Friends, God wants so much more for us than happy and healthy on this side of heaven- He desires eternal wholeness for our souls and sometimes-rather, most of the time- this comes through suffering.
…provided that we share in His sufferings in order that we may share in His glory (Romans 8:17)
The good news?
When experienced in community- when shared with the Body- suffering can be a beautifully intimate thing.
Because of Christ, we no longer have to fear suffering for in all things, God is working.
Because of Christ, we do not have to lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Because of Christ, we are free to live not for, “Me, me, me” but for, “Thee, thee, thee”.
Because of Christ, we can rejoice in sufferings and trials and unexpected circumstances because we know that ultimately, He is making all things new.
This world is not our home.
This world is not our home.
This world is not our home and one day-if you are in Christ- all our empty places and unmet longings and restless hearts will be met and satisfied face to face with God Himself.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”- 1 Corinthians 13:12
Thanks be to God, in Jesus, our Hope does not disappoint.
My prayer for each of you today is that God would expand your heart to want more than merely health and happiness in this life. That your flesh would not cheat you of the joy that is offered in temporal discomfort and pain in this life in order to free you up for more of Him and less of yourself. I pray you would look at this word, “disability” and instead of thinking about Ally or Bailey Grace or someone else whose body displays the truth about us all- I pray you would seek to see the disability of the soul within each of us and that this would spur you on to cry out to the God who loves each of us in the midst of our own frail humanity. His love will never fail you. He is working.
At all times.
In all things.
No matter what.
To Him be the glory.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”- 1 Peter 5:10
7 thoughts on “The Greater Honor.”
Thanks for inspiring us to see things differently and through our own brokenness as well. Love to you and your precious family.
As usual, your blog brings me to tears, and the brokenness within me. I always look forward to reading it, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The lovingkindness of our Father …Psalm 118 KJV
You have so many gifts Morgan, the greatest is love. This is a beautiful expression of that love. We miss you all already and hope we don’t have to wait a year to see you all again. Until then, hugs from us!
My daughter, Kim and grandson Kyle, were with you and your precious family. I don’t know who has been more blessed Kyle, Kim or me. I have been so humbled and grateful to hear the stories of their week. Thank you , just a big thank you. I will be following your heart felt writing. God Bless you and your family.
Your husband actually gave me the link to your blog today when I brought my soon to be 6 mth old daughter in to the doctor’s office for a weight check. This is something that I needed to read and to fill my sadden heart with gladness. My daughter was is in the process of being diagnosed with a rare disorder amongst other things, but reading this has given me comfort in knowing that I’m not alone. My mind has been racing and my heart has been filled with pain knowing that my baby isn’t like most babies. This I do know that this world isn’t going to change for her, but she is going to change the world. I THANK YOU for your words of encouragement and I applaud what you are doing. May God continue to bless you and your family. 💚
You truly are an inspiration and your outlook hits home on so many levels to so many people. There are few mentors in life that are actually living on this earth paving the path to spend forever with our Hero…and you are one. I found your instagram through Hope Heals (I went to Ole Miss with her sister) which led me to your blog. It’s a truth that life no matter how comfortable you feel in your own so called “normalcy” facing the world is hard for everyone. All of us avoiding the stares, wondering the stories of those perfectly imperfectly souls around us, and feeling grateful yet defeated in our own skin and/or what others are thinking. And whether it be target, our office, or a gas station, its facing our judgemental fears. It is a daily struggle and no matter what anyone portrays, its why God made us humans and our lives are all broken in a joyful way. The brokenness gives us hope and reason to celebrate Him! My friends parents told me a story I’ll never forget so I will share. Their vetinarian had to put a family dog to sleep after he had outlived his body and it was time for him to rest. The dog was their sons with special needs best friend and had been his rock since he was born so the family wanted him to be there when the time came. The veterinary asked the little boy if he understood what was happening before they put him to sleep and without blinking an eye he said, “I understand why he has to go. You see humans spend their whole life learning to be the best they can be and trying to help each other…and well dogs are born that way so they can’t spend as long on earth. The life they’ve lived gets returned in eternity.” It changed my outlook, because I realized I’m not here to live the novel I once wrote in my head. Your family is blessed and so are we to have your story inspire us to be our best selves! Thank you!