Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Limping Along

We made a quick trip to Ginny’s hometown last weekend for a jewelry show. Lake Providence has been great to us throughout this experience, and it was great to get see a lot of folks.

We will be traveling again to Lake Providence for Christmas and then to Orlando for New Year’s with some of our friends. Ginny and her family managed to get us tickets to the Capitol One Bowl; anyone who knows me, knows of my love-hate relationship with my beloved Hoggies- they better win if I’m trekking all the way to Orlando, or it will be more hate than love. But I digress.

We also visited with a genetic nurse and counselor this week in order to educate ourselves. This appointment had been recommended for us. It was a good reminder that with Trisomy and genetic issues, there are not a whole lot of answers, but it was good to get the answers that were available.

For the first time that I am aware of, I did that which I had asked for the previous week. I tell you just so you know, but also in the event that you prayed for such. The memory of Eliot brought first a smile. May more of the same come.

Genesis 32 recounts an unusual story. A heavenly WrestleMania, if you will:

This left Jacob all alone in the camp, and a man came and wrestled with him until the dawn began to break. When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!”

But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” … Then he blessed Jacob there.

Jacob named the place Peniel (which means “face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared.” The sun was rising as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of the injury to his hip.


This story, strangely, was the first scripture that came to my mind upon finding out about Eliot’s diagnosis. I would love to insert some great epic reason for why that was the case, but the truth is- I had no idea why.

I assume from the story that this “man” is some sort of heavenly being. Particularly what sort of being is not important to me just now.

Here’s what I do see. Jacob got his blessing. He wanted it, asked for it, fought for it, and received it. But that is not all that he got.

Jacob left this encounter with a limp. Not a sermon often preached. However, Jacob’s story of blessing could not be told without the follow-up that he was never able to walk right again. That’s the funny thing about God, the blessing doesn’t always come as we expected and although we receive the blessing, we're left to limp along.

Eliot was a blessing. We’ll never be all right without him. But he was well worth the limp.

Matt & Ginny Mooney

14 comments:

JenMom said...

Beautiful. I recently read a quote...wish I remembered where to credit the author, but it said: Never trust a man who doesn't limp. It was referencing this very passage and the fact that the wrestling , the blessing and the limp are all a part of our sanctification process.
Bless you!

Peach said...

Once again, God uses your words to speak to the hearts of those of us who read. Thanks Matt, for being raw and honest. May God comfort you as you continue to limp with Him rather than without.

Anonymous said...

"I once asked a Hindu teacher the best way to pray. He answered with a story. Once there was a dog who was attacked by a pack of wild dogs. He fought his way free, limped home bleeding and presented himself at his owner's feet. And what did the owner do? He carried the dog indoors, washed and bandaged his wounds and set his broken bones. Every day he gave his dog food, water, a soft bed. And soon the dog got well. The dog did not ask for anything. The dog merely presented himself. "That is how you pray," my teacher said. For if you ask for a shirt, you will get a shirt, and if you ask for trousers, you will get trousers. But if you simply present yourself, every blessing will be yours." We all pray that you and Ginny continue to present yourselves. We hold you in the light.

Lela said...

I've never understood this story, but now I do. Thanks. I have a limp too. And you know what? I wouldn't want the life that I had before. This one is so much better because now I've found the best friend ever...Our Father. Even when those around me can't soothe my upset soul, He eventually will, if I ask and wait on Him. You have a way with words that is very comforting. Thanks for sharing.

tiffnjon1995@gmail.com said...

Matt and Ginny,
A few weeks ago I sat and read your entire blog. With tears streaming down my face, I then read Clairs. That was some night for me. Your words have blessed me beyong measure. Reading of Eliots life and the way it celebrated was a real moment for me. I am the Auntie to a Trisomy 16 baby, Anthony. The genetist in Austin TX, was very vague about his what to expect in his life, except she was certain it would b short. The kids with his exact kareotype have all gone to be with Jesus by th age of 3. That was almost 22 months ago. Although he is small for his age, deaf, had a feeding tube for the first 6 months, had a few surgeries for renal related issues, HE IS DOING WELL! By the grace of God! I am encouraged to start him a blog! I realized that Trisomy 16 and 18 are very different, but reading stories of any trisomy child makes me feel even more lucky then I do every day when I look into his eyes! My sister is a single parent who works full time, and I am the one who has the privalage of carring for this angel almost DAILY!
Keep bloggin! Keep sharing Eliot with the world. Trisomy awareness is needs to be up there with other things like SIDS.
In HIS name, much love, prayers and respect,

Anthony's Auntie.
Also known as Tiffany

FunkyMonkeyJunk said...

"However, Jacob’s story of blessing could not be told without the follow-up that he was never able to walk right again."

I love the image of all of us Believer's limping along together. What a motley crew we are, with our pained souls, baggage and that limp. Thank you Matt and Ginny, for encouraging me when my limp really wears me out. Thank you for inspiring me to trudge forward when I'm too tired and most want to sit on the curb.

Andi

Anonymous said...

Matt & Ginny -

Understanding your full hearts today. Know that we can relate to limping and that you are not alone in your grief...

Sometimes as you contemplate the "limp," grasping the JOY part of the verse from James that says, "I consider it pure joy to face trials of every kind" becomes real. (It wasn't until after Abigail that I understood that verse...and only on certain days did the joy part feel real.)

Relating to you, friends.
-The Arnspergers

kent said...

Great, moving post. I mean that.

The neat thing is that in the Hebrew limp is really pimp. So when you think people see you limpin.. in reality, they see you pimpin.

Anonymous said...

Matt and Ginny,
Thank you so much for sharing your story every week. God bless you and your family. I think of Eliot often.

Anonymous said...

To be chosen by God for a great blessing is to be chosen for a great struggle... This story is meaningful, we all have our limps. We even gave our son the middle name "Penuel", because we too have emerged from a a struggle, with our limp, but blessed. We're still praying for you both.
Bob and Erin Hansel

Rachel Norris said...

Matt and Ginny - I so enjoy keeping up with y'all through your blog. Matt, every time I read your thoughts I am encouraged and moved. God has given you a gift. Thank you for sharing about Jacob's limp. How true that God's blessings come in unexpected ways and many times leave us with a limp. I continue to think of you often and pray for y'all as you grieve and work through life without your sweet Eliot. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas despite missing your son.
Rachel Wood Norris

Anonymous said...

I love that you continue to spill your heart, so that Eliot's story continues to minister!

What's amazing to me is that all of us who limp here on earth will be running with joy in heaven. And a limp is seen sometimes as a handicap, but now I know it's not; it's the sign of something bigger inside--in this case, Someone bigger!

Mrs. olivia said...

Good morning Matt and Ginny! Thanks so much for your insight- God is continuing to use Eliot and his precious family as His teachers .How true that whatever the blessing, we are not the same after receiving it- I know that my"limp" after receiving the blessing of yours and the Lord's words is a clearer vision and a more grateful heart. May the hope, peace, joy, and love of this season fill your hearts with the promise of all the things God has for you! Love and prayers, Mrs. Olivia P.S. I love my jewelry!

Erna said...

What a wonderful way of putting it. (Catching up with you today . . . It's been a while.)