I am a pastor and a parent with two sons with bleeding disorders. My youngest son has a high titer inhibitor which makes our lives a little more complicated. To give you some indication as to how rare our situation is hemophilia effects 1 in 5,000 male births. Of the 1 in 5,000 male births, 5% of those with hemophilia have the special type of inhibitor with which my son struggles. We are hospitalized quite frequently often for multiple days and sometimes multiple weeks on end.
As a pastor, there are times when the medical needs of my children must be balanced by the spiritual needs of my congregation. Life at times can be a fine balancing act as I fill the roles of pastor, caregiver, friend, father and husband (just to name a few). I am moved to fulfill all of my roles to the best of my abilities. There are times when my life is turned upside down. I must hold down the fort and manage through the storms of my life and those entrusted into my care.
I deal with all of these various positions while continuing to ponder my own understanding of how in the world God’s beauty can be manifested through the most horrible of life’s moments. My youngest son recently reached a milestone in his treatment that would take us to the next level. Unfortunately, he had an allergic reaction to the medication that we were so desperately hoping he would start taking. The bad news is that we would not be able to take a step forward in his treatment. The good news is that we didn’t take a step backward.
While I was grieving the fact that we would not begin a new part of our journey, people spoke words of comfort to me. I appreciated all of those who thought enough of me and my family to remind me that God is found in community. This is where the beauty of God was found in my situation. When I thought all was lost and sought refuge, I found it in the words of hope expressed through the many men and women of faith who encouraged me to continue on in my journey. I was given the strength to continue to cling to hope.
I do not believe that it was ever in God’s plan to test my family, but I do believe that God can be found in any situation. Hope can be expressed even when there seems to be no hope at all. There is Divine light that can be as small as a glimmer that radiates into places of darkness. With this spark of illumination we are carried to the brilliance of absolute light. I believe that in the middle of the deepest parts of our souls, God heals us from the inside out.
My sons will most likely never experience the physical healing from their bleeding disorders, but they will experience the miracle of the presence of God that transforms the world. We hold fast to these acts of God that restore us and make us whole. We journey forward hoping and praying that regardless of the physical issues that occur, we claim victory through the One who gives us strength and hope.