Saturday, October 20, 2012

Acceptance

Today's gift is acceptance.

Have you been someplace and felt like you are being judged? Have you ever been part of a group and felt you had to keep up with everyone just to "fit in"?

Before we had children and before our daughter was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome we pretty much "fit in" with any social circle we socialized with. We were "accepted" no matter where we went....no stares, no looks, no judging.

Life was easy before "D" day....diagnosis day. We could go pretty much anywhere with or without our two children (this was before my son was born) and our friends could watch our children...at this point our daughters were both "typical".

We didn't have to worry about anything which would keep us from being able to do the things we wanted as a family....going out to dinner, going to an amusement park, going on a vacation via an airplane....even going to church.

However, once something in your life changes....something "visible" to everyone....everything changes.

You see changes in the way strangers look at you and may even talk about you....in front of you. Many of the social circles you used to run in will start to get smaller as many people don't want to deal with your new situation, so ignoring it is easier than "accepting" it. People who you "thought" were your close friends, are no longer close friends....or your friend at all.

This was certainly a learning experience for us....not only with learning what Rett syndrome was, but learning how our life was going to change on all levels.  And places were we could feel comfortable and accepted was a challenge for us.

As you know from my past posts....all I have mentioned above is of the past.  Our life now is wonderful...except Rett Syndrome is still a part of it.  But even with Rett, we are very blessed.  However, for this post,  I had to bring you back to the days before Rett Syndrome entered our lives.

One place which was a challenge for us to find where we could feel both comfortable and accepted was at church.  After our daughter's diagnosis we were going to a church which had a program for families with children who had special needs....like us...but there was something missing.  Something didn't feel comfortable to us.  Or maybe it was not the right time for us.

So we stopped going...and kept putting "finding" a new church on the never-ending "to do" list.  It remained on the list for FOUR years....until we realized we had to make it a priority....we realized not going to church was a huge void in our life....we realized we needed a relationship with God.

This past spring we started going to a new church.  A church which has brought HOPE into our lives.  A church where we feel both comfortable and accepted.

Last month I was asked by the church to share my story with them for an upcoming video they were filming for their 15th anniversary celebration.  I was both honored and scared.  Scared....because we know how I feel about public speaking...right!  Honored...they chose me and felt our story was worth sharing with the church.

Today was our church's big "15th" celebration!  Today they shared the video for the first time to the church.  Today people heard our story and how we felt comfortable and accepted in our first couple of visits to the church.  This level of comfort and acceptance hasn't changed.  

We were accepted with our challenges....and with our challenges we felt comfortable in our new church.  This is not a place we have to pretend.  This is not a place we have to hide our fears.  This is a place we can just be us.  This is a place where we have found HOPE by being accepted....exactly as we are.

Here are some quotes for today....

There is so much grace in acceptance.  It's not an easy concept, but if you embrace it, you'll find more peace than you ever imagined - Loretta LaRoche

Accept what you can not change, and change what you can not accept- Author Unknown

Happiness can only exist in acceptance- George Orwell

***If you receive the gift daily by email make sure you look at yesterday's gift too.  It was not emailed to you last night as you can see I have a new look to my blog.  Just want you to be caught up!!!  Thank you!***




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