I’ve become strangely invested in a family I’ve never met in Oklahoma. If you missed my pose recapping sweet Elliott’s story and miracle, click here.
So when I saw last week on Facebook that Elliott’s daddy had attempted to take his own life, it was something that really impacted me. Having lost several friends to this same tragic decision, suicides always seem to hit me where it hurts. It took me a while to process through my thoughts.
Initially, I was angry at him. My first thought was, “How could he do that?! He got a miracle!” His pleas were answered. His baby’s life was spared despite the odds. How could someone give up on life after that? “Doesn’t he remember the miracle?,” I wondered.
The more I thought about it, the more sympathetic I became. I can’t imagine the toll that their journey over the last year must take on a person. The worry and fear, the months in the hospital, thinking his son was cured only to find out that the odds were he would die. Then having to sit with the worst decision I could imagine as a parent. Not to mention trying to do the daily things like paying the bills and going to work and feeding the dog.
Shoot, I’m stressed out even without a baby with life-threatening medical issues. I get how he could have felt overwhelmed. I get how the stress could have made it hard to remember the miracle.
Then, finally, it hit me. We all have miracles in our lives. Every single day. And we don’t remember them either.
How many sunsets do we miss because we think we have more important things to do? How many prayers has God answered and we went right on with life never even saying thank you? How often when toddlers are screaming at each other and begging you to hold them and basically tearing the house down so we forget about that miracle of these souls God entrusted to us? We overlook the miracles of healthy food, rainfall on dry ground, and friendships that have lasted decades. We don’t remember the way that we randomly met our spouse or know how one small decision may have saved us from disaster on a highway or how someone’s God’s “no” was the best answer we could have gotten. We overlook the perfect colors in nature right now–the red of a milo field, orange of a pumpkin, golden yellow of a corn stalk.
So before I dare cast a stone at Elliott’s daddy and judge him for forgetting his miracle, I’ll be focusing on the plank in my own eye. I’ve got to start remembering my own miracles.
I wear a red band that Elliott’s Aunt gave me shortly after his surgery. That simple band is a reminder for me to remember the miracles. And a reminder that prayers matter.
I’ll be making a conscious effort to focus on both in my own life. I hope you will join me.
Also, please take a moment and pray for Elliott’s family as they walk through this chapter. His dad just returned from voluntary treatment and is doing well. Praise God for that miracle as well.