The list is long. In fact, if you only read her description via medical records her life might look kind of bleak. On the outside, her body doesn’t work all that well. Reality is she can’t hold her own head up more than a few seconds at a time on a good day. Sometimes this is all people see. But what I want the world to know is – there is so much more to see.
There is COURAGE. She’s survived more suffering in her youth so far than I have in my own 45 years of life. When I see her face turn into a smile, I’m reminded of the simple joys in life. She helps me be brave when hard times come.
There is LOVE. Honestly, I didn’t know nearly what love really meant until she came into our lives and changed us for the good. I’ve seen her connect with her sisters in a way that no one else ever could. She shows us daily what really matters in this life.
There is BEAUTY. Her dark brown eyes, though they can’t really see me, melt my heart each morning. She will never walk down the aisle as a beautiful bride, but she’s brought more beauty to our family in ways of such greater importance.
There is PERSEVERANCE. On her bad days, when all the ailments of her complex diagnosis pile on too deep, she is relentless in giving us cues to help her. Seeing her work so hard for the most basic things inspires me to push myself beyond what I think I can do.
There is HOPE. She draws me to a place of looking beyond what I can see. I know a day will come where there will be no more pain, no more tears and no more suffering. But for now she is our daily hope-bearer. She continually leads us to the One who brought us together.
Sometimes the insurance providers, hospital staff, and even the passerbys at the store only see what’s on the outside. If they only could see what I see … what her Creator sees, their lives would be changed for the good just as ours have been. We see daughter, sister, friend, and treasure.
The next time you see a child similar to mine…. take a few moments and seek to look past the surface. You just might have your breath taken away for a moment by the depth of what’s really before your eyes.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:18
Shelly Roberts is a dedicated wife and mom to 8 kids from around the globe (3 grown & 5 at home). With God in control, Shelly’s family has experienced twists and turns that have made for an inspiring story Serving in foster care brought the new dimension of disabilities to her family, transforming their hearts to welcome these children as daughter and son and advocate for vulnerable children. Shelly understands the unique dynamics of a family that has complex-needs kids and desires to encourage and lead other families to the One who is bigger than our circumstances. Whether camping out in a hospital room or at home enjoying time with a grandbaby, she’s learned to find joy in the moment and to trust His grace for each season.