What is “faith”? How does it affect the way in which I perceive and integrate Down syndrome within my life?
I guess I might as well start with some basics. Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I pray. Yes, I go to church. (A fairly conservative church where I don't agree with everything, but that's a whole different topic)
Do I have faith that everything happens for a reason? Um, well...yes...maybe...I don't know.
My problem here starts with Brian's accident. Yes, it happened. I know how it happened. I just don't know why it had to happen. And I guess that's where faith comes in. Believing in something even when we don't understand. I have to believe that God could have stopped Brian's accident, could have saved his life and chose not to. And that's hard to do.
Brian's accident taught me to cherish what is important to me, not to dwell on petty things, to always end encounters with kind words. Important lessons yes, but important enough to learn at the cost of someone's life?
And then there is Claire and Down syndrome.
I believe that Claire is *exactly* who she is meant to be, and that she is supposed to be mine. Of this I have no doubt.
The day I learned she might have Down syndrome was the day I first felt her move inside of me. I know that her quickening happened for a reason that day. In an instant she went from being this idea of a child (obviously I knew I was pregnant, knew I was going to have a child, but just didn't really get it), to being my child. The child I would fight for. The child I wanted no matter what.
Where the doubt creeps in is when people say God chose her for me. Really? God purposely gave me, someone who wasn't sure they even wanted to have kids, a child that could be living with me for the rest of my life. I am incredibly impatient, and a huge procrastinator. And now I have a child that needs extra help and time devoted to her. Okay, so maybe Down syndrome is supposed to teach me to slow down. Maybe there really is a lesson in everything, and everything happens for a reason.
I guess what it all comes down to is that I just don't know.
There are times I'll read a blog post or see some scripture quoted that is so appropriate it seems to be meant just for me. God must be speaking to me through others. And there are other times that the questions, the whys, are just so overwhelming that nothing makes sense.
I know that faith is an evolution, a journey if you will. I just thought by now I would know, really know, exactly what I believe, and I just don't.