Can Love Cover This Fear?

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“Fifty million people worldwide with Epilepsy, one third of whose seizures can’t be controlled … Those aren’t just numbers; that’s my son.”

By Heather Bowie | Twitter: @TeamAidanRocks

Perfect love casts out fear.

I know, I know … but still.

My son Aidan was born with a significant developmental disability 11 years ago. We’ve done hard time in the hospital. We’ve worked with, questioned, argued with our fair share of professionals over the years. I’m an introverted conflict-avoider by nature and God has stretched me so far beyond my comfort zone … and there I found love.

Deep abiding love for Aidan that comes from having fought so hard for his very being, grounded abundant love for my husband who has held me up and stood by my side, joyful love for my neuro-typical son who brings me laugher. It’s not hard for me to point out God’s provision in the form of professionals, community and family that supports us … indeed, my cup runneth over.

Perfect love casts out fear … and it did so with little resistance for the first nine years of Aidan’s life.

But seizures, oh the seizures, they bring such hefty doses of mind-boggling fear.

They crept up on us so quietly. We even called them Aidan’s “Hallelujah” arms as he seemed to lift his hands to heaven like a good little baptist. Oh thank-you Jesus for weird survival humor.

Then they started to steal his independence slowly. First, Aidan could no longer feed himself because his food would go flying as his arms jerked.  Then there were the medication trials, the ones that stole his sweet smile and put him in a zombie-like trance.

I dove into research and asked tons of questions and pushed my neurologists.

Perfect love casts out fear … but grim knowledge and hopeless fact-finding places it heavy on my heart.

Fifty million people worldwide with Epilepsy, one third of whose seizures can’t be controlled … those aren’t numbers; that’s my son.

Love keeps fighting. My husband and I cry and pray and fall forward into unity.

But Aidan bites his hand and propels himself out of his chair and falls off the bed and hits his head and stares at me pleadingly, knowing a seizure is coming on … and I stand helplessly by and swear like a sailor and get ready with impotent kisses.

Seizures rack Aidan’s body and fear pushes back.

I refuse to make my faith a trite comfort. I won’t pretend I don’t struggle so others can see the “strength” of my faith. I don’t have the energy to buy the platitudes that reduce my God. I rest in the peace that passes understanding and, oh I want to curl up and stay there.

I don’t want this fight. I can’t watch Aidan’s pain. We’re all hurting.

I can only live in one moment, this very moment in front of me, and sometimes fear owns it.

But there’s the next moment too, where maybe, oh please sweet Jesus, perfect love casts out all fear.

_______________________

About Heather:

When Heather is taking a break from the myriad of tasks involved in raising a child with a disability, she can be found singing in her kitchen using wooden spoons as microphones. She lives in beautiful New England and blogs at http://teamaidan.wordpress.com/

Image credit: Yogendra174

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  • Heather you continue to be an inspiration to me all these years later. Thank you for being the honest, wonderful, faithful woman that you are.. I think of you often and hope to see you soon!

    • Thank-you so much for your words of encouragement Jen, all of these years later. 3 cheers for therapists who change lives!!

  • Donna

    Perfect love does cast out fear…..and you are doing an amazing job of appropriating that in your life on a daily basis….God bless you as you walk out your life with HIM!

  • Abby

    I’m so proud of you. I discover daily how much of a coward I am, by myself. I’m the girl who still fights terror at the sight of a muffin. But I do join you in curling up where Perfect Love Casts Out Fear. i don’t think trite faith is admirable. It’s the gritty, undone faith that wins hearts, proves Jesus and keeps our eyes bright with hope. Hang in there!! http://www.predatory-lies.com

    • Yes to gritty, undone faith. I love that phrase! Thanks for the encouragement.

  • You are showing your faith strong in your fight, in your sharing transparently, and even in the words of a sailor! I am go glad I read your story today, the story of your precious boy and your Covenant Love. You are a stunning individual…

    • Thank-you for these kind words. I really believe this kind of honesty will help others with whatever they fear.

  • Your gritty honest faith and your willingness to share your fears with a community of people are what make you the amazing woman I know who serves an even more amazing, yet mysterious God. Love you my friend!

  • Heather, I am stunned by the raw honesty and your incredible faith and the LOVE that just flow from every sentence in this post! You have inspired me this morning! Thank you….

  • soulstops

    Thank you, Heather, for inspiring me with your honest raw faith and love for your son and God…I am hushed.

  • Oh, I love this along with everything you so honestly write. “I refuse to make my faith a trite comfort.” Yes. Because faith is so much more brutal and gorgeous. Thank you, Heather.

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