Choosing to See

I was sitting on our couch near our Christmas tree a few days before our kids were going to arrive when I suddenly saw that one strand of the lights had gone out. 

“Oh bother!” I thought as I got up to look closer.  “How does that even happen?”

I decided to just let it go.  It was so close to Christmas and the last thing I wanted to do was remove that string of lights and try to place a new one amid all the other decorations. 

Yet every time I walked into the living room, where the tree prominently stood, this is what I saw.

I saw the missing lights.  I saw the dark space. 

This is what I wanted to see. 

But no, my eyes were inevitably drawn to the area where the lights were missing.  Every.  Time.

Things with Aaron have been a little tough lately.  Actually, a lot tough.

Aaron has shown more than his average share of anger.  He can put a whole new spin on the concept of being angry. 

Many of his seizure meds list anger and other behaviors as possible side effects.  One of those med dosages was recently increased.  So, there’s that.

Then there is his autism, with or without the interference of his medicines.  His structured life was becoming more unstructured as the holidays loomed on his horizon. 

And years of seizures have done untold damage to his brain and to his ability to function in our world.

Gary and I know all this but living with his outbursts of anger is at times more than difficult.  His shattered supper plate full of lasagna, or the hole in his wall, are just two examples that can attest to the stress we have been under.

This morning, as I am slowly finishing my study of the book of Deuteronomy, I was reading Moses’ blessing to the tribe of Joseph in chapter 33.  God promised, through Moses, to give the people of Joseph “choice things…best things.”  The Hebrew word here means things of highest quality.

Then in verse 16, God said, “…and the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.”

Remember Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3?  God spoke to Moses in the bush that was burning…the bush that had attracted the attention of Moses as he shepherded his father-in-law’s sheep in the desert wilderness. 

There was God, burning bright in that bush, and telling Moses that this was holy ground.  Telling Moses that He had seen the affliction of Israel, and of His plan to use Moses to rescue the people out of Egypt.

But what impressed me about all of this was the fact that Moses was in a wilderness place, a place of severe hardship, when God spoke to him out of the bright burning bush. 

Moses had been banished from all he knew in Egypt.  He was running for his life when he ended up in the desolate wilderness.  Now he was a lowly shepherd of sheep that weren’t even his.

How easy it would have been for Moses to look at all the darkness in his life…to have his eyes drawn away from God’s glory in the burning bush to focus once again on his dismal circumstances. 

But God, despite the early reluctance of Moses, promised to go with and before and all around Moses.  He urged Moses to look at His glory, the glory that shone in the burning bush, and not at his dark and scary surroundings. 

It’s tough to live with and care for a child with special needs of any kind.  To live with Aaron, a very verbal adult, when he is angry is exhausting at times.  It’s not something I like to display or talk a lot about, but this part of Aaron is a very real part of our lives. 

I think many of us have those areas of our lives that we want to keep more or less hidden.  I’m very thankful for family and friends that I can confide in…those that I know pray for us.  There are ways that I know I need to be more open.  Maybe that will give others the courage to do the same.

Life is just hard right now on so many levels for all of us.  Satan really wants to discourage and defeat us in whatever way he can. 

But I want to look at this life we live and see God’s glory, His hand, His light over every bit of it.  I don’t want to focus on that dark part. 

I want to live under the knowledge that as God’s child, I am living in “the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.”

THAT God of Moses is also MY God.

I can focus on His promises to me, and even in the darker times I can make the choice to see His light…the light that shines brighter than my dark.

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

32 thoughts on “Choosing to See”

  1. Sounds rough there my sister. Wish I had wonderful advice to give but I will pray for you, your husband and Aaron. Our grandson is a bit like Aaron minus the seizures and the anger is tough for his mom and dad to deal with. Besides praying try to get your rest. I think it was General Patton who once said, “Fatigue can make cowards of us all.” I know you are brave just to share this but you need your strength as well as God’s to keep going. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very good advice, Pete, and for your care and your prayers. I’m so sorry for the issues with your grandson. I know you feel that burden deeply. And you’re so right about the need for rest. I’m learning more about that, and that it’s ok for me to pace myself. I really appreciate your comment. God bless.

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  2. Thank you for sharing the darker side of caregiving, Patty. Now we know how to pray for you and your family in a more specific way. I’m praying that God will continue to show all of you His Glory, even in the darkest of times. Hugs from Georgia!

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  3. I am keeping your family in my prayers. With so much distraction, it is difficult to relax and feel God’s peace. Praying that Aaron’s doctor finds the right and best medication for him; and that God’s love and peace surround all of you. 💖🙏🌺

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  4. Thank you for your transparency and courage…I will pray for your patience, for eyes that focus on the positive, and faith to sustain you. Also, for Aaron’s peace and physical health.

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  5. Once again, your authentic and raw expressions speak to me immensely! I just said a prayer for Aaron(medication adjustment as well as for a peace to flood over him) and for you and your husband – for grace and strength for today! My situation in caring for an adult special needs daughter is less challenging as yours, yet as you stated it is a challenge. Each day I beg the Lord to help me to remember this: I am HIS hands and feet as I minister to HIS precious daughter. What a privilege HE chose ME for such a ministry! You are an incredible instrument used by God to not only care for Aaron, but also to come alongside others and share your insights, burdens and laughs ! Thank you, Patty!

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    1. Your words are such an encouragement to me, Sindy. Remembering that we are the hands of Jesus to our adult children brings great comfort. Sometimes when I’m cleaning up a mess, especially a bathroom mess, I remember that I am doing this for God. Thank you for reminding me of that, and for letting me know that I am not alone as I serve the Lord by serving Aaron. You’re a blessing, my friend!

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  6. Patty, no matter how tough your life gets, you always turn your face upwards towards Jesus, your ever-present help in times of trouble. What a beautiful testimony of one who trusts her Heavenly Father to take care of all her needs. I’m glad you opened up and shared your struggles so we can lift you and your family up in prayer. You are loved❤️

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  7. OMG I know how you feel about the tree lights. I went for two years in a row and had this happen. Now I put the lights on very close and if a strand goes out I just move them around to fill in the dark spot. Nobody notices unless I tell them. Your tree is beautiful Patty! I will be praying for all three of you. Holidays are tough enough with the stress but then followed by more stress must be difficult. (((Hugs)))

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