This Christmas memory is from 2017 but is a lesson that bears repeating.
Our two youngest grands chose to stay with us a few days during their Christmas break. We did all kinds of things and had a lot of fun.
One afternoon we met cousins at the theater and saw the movie, They Followed the Star. That night I was getting Savannah to bed and laid down with her to say goodnight. She was in a chatty mood and quickly the conversation turned to Jacob. She told me that sometimes she is nervous around him and went on to remind me about a time he scared her. She was with me that day. I knew exactly what happened. I saw her frightened face and heard her cries. Oh how I hoped she had forgotten the incident, but it was still in her memory.
We talked about how brave she was then and still is, and how it is okay to have those feelings. I gave her assurance of our presence/protection. As best I could, I tried to explain how Jacob has a harder time expressing his needs, his wants, when he is in pain, or when he is afraid.
I talked about how God made us all different. “I don’t know why God chose me to be Jacob’s mom or us to be his family or why He made Jacob like he is, but, it was part of His plan.” Sweet S (then 8 years old) said, ‘Mary & Joseph wondered why God chose them to be parents to Jesus, too. Just like God made us different, we can all serve God in different ways.’
I have to tell ya—what I thought was going to be a sweet goodnight hug and kiss, turned into a most wonderful Christmas gift. Snuggled beside her in the dark, tears streamed down my face. She gets it. A tender, compassionate heart. Combined with discernment beyond her years.
It is hard to know my son has hurt or scared people. And, unfortunately, he will again in attempts to communicate. I never want anyone to be afraid of Jacob but sometimes his actions make others want to run the other way. And yet, God can use a painful time to bring awareness and understanding.
May we all choose to not focus on the differences that scare us but on how we can serve the perfect ONE who made us all precious in His sight.