by Louise Tucker Jones
This happened so that God’s mighty works might be displayed in him. John 9:3(CEB)
It was a difficult day. In truth, it was a difficult week. An emotional week that left me feeling exhausted and inadequate. Night came and there was still so much to do. Jay, my son with Down Syndrome and significant heart disease, still needed his bath as well as warm compresses and ointment for an eye infection. And along with his nightly snack of oatmeal, he needed ice on an injured knee and a little compassion. Finally, teeth were brushed, humidifier filled, and oxygen ready for nighttime sleeping.
Jay wiggled into his bed comfortably while I sang “Jesus Loves Me,” then as usual, I sat on the edge of his bed for nighttime prayers. And as is our habit, Jay placed his hand in mine and I started my prayer. “Holy Father,” I prayed, then paused. Not my norm. I paused a little longer then suddenly blurted out, “Lord, we are tired!” Again, not my norm, and it struck Jay so funny that he giggled out loud and patted me on the back and said, “Good Girl, Mom!” We both laughed and hugged then finished our prayer and goodnight kisses.
What a difference that honesty toward the Lord and Jay’s sweet affirmation made to me. It brought me back to what was important and even relieved some of my fatigue. Too often I forget Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28 (NLT) “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” I often overwhelm myself with a mental list of all I should be doing or even should have already done. I sometimes have to sit myself down and say, “You are not called to be perfect!”
Yes, God is perfection, but He does not expect perfection from us. What a relief! We will make mistakes. We will say or do the wrong thing at times. We will need forgiveness—every day! As a mom, a friend, or a Christian, I will never be perfect. But as long as I love and speak Jesus to my family and others in my life, then I am following the Lord’s command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27 NIV).
I’m so thankful for the truths God teaches me through my son. Just like the Lord, Jay offers unconditional love to me. And no, my son is not perfect. He can be stubborn and ornery but is also quick to forgive.
Sometimes when I’m trying to teach Jay lifesaving habits, he ignores me, not understanding the importance of a particular skill. Too many times the fear that he won’t learn that life lesson leads me to frustration instead of patience, or even an angry comment. Jay doesn’t understand the reason for my fear or anger and when I see the hurt I caused him, it breaks my heart. I go to him immediately and ask for forgiveness, telling him Mom was wrong. And just like Jesus, he always forgives with a hug, and while I hold him close and blink back tears, I silently thank the Lord for this marvelous mentor with Down syndrome.
“Holy Father, thank You for the gifts of love, joy and forgiveness. Thank you, Jesus that you invite us to rest in You. We love you! Amen.”
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Louise Tucker Jones is a speaker, columnist and award-winning author. Having a son with Down syndrome, Louise writes extensively concerning people with special needs, co-authoring the Gold Medallion award-winning book, Extraordinary Kids. Her poignant life stories have been published in hundreds of magazines and anthologies, including over a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul titles. Married to Carl for 45 years before he relocated to heaven, Louise is a mother, grandmother, professed chocoholic, and founder of the support group, Wives With Heavenly Husbands. Find her at LouiseTJ@cox.net LouiseTuckerJones.com
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