Down syndrome

Day 2: Bad is About Perspective


The day that we came home from the hospital with Mason, I remember sitting on the couch with my mom, breaking the news to her that Mason might have Down Syndrome.  We cried together, and Bradley answered her questions, as best as he could.  During our conversation I remember distinctly saying to her, “This is awful.”  And, I meant it.

For about a week I couldn’t stop thinking this.  I would find out more of the health risks associated with Down Syndrome, and would panic at the thought that Mason might have leukemia, be deaf, or have a hard time speaking properly.  Mostly, I didn’t want him to be made fun of. Ever.  In my mind and heart this was a bad thing.

As I prayed about this, begging God to not allow Mason to have Down Syndrome, I started really thinking through the word bad.  

We use it so often,

“I had such a bad day!”  

“They received some really bad news.”  

“I just don’t want anything bad to happen to me.”

Why do I think that something is bad?  What makes it bad?  Or, rather who makes it bad?

I began to realize that if I thought a situation in life was bad, then I must think that God is bad, because He allowed it and, in fact, gave it to me.

This hit me hard.

I know that God is not bad.  I was reading through the book of Psalm at the time, and came across 25:8, which says, “Good and upright is the LORD.”  Again in Psalm 34:8, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” There.  Proof!  God is good!  Okay, so if God is good, what about this ‘bad’ thing that I thought I had in my life.

Bad is about perspective.  

If I look at life from a human standpoint, then yes, certain things might appear to be bad.  If I try to look at life from God’s perspective, then I will see that He is much greater than those things.  He has purposes I know nothing about.  Isaiah 55:8 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”  

I had to remove the word bad from my vocabulary, from my mind, from my heart.

Hard.  Yes, life can be hard.

Countless times in Scripture we see people facing hard challenges.  Job is the most famous of all.  His life was hard.  He lost his family, his possessions, his health–and yet he praised God.

“The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.  In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong,”  Job 1:21-22.

As I started to change my perspective, I began to see that Down Syndrome was not bad.  Something bad hadn’t happened.  I didn’t receive bad news that day in the hospital.  God was allowing something in my life that was hard.

Why would He do that, you might ask?  Come back tomorrow…

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  • Reply Catherine

    I’m momma to a five year old with severe cerebral palsy and very interested in continuing to read about your story. Thanks for sharing.

    October 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm
  • Reply Kelli Moore

    Thanks for sharing Lauren…I’ve not really put our thoughts about our struggle on paper. It is much like yours and Bradley’s. We had a very hard time as well in the beginning, but thanks be to God for changing me and Scott and giving us peace in the midst of our struggle. He really did walk us through! Sounds like He’s doing the same with you guys.

    October 2, 2012 at 12:46 pm
    • Reply Lauren

      I’m so glad! Yes, it has definitely been a journey. And HE alone deserves all the glory for changing us.

      October 7, 2012 at 1:17 am
  • Reply Mary Beth

    Wow! This is so true! I find that my perspective is so important and holds so much power!Thank you!

    October 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm
  • Reply Julie

    Oh Lauren, I read this and immediately burst into tears. I’m so angry at God for what has happened to us. I feel like we gave everything to him and he did not bless us. Thanks for the truth of your words in suffering, for sharing your story. Even as my own heart aches I will be praying for yours. “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

    October 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    • Reply Lauren

      I continue to pray for you, dear friend. Keep crying out to Him.

      October 7, 2012 at 1:19 am
  • Reply Anonymous

    Yes, God is good…ALL the time. Our struggle is very different than yours (wanting children but not able to have them) but some of the same thoughts have crossed my mind from time to time about our situation being ‘bad.’ His Word says that He is good and also that He works things together for good…but He never promised it would be easy. He intends to use my situation, and yours, for His glory. God has plans for us that far exceed anything we could plan for ourselves! I’m so thankful we can trust Him with every aspect of our lives! Praying for you and your sweet family! Love from Togo…. E

    October 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm
    • Reply Lauren

      Thanks for sharing, E. I love that even though we all struggle with different issues, God is the same and His power is sufficient in each one.

      October 7, 2012 at 1:20 am
  • Reply Sarah Hankinson

    I appreciate your openness in what you and Bradley are going through now. Our attitude is so closely related to our perspective on things. Continuing to pray for you.

    October 2, 2012 at 9:18 pm
  • Reply sherri lynn

    Lauren I am so glad that you are sharing these posts this month. I have been thinking all day about this post (I read it earlier at work… whoops maybe I shouldn’t admit to reading your blog @ work), and I realized that I think many things in life are “bad”, when really they are, as you said, hard. I have been trying to focus on the goodness of God instead. thanks for sharing your heart!

    October 3, 2012 at 1:36 am
    • Reply Lauren

      You’re welcome. Focusing on God’s goodness is always a good choice!

      October 7, 2012 at 1:21 am
  • Reply Laura D

    Chris and I both loved this post on perspective! We are in the habit of saying a day is good or bad, but I love the idea to change it to “hard” because that is exactly what it is. Great scripture to support God is always good!

    October 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm
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