Cross to bear or bear to cross

There have been a few who have made mention that the journey we walk is our “cross to bear” and they don’t say it with pity.  They truly do think that our walk is a rough one and that is must be very difficult to bear.
Just as with all things I hear that strike me as interesting, I read up on and listen intently when the subject is discussed in other venues.
Today the definition was given that a cross to bear is heavy, hard to embrace, and even harder to love.  Does that strike anyone else as the complete opposite of Larkin?  Yes she is heavy – to be literal – as she weighs 33 pounds and isn’t walking unassisted (yet).  Heavy, hard to embrace and even harder to love?  No.  A simple easy answer.  No Larkin is not a cross to bear. 
 Larkin brought to light all of my own shortcomings.  My own needs to grow, accept, extend myself to others, and love without conditions.  Now that my friends is a cross to bear.  To find it within you to love God, hate what is bad, forgive, and grow.  I have never thought of this as God’s punishment to me.  Larkin is all that pure in life.  Larkin is a gift and a blessing so how could I think of this as some sort of “gotcha” from God? 
The “gotcha” is that to truly embrace and love your child, walk the walk that you are given, is to do so without making it all about you.  Life would be so different for us if she were typical.  My growth to reach beyond my own self-imposed borders has been because of her.  My growth to not be ashamed of my faith and love for God is because of her.  There is no self-pity and I am certainly not mired in guilt over did I do something to cause this.  It is nature and I am not the exception to the rule.  I am a part of how life goes – for EVERYONE. 


Lately my cross to bear, that is heavy, hard to embrace, and harder to love is that I become very short and irritated with those who want to complain about life and the insignificant things that happen every day.  I am even more short and irritated with those that want to brag and can’t see that sometimes their happiness has come at another person’s expense.  I pray every day for the peace, and ability to simply love those who live within their borders.  To turn the other cheek.  As Jesus told Peter “get behind me Satan” and realize that everyone is walking their own path and frankly carrying their own cross – whatever that may be.
This child of light.  This child of goodness.  This child who struggles so hard every day.  This light of hers that I stand close to but can never stand in.  She humbles me and humility is very hard to maintain when those who can’t see what happens around them angers you.  The scripture and message for today was faith without works is dead.  We can’t simply acknowledge a need and move along without helping in whatever way we can.  Larkin had made that so very clear to me so once again that isn’t something to bear, it’s something to embrace and love and carry no matter how heavy. 

Matthew 11: 28″Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

I have leaned heavily upon prayer and God throughout this journey and I have found rest so it’s not a burden I carry everyday.  Some days are worse and when she is sick and fighting I have to try harder to trust God.  But my heavy, hard to embrace, and harder to love cross to bear is staying humble, gentle, and learning from the example that Jesus showed us.  Larkin is protected and embraced and I just have to keep following her and standing near her light.

Larkin is a bear to cross.  Just try putting in pigtails, waking her up when she isn’t ready, or getting her out of the swimming pool but a cross to bear …. not even close.

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5 Responses to Cross to bear or bear to cross

  1. Fawn says:

    I’m sure that no one thinks Larkin is a cross to bear. No one who is a parent, anyway, could think that you don’t love your child with all your heart. It is the health problems, the Down Syndrome, the seizures that appear to be the burden.

    Amy, I first found your blog after my little girl started the keto diet for her intractable seizures. I still struggle to understand why, to not feel envious of other children’s “normal” development, to not feel burdened by the constant search for healing and causal factors and, yes, the weight of self-pity. I’m not “there” yet. But I am frequently inpsired by the things you write, by the insight you share, and the peace you seem to feel. You’re absolutely right, of course. Everyone has their cross to bear, and it’s heavy enough for them.

    I know there are hard days for you, but I realize that I make a lot of days harder for myself. I’m working on it. And I’m glad to have you as an example of someone who has gone before me on the path of… acceptance? Is that the right word? Not sure, but… thank you.

  2. Amy says:

    Fawn you TOTALLY get what I am talking about here. It’s not our children, their journey, the medical stuff that overwhelms us at times. It is fighting that “wanting to smack people” feeling we get when it seem so unfair what we have to endure and what our children have had to go through. The constant search for peace and not be envious. The search to find compassion for those that can’t see outside their box and complain about things you and I WISH we only had to worry about. To be humble, gentle and follow the example of being Christ like when what we want to do is scream and show them that life could be so much harder. Acceptance is a beautiful but ever changing place my friend. Steady as she goes because the sea is not always calm. 🙂 Be kind to you and hugs from us.

  3. Jen Harbison says:

    Amy – you are such a great writer – an author really. I love how your words touch me, but always add some humor – the bear to cross – made me giggle. BTW – I had no idea you were expecting until a few weeks ago when I was trying to get caught up on those I think about often, but don’t often get a chance to talk to. Congrats!

    Jen Harbison – Brock’s Mom

  4. Laura says:

    Why don’t you put all of these musings into a book – a diary of a DS mom, that all mothers of “differently abled” children (and, I would predict) mothers and fathers of ALL children could read, relate to, understand, cheer for, and recognize themselves and their children in.

    Let me know if you need an editor! 😉

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