My husband’s sister had a daughter with cerebral palsy. She lived to be 17, but she only had the brain of a 3 month old. I would watch all that Sharon (My Sister in Law) had to do with her daughter Amanda. I watched her carry around her large 70 pound body from room to room. I watched Sharon feed her with a tube through her stomach. I watched her stay at home all the time because it was hard to take Amanda places. I vividly remember several times thinking to myself and saying aloud, “I could never do that”. I used to think that only parents that qualified as Saints could take care of handicapped children. Alas, having one of my own I can assure you that Sainthood is not a requirement.
You know, watching my Sister-in-Law I really did think that I couldn’t do what she did, but I can. There’s a lot of things we say that we can’t do, but we can. When you’re going through something hard you get a lot of comments like, “The Lord won’t give you more than you can handle.” These comments make you want to punch someone in the stomach, but it’s true. The Lord, the maker of the Universe, the maker of you knows what you were made for. The Holy Spirit, your Comforter is capable of helping you through anything.
When I first started realizing that my son Miles wasn’t growing developmentally the way he should I began to think about this vow I had made a long time ago while I watched Sharon. I changed my mind. I realized that I could do what she did. I can do what she did and more. I don’t allow myself to speak the words “I can’t” anymore because I know it’s not true. There’s a lot of things that “I don’t want to do”, but there’s nothing that I can’t do. (Yes, I know that the previous sentences has a triple negative in it, but that’s what the word can’t does to your life. It messes up the whole flow of things.)
Here’s a few “Can’ts” in my life that have been changed to I Can:
* I can’t take care of a handicap child—Yes I can, and I have peace in my heart.
* I can’t loose weight—Yes I can and I’m doing it.
* I can’t have 4 kids and go to school—Yes I can, and I made straight A’s.
* Randy can’t start his own business the day our third child is born—Yes he can and the Lord has been faithful to us by blessing Randy’s business.
* I can’t take care of a child that will be in a cast from his waist to his ankles for 6 to 8 weeks—Yes I can and the Lord will give me strength.
* I can’t have 5 children and be a Life Group leader—Yes I can and the Lord multiplies my time.
This is what the Lord says about you and me:
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
We are more than conquers. (Romans 8:37)
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)