Linggo, Pebrero 17, 2013

Stewards, Not Owners


The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”  Psalm 24:1

When a child is conceived, the parents are filled with boundless joy.  For a child is one of God’s greatest gift to married couples.  But how should a parent react when their child is born with Down syndrome?  Or how should parents feel when God takes away their child to be with Him in heaven?

Last year, I met a 10 year old girl named Sandy.  She came over to our house regularly for art lessons with my sister Lysa.  There were occasions that I would assist my sister in teaching her students and one of them is Sandy.  Sandy is a slim and tall young girl with eyeglasses who loves salt and vinegar potato chips and Starbucks frappuccino.   Her father, Atty. Clint Aranas, whom I met through my husband Claro, enrolled in Lysa’s art class just so he could spend time bonding with Sandy.  Clint loved his daughter so much and was over protective of her.  He once told me that he would not even allow Sandy to kiss uncles.  Whenever he and his wife Peaches would travel, they would take her along with her brothers even on business trips.

Remembering Sandy Aranas
I am so sad and teary eyed as I write this blog.  Sandy was afflicted with Dengue and after battling for her life for a week in the hospital, she is now with the Lord.  In her wake, I was so amazed to see God’s grace in her parents, Clint and Peaches.  By just listening to their story about how Sandy went through so much while in the ICU, having cardiac arrest nine times and three flat lines, I couldn’t help but cry.  Though I have only spent a few months with Sandy, I would always cherish the times that she would come to me and ask for help or advice on how to enhance her paintings.  Sandy is one of Lysa’s favorite student.  She and Lysa would often hug before they would part.

It was such a blessing to hear Peaches testimony.  She narrated how God gave her a confirmation that Sandy would go home.  Suddenly she had peace and truly believed that Sandy was going to live.  But after a few hours, Jesus came to fetch her little girl to be home with Him.  What God meant was, she was going home to heaven.

As I listened to Sandy’s mom, I was once again reminded that our children are not ours but God’s.  I admit that I couldn’t help but worry about my daughter Clarissa, now a young adult with Down syndrome.  Knowing for a fact that children with Down syndrome live shorter lives than average, it is my husband’s and my greatest fear that we will lose Clarissa one day.

Our children are in this world temporarily and it is God’s option when He will take what He had loaned to us.  Psalm 24:1 tell us that our children are not ours, but the Lord’s.  He created them for a reason and He has entrusted them to us, the parents, not to own them or control them, but to be their stewards.

Our little princess Clarissa
Clint and Peaches are stewards of Sandy and Claro and I are stewards of Clarissa.  In God’s time, we will also have to usher our daughter to be with His Maker.  But for now, I try to embrace every moment that I spend with Clarissa, taking it day by day and making the most of my time with her.  Everyday, I get down on my knees and pray for good health for her.  Every time she wakes up in the morning is a blessing and I am grateful to God for giving her the gift of life.

Lord, thank you for making me see death and disability from your perspective.  Teach me to be the Mom that you want me to be for my daughter Clarissa whom you’ve chosen to be born with Down syndrome.  Help me to always prioritize my children over ministry work.  Take away my fear of losing her and always remind me that she is not mine.  I want to raise her according to your will so she may live a life that is pleasing to you.  Teach me to love her unconditionally the way you do.  Thank you for choosing me to be her Mom.  In Jesus name I pray, amen!

February 13, 2013