Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Same Lake Different Boat

I am going to have several posts called "same Lake Different Boat". Where did I get this title? It is the title of a book (Author: Stephanie O. Hubach) the principle of our Christian school gave to me to read several months back and I am just finding time to read it. So far it is very good and I want to share some of it with you. However - if you have someone with special needs in your family - or even if you just want to learn and understand more about disabilities I encourage you to get this book. (I am only on the 4th chapter and will let you know at the end my final say on how good it is. My first disclaimer is that she does not use KJV.)

First - The author points out that there are three views to disability. Which one do you have? Has that changed at all after knowing someone (actually being close to someone rather than just seeing people at a distance) with a disability? Now be honest with yourself! I defantly held the first view. I felt bad and sorry that it happened I felt as though they have "problems" I still am working at countering this view with the Biblical view.

  • The Historical View: Disability is an Abnormal part of Life in a Normal Wworld. This is the view that something is "wrong" with the person or that they have a "problem". It is the view that in history, and even in our liberated world today, causes people with disabilities to be shunned and avoided and mourned over.
  • The Post Modern View: Disability is a Normal part of life in a Normal world. This is the view held by those who are afraid of offending. They want to encourage "celebrating" disability. When I read this the first thoughts that came into my mind is that they are ignorant and that they are offensive. I have YET to have anyone come to me and say they are jealous that Dillon was born to me instead of them because they so desired a child with disabilities. No one ever goes out seeking a disability for themselves. It is ludicrous and absurd that anyone would want to celebrate disability.
  • The Biblical View: Disability is a Normal part of life in an Abnormal world. Did you get that? Only the Biblical view sees our world as the "abnormal". Our world is stricken by the fall - there are consequences of the sin. Everyone suffers from physical and spiritual difficulties because of the fall. A person with a disability is just has the physical/mental consequences more evident in their life. They often have a much better spiritual understand because of this, though. They are not to be shunned but don't try to celebrate it either. When I read this I thought of celebrating cancer or soldiers dying in a war. Those are not to be celebrated - they are to be understood as normal life in our abnormal world.

These thoughts really hit home to me. Do I look at Dillon as though he should be shunned? Not really - but I think I honestly feel as though he WILL be in his life. Most people in our world don't have the Biblical view on this (especially not when most Christian don't - myself included). They don't see every individual as an expression of God's glory. I know I don't always look at a person and say "Wow, God created that person - how wonderful!"

The next thought that really hit me was about relentlessness. Now every family will experience this, but for the families of a disabled person it come so much more often. Simple every day tasks are so relentless that I won't even get into that right now since this post will be long enough but I think you can imagine. But what about our response to the relentlessness? She used Joseph's life as an example in this. There are three reactions possible:

  • The Victim Mentality - the world owes me, I can't believe this is happening to me, etc. If Joseph would have had this he would have cursed God, gotten depressed, and died with a meaningless life.
  • The "I will beat this" Attitude - This is where you view disability as cancer - something that can be beat. You believe you will overcome it not matter what it takes to do that. If Joseph would have had this he would have given in to temptation and then broke out of jail with the help of the baker and cup bearer gone and killed Pharaoh and then killed his brothers.
  • Engage Reality with a God-Reliant Perspective - This sis where you accept whatever life gives you because you are God-focused not difficulty-focused. This is the only view that keeps God as the center of your life. The other two allow you to make your whole life about the problems. It is putting your circumstance on the throne in your heart instead of God. He allowed these things to happen, surely we can look to Him while going thru it all.

Okay that's enough for now - but there will be more coming so look for the posts titled "Same lake Different Boat" (By the way that means that people without disabilities are not in a different lake as though with it - nor are they in the same boat...they are in the same lake but a different boat. As a church we are even closer - we are the same body different parts....see the parallel?)


Koala Bear said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing! I think I should look into getting this book.

Mom K said...

Thanks for sharing. I think you and Si should write a tract sometime on this thought. I see so many people at work who are difficulty focused (most of us going through a difficulty are difficulty focused). It is so much better when we focus on God. God's ways are so much higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) God makes no mistakes. I have grieved much over Dillon's condition but I do know that God's way is best and that He has a perfect plan. So many in our world whether facing difficulties or good things do not recognize our wonderful God. Just think, in heaven Dillon will be perfect (and so will we) and we can praise our Creator and Saviour forever. Perhaps in heaven we will meet the person or persons who are there because they God drew them to Himself as a result of Dillon's handicaps. Kiss Dillon for me.
Mom K.

Wendy G said...

Dear Tiffany, this was very interesting. I have had many close friends who have had children with various levels of disabilities. I also have a dear friend who at my old church, became quadrapalegic in his 40's, yet serves the Lord by teaching and preaching and many in the church take turns helping him and his wife in the mornings--imagine the power behind his preaching when the world says, "feel sorry for me" yet the Bible says to give God praise! When I heard of Dillon, I cried because I understood on a superficical level your life would be more difficult than the average human being yet in the same thought, I believed God would use Dillon completely for His glory through you. Dillon was going to be an amazing instrument for reaching souls because of how you react to Dillon. That doesn't mean you don't cry and don't get frustrated, moms with healthy children do that too! (ahhh, same lake, different boat!) I also often have a conscious thought of, "wow, God must really trust this family to give them such a special child". God chose you and Si for Dillon when he could've chosen anyone else in the world, isn't God good! Thank you for sharing your heart on helps me to pray for you and Si.

Borbe Bunch said...

Hi Tiffany,
Thank you so much for posting about this book....sounds like one I should read!
God is so good and ONLY because of HIM can I hold Ez Man and give God glory....I DO believe Ezra was created by God with PURPOSE...just as He created Dillion with purpose. I have a poem that I am going to post on my blog, it brings me to tears...
God is GOOD...ENJOY your precious miracle, as I KNOW you do :)
How are you feeling?? I pray well, being pregnant is hard enough, let alone all caring for Dillion entails...I was JUST there :) praying for you!
Your sister in Christ,
Liz :)