Second Homes

There is a place I sometimes used to call my second home: the waiting room. I’ll never forget the hours I spent with my special-needs son in waiting rooms—rooms with foam-filled sofas, tattered magazines, crying children, and tired-looking people who were staring at smudged, blandly painted walls. If there were windows, I watched the outside world whirl by—beautiful women out and about, men in pressed suits connected to cell phones. I would get stuck in my thoughts . . . somewhere between envious and anxious, weary and worried. I wondered when the waiting would end.

Maybe you have been there or are there now, feeling secluded, lonesome, or friendless. I felt guilty at times, not attending to my other children. I would ask myself, “Who will make their meals or help them with their homework or listen to their day? I called those days “mazy” days . . . because I felt as though I had no map, no short cuts, and no destination.

Today, I’ve come to realize those experiences were not about “waiting,” though it sometimes felt that way. God has not forgotten you, though it might feel that way. I remember writing thank you notes; reading excellent “theological” magazines like People, In Style, and Fitness; eating chips and salsa; filing my nails; twisting my hair; and hating the slow passing of time. Then, (duh) I picked up my Bible and began to search in it for words like alone, help, wait, how long, and sorrow. I discovered that, really, the One waiting was Jesus, invisibly present and patiently longing for me to turn to Him for help. With all distractions removed, God reached into my soul and filled it with His truth. It’s not always fun, but it’s the making of who you are.

Recently, I came across this poem that I hope brings comfort to you today. After you read it, pick up God’s Word, and be filled with His love and care for you.

I thank God for bitter things;
They’ve been a ‘friend to grace’;
They’ve driven me from paths of ease
To storm the secret place.

I thank Him for the friends who failed
To fill my heart’s deep need;
They’ve driven me to the Savior’s feet,
Upon His love to feed.

I’m grateful too, through all life’s way
No one could satisfy,
And so I’ve found in God alone
My rich, my full supply!1Florence White Willett, as quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit(Nashville: W Publishing, 2002), 242.

Copyright © 2012 by Insight for Living Ministries. All rights are reserved worldwide.

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1. Florence White Willett, as quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, Paul: A Man of Grace and Grit(Nashville: W Publishing, 2002), 242.
Posted in Special Needs.

Colleen Swindoll serves as director of Special Needs Ministries at Insight for Living. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her third child, Jonathan), Colleen desires to offer help and hope through writing and counseling to those facing disabling and despairing trials.