Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hidden Blessings - Patti's Story



God can bring blessing and growth into our lives through seemingly impossible and heartbreaking circumstances. Today's testimony is from Patti who is the Senior Pastor's wife at Covington Baptist Church.  I know that some of you will be able to identify with Patti in raising a son with muscular dystrophy. My prayer is that you will be encouraged by the blessings she received through her journey.
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In the summer of 1976, my nearly perfect world was shattered when my beautiful 2 year old son, Richard,  was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.


I was living a sort of “dream” life at the time with the husband I loved, two wonderful little boys, in close proximity to some family and working in a church.  And now the news, that not only would my son eventually be unable to walk, he would die young, probably between the ages of 12 and 15.  I remember the feeling of a Pandora’s box being opened and all the bad stuff spilling out, until my husband pointed out to me through the words of an old song:  “Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my guide”?

How little I knew or understood in those beginning days, the beautiful, tender mercies of God that would sustain us, nor the journey that I was beginning.  Over the years, God drew my son’s heart to Christ and I was able to see Him grow greatly in that relationship .  He used Richard to show me courage, a beautiful, willing spirit, humor in the face of trials, and the reality of our days being numbered.  I learned something about serving as my husband and I eventually took on the physical care of a young man who was losing strength all over his body, and I learned about the joy that is yours by caring for someone. 
One evening, I had strapped Richard into a hover lift, lifted him into his bed, undressed him, arranged him on his side where he would stay for the whole night, and was pulling and tugging on him to get him in just the right position, when he said to me, “I really don’t have many trials.”  Thankfully I was behind him at the time, so he couldn’t see my face; I was so amazed at his perspective.

I don’t remember Richard ever saying “no” to a request for his time and talents.  When it was becoming obvious, that his time was shortening, his response was, “I need to get going”.  That “get going” had to do with writing a letter to his brothers to express his love to them and trying to do more in the Lord’s work.  God gave him 26 years instead of 15 and I’m grateful.    And now that he has finished his journey, and I’m still struggling through mine, I think of him and the joy he is experiencing with Jesus and I am so thankful for the privilege I had to be his mom.
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Thank you so much, Patti for sharing this beautiful story of trust in a God who holds all of our lives in His capable hands. Do you have further questions for Patti? E-mail me or comment below - I know she'd love to connect with you! 
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