Don't Give Up on Him

This afternoon I visited a mother at CCU.  I met her through my teenage son. He witnessed the accident three weeks ago that put the mother's son in CCU.  John Paul is twenty. He has a twin brother, Jonathan, and an older brother, Edward. His mom's name is Pat and she loves John Paul very much. This was my fourth visit since they have been at the hospital. 
Today she excitedly told me John Paul moved his little finger, he opened his eyes briefly, he moved his leg from the bed. The doctors say he is doing well, well enough to have another surgery.  Monday morning doctors will try to put his pelvic bones back in place and remove some rods that were put in temporarily when he first had the accident. 
Pat hugged me when I walked up to her today.  As she hugged me, I realized who it is she makes me think of and why I feel so connected to this. 
Pat has long black hair and today I was reminded she looks like what I imagine my step children's  mother would look like if she were alive today. She died thirty one years ago last June.  I never met her, but I did see some pictures when my husband and I first married.  Her name was Barbara.
Today at my home before I went to the hospital things had been especially stressful.  My thirty three year old step son was on the war path which is putting it very mildly.  I, for about the millionth time, asked God how long am I  supposed to handle this constant turmoil in my home.  He told me again, to stand. I told Him I have stood, and stood, and I am very very tired of standing. I told Him I was really ready just to lie down and let the enemy win.  And I did lie down briefly, and cry awhile between the prayers which were asking God was it ok for me just to give up on this seemingly unchangeable situation.
But then, I got up and went to see Pat at the hospital. As I saw the joy Pat was experiencing simply from seeing her son move his little finger, I asked myself if that were my step son in the hospital would I be that happy if  had made such slight progress as moving his little finger. 
I took on the children when I was eighteen  and agreed to be there mother. I didn't realize it at the time, but the for better or for worse vows I took with my husband were also with those four children. I was making a lifetime commitment, not just  a commitment to raise them until they were grown. 
Most mothers know no matter what your children do you love them anyway.  I  have loved Anthony anyway, and anyway, and anyway, again over and over through these last thirty one years.
Today I experienced what I thought was definitely the worst. After I asked myself the question at the hospital, that I never answered, I went on to church where we were having a prayer service. I sat at the back of the church and read of Gideon and dream interpretations in Judges Chapter 8. I then  had the clearest vision I have ever had.  I saw Barbara. She had both hands stretched up to me, crying out. She said, "Please don't give up on him. You are the only one he has there to  pray for him."
Whether you believe in visions or not is totally up to you of course, but I do believe. After the vision I answered the question I asked myself earlier at the hospital.   If my step son were in that hospital I know in my heart I would be there praying. I would be overjoyed if he as much as moved his little finger.  Vows made are not easily broken if you really love someone, even when they say and do many hurtful things.
Don't give up on those who you are praying for even when they make it really hard for you to want to pray for them.  You may be the only one they have to pray for them.  Don't stop loving people who make it really hard for you to love them. You may be the only one they have to love them.