I heard a story in church several months ago that stuck with me. The brief of it is this: There was a man who had a son and a horse. One day his son went out to ride the horse and the horse escaped. Of course the man’s friends started telling him what rotten luck it was and how much of a trial it was to lose the horse. Well, the next morning the horse came back and brought with it 10 wild horses. The man’s friends then started telling him how amazing that luck was! He was truly blessed. Then the man’s son went out to train one of the horses and fell off and broke his leg. You can imagine that the friends were there telling him what a horrible trial this was. Then, the country went to war and every healthy young man was called to duty. Because of the broken leg, this man’s son stayed home. The friends told him what an amazing blessing that was.
You can see where the story keeps going. Trials beget blessings which beget trials which beget blessings.
This story gave me such a huge insight into my own life and lately I’ve been thinking of one trial that has turned into a huge blessing. It has literally shaped my life.
When we heard my son had a heart defect I assumed it was going to be life altering. I pictured a life ahead filled with medical challenges, hospitalizations, and possibly even death. I cried over time lost with my children because of said appointments and challenges, I cried for the struggles we would go through in bringing him into our family as well as bringing him home and keeping him safe and healthy. I cried because I could see this path laid out for us that was horrible. That view on my life was much like that man losing his only horse. “What a trial!” his friends told him, which is what I told myself.
But then after months and months of that trial came the blessings. And I need to recognize those blessings out loud. We moved to another state with the military, one that I’d never considered moving to because we just don’t have family nearby. But it turned out to be one of them most amazing places I’ve lived (and I’ve lived in a lot!). I gained some true friends, women who have been by my side every step of the way and helped me more than I could imagine. If it weren’t for these women in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to get through my trials. I was blessed with meeting doctors and therapists and nurses and medical aids who have taken an interest in me and my children’s lives and been such a huge emotional support for me. My son brought these people to me just as the man’s horse brought the wild horses with it.
Although I spend a lot of time at doctors appointments, it has shaped many of my decisions in my life. Part of the reason we chose to home school was because of the time restraints that school put on the doctors appointments. And now I get to have my oldest daughter home with me all the time. We are closer to God because of our choice to rely on him and see his hand in our lives. We spend more time trying to be healthy in our family, to support my son in eating the best way possible to help his heart stay as strong as it can be.
My son’s heart defect caused him to take more effort to learn how to eat and how to talk. It has taken me more effort to find clothes that fit him the right way and to comfort him during his shots and other procedures. He is clingy and shy because of so many doctors and wants more of my attention than all my other kids. But all of that has been such a blessing so I can sit and cuddle him and take time with him during the midst of all the other busyness in my life.
My husband has grown tremendously from the things he has had to learn and the people he has had to deal with in getting our family where it is and I can see it all stems from the 7 months that our children and I were living in hotels. What is 7 months of trial if it furthers his career in the ways it has? See? Our horse might have run away, but it brought back more than we could have imagined.
I have been truly blessed with this trial in my life. The one horse that ran way has turned into 10 wild horses who sometimes create other trials and sometimes give me blessings beyond belief.
It is so hard at times to see through the trial and to continue to trust in God, to trust in his timing and his promises. But the payout is this amazing life filled with triumphs and trials and blessings and struggles.