Today I’m throwing out a post I wrote two months after Josiah’s surgery. We’re currently traveling home from visiting Nathan’s family in North Carolina, so I wasn’t able to get anything new written; but I didn’t want to skip a day of posts in this 31 day challenge. Tomorrow will be something brand new though! Until then, read how YOU are still perfect in God’s eyes.
December 2, 2012
Look at this picture of my little guy. This picture has circulated all over Facebook; I’ve seen it as many profile pictures, and re-posted asking for prayers as Josiah prepared for surgery. Look closely. Isn’t he just perfect? Blue eyes shining, adorable smile, curly locks of hair; on Facebook I see him described as handsome, adorable, and cute. My list could go on and on, and I would agree with all of the comments I see. This picture was taken a little over a month before we learned that Josiah had a golf ball sized tumor in his brain.
Josiah looked so much better than I thought he would after surgery; I was so glad to see that he still looked like himself. I was prepared to see so much of his face swollen and a lot of his hair cut off, but he still looked like my little guy. I sat in the hospital and watched him laying in bed, unable to do anything. I was unable to look at pictures of him from before his surgery. I didn’t want to remember all the things he was doing before: playing, running, laughing, enjoying life…all those things he could do, but now could not. Even though I couldn’t look at the ‘before’ pictures, my love for him never changed, he was still my boy. A few weeks later, still in the hospital, I was looking at him again. I studied him and the thought crossed my mind, “he’s just perfect.” Really? I asked myself. He’s just perfect? I pondered my thought.
My son, who a month before was running around chasing his brother and sisters around the house, is laying in the hospital bed, unable to move his right arm and leg, he now has a big scar around his head, and is now dependent on three types of medicine for the rest of his life; and I decided, YES, he is JUST PERFECT. I then thought of his ‘before’ picture, the one above, and laughed to myself. Most would look at that picture and declare he was a perfect little boy. Would they look at this picture of Josiah after his surgery and say the same?
I looked up the definition of the word perfect. This is what I found: Perfect: Entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings. Look again, closely at these two pictures. Which one would you declare perfect? Think also of Josiah’s ability; running and playing vs. the inability to move his right side. Which one is perfect? According to the definition, by all means, the first picture would prove to be perfect.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: I learned from our photographer that in the original picture, Josiah was holding a stick in his hands; she had photoshopped it out. We also were unable to see that behind these adorable blue eyes that there was a tumor growing in his brain. Both of those statements alone scratch out the definition of perfect; the flaws and defects were taken out by a computer program, and in the case of the tumor, hidden from our eyes, an unknown defect. Looks can be deceiving.
Now look again at the second picture. Josiah’s blue eyes are shining, he has an adorable smile, and his curly locks of hair. Yes, he’s added a scar, which his brother Samuel lovingly called his baseball scar. He cannot move around like he had months before. But…the tumor is gone and he is slowly learning to use his right side and is gaining strength to that side of his body. The picture is far from perfect, taken with my phone and the hospital as the background, obviously not a professional portrait. But what makes him any less or more perfect than before? Nothing. Josiah is still perfect; nothing will ever change my view on his “perfectness.”
As I thought of our skewed idea of perfection, I thought about how God views me, and how I tend to view myself compared to other people. When God sees me, he sees everything. He knows my sin, my weaknesses. He can see the tumor, the scar, He knows my imperfections – inside and out. It doesn’t matter which picture I look like. I look at myself compared to others – those who seem to have it all together, those who have such strong faith, those who, to me, seem perfect. They are like the first picture of Josiah, and at times, I feel like the second in comparison. I see my sin, I see the scars that remain from the mistakes I’ve made, and I know my weakness. So does God. Like Josiah, I have weaknesses, and I go back to sinning. Every day we work with Josiah to build up his strength in his right side. It doesn’t come easy, it takes time. My physical body is able to move, but I still struggle daily with sin and overcoming it. It doesn’t come easy, it takes time. But what makes me any less or more perfect than anyone else? Nothing. I am still perfect in God’s eyes. Nothing will ever change His view on my “perfectness.” The scar from my sin will still remain, but that scar does not define me. No, what defines me is the blood of Christ. Christ’s blood covers me, taking away the sin, helping me every single day to overcome my sin, never looking at me as if I have failed. Just as Josiah is perfect to me, despite the imperfections seen or unseen in both of the pictures, I am still perfect in God’s eyes.
I share this for two reasons. The first is that I had a specific person in mind that I felt I needed to share this with; someone who has an obvious scar, who is struggling with going back to sin, who compares them self with everyone else in church who seems perfect, who feels like they do not measure up, that God cannot possibly love them. Everyone struggles, everyone sins; some may just not be as obvious as others. But the fact of the matter is, there is a mass in each person that you are comparing yourself to. They have their own struggles, whether or not you see them.
The second reason for sharing is because we have received so many comments, cards and notes about how strong our faith is and how inspiring it is to see our faith through this situation. I will tell you right now that I have struggled with my faith in the past, under a different situation that was a lot less severe. I have said it before, and I will say it again – that it is only through the power of God that I have been able to get through this time, and that HE is carrying me through. My faith is no different than yours. Do not hold me up as an example of faith, someone to compare yourself to and beat yourself up about or strive to be like. It’s not about me. John 3:30 says “He must become greater; I must become less.”
I am repeating a section of this; but I am exchanging “me” for “you” because I want you to read it for yourself. What makes you any less or more perfect than anyone else? Nothing. You are still perfect in God’s eyes. Nothing will ever change His view on your “perfectness.” The scar from your sin will still remain, but that scar does not define you. No, what defines you is the blood of Christ. Christ’s blood covers you, taking away the sin, helping you every single day to overcome your sin, never looking at you as if you have failed. Just as Josiah is perfect to me, despite the imperfections seen or unseen in both of the pictures, YOU are still perfect in God’s eyes.
Fast forward two months. Two months ago today Josiah was in surgery to remove the tumor. We praise God that it was successful and that he is making progress every day. Josiah is now one year old. He is beginning to walk on his own and we are all settling back into life at home. Look at these pictures of my little guy – taken this afternoon. Blue eyes shining, adorable smile, curly locks of hair. Isn’t he just perfect?