I have a lovely friendsin. I’m sorry if you don’t. They are good to have. The term came to be because she and I are friends, but also happen to be married to men who are 1st cousins…so that makes us friendsins.
She is a special lady with a special little boy named Maddox. She has watched her precious little boy struggle for most of his 6 years on this earth. Maddox was born healthy but then at only 3 weeks old he contracted meningitis and suffered significant brain damage. He wasn’t expected to live after he was removed from life support, but he did. Then he wasn’t expected to live to his 1st birthday, but he did. He’s been the exception to most rules.
Maddox is the kind of kid who still manages a smile to assure his loved ones he’s still fighting. He’s never spoken a word and is visually impaired, but he knows his mother’s touch and will light up at the sound of his father’s voice. He is living proof that miracles happen.
He teaches me that it doesn’t take words or deeds to love.
Now, 6 years later and just 3 days before Christmas, it appears he has arrived at the time when he will soon be in heaven.
His mother loves him so much that she recently said she was ready for him to be healed and be with Jesus. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to say those words out loud. It’s not what’s best for her, but it’s what’s best for him and that’s her heart’s desire. The selfless love of a mother radiates from her.
Through her broken heart she has peace.
When I put myself in her shoes I can’t image I’d be walking this journey with as much grace as she does. I’m by nature anxiety and worry filled, especially when it comes to my kids. She is certainly not free of anxiety and worry, but she has faith that keeps it from overrunning her mind.
Watching her family over the years has been such a blessing and has taught me so much by their example.
Peace isn’t a place we arrive. It doesn’t only come when everything in life is going smoothly. It’s easy to have peace when all is well. It’s those times of turmoil when our faith is put to the test. It is in those times when we can discern real peace from perceived peace.
Peace is found when one can believe and trust the promises of God despite the circumstances. It’s living a life of assurance that God is in control thus we don’t have to be. Peace is independent of the outside noise of life and the hurts of this world.
Watching them be peaceful in the midst of their storm shows me that it’s possible.
During this week, as we are with family and friends, enjoying a table full of food and the sound of excited kids may we always have a heart of gratitude. May we appreciate the good times, understanding that good times don’t last, but praise God neither do bad times.
People have bad days, terrible days, get sick, get divorced, have financial devastation, and are betrayed by those who should love us the most. Things go wrong when we live in an imperfect world full of imperfect people.
Not all little boys get to grow up into men.
Love is the biggest blessing and can be the deepest heartache.
Not everyone will have a gift to unwrap under the tree this year, but we were all given a heavenly gift that we can enjoy this Christmas and all throughout the year. We were given a baby who was born to a peaceful woman in a lowly manger.
He was called prince of peace by no coincidence.
He came as God’s gift to us. He gave us promises that he immeasurably loves us and has a plan for each of us.
Christmas is a day to remember and celebrate that gift of peace who was born that day.
If my friendsin can find peace as she watches her son fade from her then there is hope for all of us.
Maddox has a purpose in life.
I believe he is a teacher. He teaches everyone who knows him how much love can be conveyed with just a smile. He is a picture of bravery by being a tiny warrior who perseveres beyond what any doctor expected. The prince of peace proves that while he equipped doctors to attend to his Maddox’s needs, that he is the great physician and the only one who knows the number of our days.
Without ever saying a word to me Maddox is teaching me what it looks like to find peace no matter the situation.
As Christmas rapidly approaches, my prayer is that every single one of you feel the peace God intended for you, despite your circumstances. I’m on the journey to do so as well.
I pray that should our little warrior go home to be with Jesus today that peace will overcome and flood the hearts of my friendsin and her husband. I pray for peace to be so all-consuming that they will clearly recognize it’s coming straight from their Maddox’s new home in heaven.