The scriptures teach us that fasting brings forth blessings. When his disciples tried to cast an evil spirit out of a boy and couldn’t, and then the Savior could, they asked why. His reply, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21) I know the power of prayer and fasting. How could I forget it? I’ve felt its influence many times in my life, both in tangible and intangible ways.
It makes sense that when bearing testimony on Fast Sunday, fasting would be mentioned. Anyway, I was just sitting there, enjoying the meeting, when one comment hit me, hard. A wonderful woman was talking about the blessings she’s seen and mentioned that it was through the power of the fast that her daughter wasn’t in a wheelchair.
“Wait a minute.” my soul cried. “My son IS in a wheelchair.” And the Spirit gently whispered, “Yes, he is. He is in a wheelchair, right here, beside you, happy and smiling.” And I began to be taught.
Each of our trials is custom-made for us. Mine are different than someone else’s. For a moment, I felt just a tiny bit of the anguish I’ve heard from “angel” moms. Just because our miracle is still alive and we give God the glory, does that mean that their angel was any less of a miracle, or that God loved them less? No, most certainly not. I think, at least for me, the miracle is feeling of God’s love. I don’t know why some have to die and others get to live.
I don’t know why Aaron struggles so much and has chosen (because I believe he chose this life) to fight so hard. I just know that when I’m with him, when he smiles at me, I see God’s love shining through those eyes. If being a Christian means taking upon ourselves the attributes of Christ, then Aaron is the best Christian I have ever been blessed to know. He loves, unconditionally, just like my Savior. He forgives and he works hard and he suffers, innocently, just like Christ did.
Others bore testimony, and it seemed that a few spoke about trials and how the knowledge that God was there for them in their struggles helped them. Then right at the end, the very last speaker bore a powerful testimony of the Savior, and of His resurrection. He spoke of attending a colleague’s funeral yesterday, and the struggle that was. Then he concluded with the wonderful words of Jesus Himself.
“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.“ (John 11:25)
I couldn’t hold back the tears, but they were tears of thanksgiving and gratitude. Doctors routinely label Trisomy-18 babies “incompatible with life.” We have found that our son is not only compatible with life . . . he is compatible with joy!
I know my Savior loves me. I know He loves Aaron. This life is not all there is, and we will be together again when it is over. I will hold him and love him. He will have a perfect body, one that breathes and eats and laughs and runs. One that won’t need machines and medicine to help him live. One that will let him speak the words of his heart and hear my voice.