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TITLE: Where Do Those Tough Days Come From?
By Anita Howell

Hi Everyone,

I believe God is leading me to write a devotional for parents facing health issues with their children. We've had a tough year with our son but God has been faithful!! This is my first attempt at writing (other than audit reports - yuck) and I would appreciate any thoughts. Thank you for your time and feedback! God Bless. Anita
Ow, no I didn’t! I can’t believe I fell for that again. By now I should be a pro at the good days and bad days. You see our son was born a month early and we were told he had suffered a stroke prior to his birth. The thing with a stroke is that you aren’t ever quite sure what to expect. If he had something like asthma I could read up on it and “feel” empowered, even though I know who really has the power. But with a stroke the problems range from none to debilitating and for a Mom each day can have an equally broad range of emotions.

As I type Ryan is almost 10 months old. He sees physical and occupational therapists for hypotonia, which is an overall weakness in muscle tone. One day he could be very tired and sleepy for a large portion of the day but the next day he may be actively kicking, moving his arms, and visually focused. There are days when we celebrate doing something new like smiling and splashing in the tub for the first time. But there are also days when we feel a sense of loss while watching babies much younger than he is doing things he can’t do, yet.

Good day or bad day though God has been faithful through it all. He comforts me during the difficult doctors’ visits and teaches me something new every time I give Him the opportunity. Even though today started out as a bad day, one of the many lessons He has taught me turned the entire day around. That lesson started with Nehemiah 4:7-9.

“7 But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the work was going ahead and that the gaps in the wall were being repaired, they became furious. 8 They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and to bring about confusion there. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.”

God began to show me how after each day of great progress I had been having a day of fear, doubt, and depression. Just as the enemy became furious when God’s people made progress at filling in the gaps in Nehemiah’s time he still becomes furious when God begins to fill in the gaps in our lives. Each day that Ryan makes giant leaps in his development the enemy becomes furious and tries to stir up confusion.

The day Ryan first splashed in the tub was a day of incredible progress for him. As soon as I heard myself say to my husband, “Man! He has had an awesome day!” I felt a little check in my heart that said, “Pray and stay on guard.”

Sure enough, the next day at daycare Sandy, his caregiver, told me they planned on keeping Ryan on the infant side until about 17 or 18 months of age. Usually they move up at about a year old. It was all I could do to keep myself together until I could get to the van and be alone. I wasn’t in a hurry to move him up but the comment somehow placed a measurable gage on how far he was behind.

Half way to work I was thinking if I could just make it to my office I could close the door and feel sorry for myself all day. While I was planning my miserable day God reminded me that Ryan was making progress and the enemy was furious. Through tears I started laughing. “Ow, no you don’t!” I popped in a TD Jakes tape to drown out the negative thoughts and had a wonderful day. It was a day of celebrating not only Ryan’s progress but mine as well.
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