Saturday, June 2, 2012

Perseverance Produces Hope by Laura Hodges Poole

“Are you sure you want only pepperoni—no mushrooms?” I asked my four-year-old son a third time as we made our way through a cafeteria style pizza restaurant tucked into a corner of a department store. 

He shook his head. “Pepperoni.” He pointed to the already-baked pizza behind the glassed-in counter. 

I paid for our meal, and we headed to a table to eat. I lifted him from the shopping cart, sat him in a chair, and placed his food in front of him.

His little face clouded, eyebrows creased. Bewildered, he asked, “Where’s my mushrooms?”

“You didn’t want mushrooms.” 

He crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Did, too.” 

Frustrated, I tried to explain how I’d asked him three times about his pizza choice, but he turned a deaf ear to me. He wasn’t going to believe me when his brain thought otherwise. Finally, he picked up the pizza and began to eat. 

For many years, this was a common occurrence. Dealing with a preschooler with a short-term memory deficit made even the simplest tasks difficult. And this was only one of the developmental issues that challenged him.

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5a (NIV)

I found it difficult to be hopeful when I’d shuttle my son back and forth to speech or occupational therapy several times a week. I didn’t understand what I do now—in order to experience the real hope that comes from above, I had to grow through the other steps first. 

Despite my occasional feelings of despair about my son’s future, God poured out His love during this trial of uncertainty, which gave me enormous strength to persevere.

Thirteen years later, my son is a volunteer firefighter and a junior in high school. For the most part, he overcame his short-term memory problem and other developmental issues. Now he’s just a normal forgetful teen like all the other kids his age. 

We’re not guaranteed a favorable outcome for our problems. But in persevering through trials, we grow, develop character, and experience the full depth of God’s hope. 

What difficult trial are you experiencing? Place your faith in the One who comforts with the promise of hope.

Laura, who lives in SC, has written for Reach Out Columbia, P31 Woman, Christian Devotions, Evangel, and Christian Home and School. She co-wrote the book, Laurie’s Story: Discovering Joy in Adversity. Visit her blog, “A Word of Encouragement.”

1000 Gifts: So Grateful that God develops perseverance and hope in us through our trials.

Don't miss the review of Just Like the Days of Noah, written by WOW writer Jan Darnell 

Below are two featured bloggers from last week's Bless and Be Blessed Link up...if you'd like to be considered, be sure to display the B&BB button somewhere visible on your blog or the posts you link up.

Lori shares about life with a large family (click image to check out her blog). In her post Before and After the Storm she shares recent storm damage on their farm and ends by saying: I am thankful for God's protection and for His mighty display of power...“Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?” Luke 8:25

 And my second feature is my friend Lori Hatcher's Post About Lust. This practical post addresses a broader perspective than usually assigned to lust. Lori is the author of a recently released home school encouragement book called Joy in the Journey.

So please check out these posts if you didn't last week and bless the authors by leaving a comment and becoming a follower if you'd like. 

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  1. Very good story. :) I've had similar issues with my kids. RIght now they are 6, 5, and 22 months. WIth my 5 year old, there was a time when I couldn't ask her opinion on anything because she'd have a meltdown. That actually just stopped because, as her preschool teacher, I had to buckle down and make her make a choice since her Kindergarten teacher wouldn't be as... patient I'm afraid as I was (seriously, who could be to a frustrating child?)

    I can already look back with a smile and a 'oh Lordy' at 3rd year on this earth. Bless her. I have plenty of gray hair from it, but at 5, she's the sweetest little girl. At her Kindergarten registration, I was told, "She's so smart!" :)

    Thanks for this.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Children are such a blessing!

  2. It's good to remember that we aren't always assured a favorable outcome in trials but they help to deepen our walk with Him. Nice to meet you through On Your Heart Tuesdays.

  3. Good read! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment. Will come back to check your other post!

  4. I'm a Physical therapist who treats patients daily with short term memory prolems. That helps me relate to your story...but not from a mother's perspective. What I can relate to, however, is having a child with special needs. I have a child with vision impairments, motor tics and ADHD and so as a mom I too have had to rely on God for patience and the support of others to help me deal with the challenges. God has really stretched me through the process. Fortunately, as she grows older (now 7), I can see that the problems are manageable with structure and her motor tics are becoming less noticeable. We've used behavior modification and been able to take her off all medications. She has had surgery to help with her eyes and no longer wears bifocals. She loves school and people. Like your son, she shows great potential to fit in as a typical kid and I feel encouraged and blessed. I think it's amazing that God grows us through all circumstances, and there is always hope.

    1. The early days are rough when dealing with special needs. Since then, I've thought that my son could be the poster child for early intervention. Therapists like yourself are so important in the process. A child's brain is so much more pliable and hope rests not only with God but with manipulating that brain early on. Thanks for your insight. God bless you and your daughter!


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