Year 6

Happy anniversary, Brain Injury. Sorry I didn’t get you a card. It’s been six years today since you came into my life and turned everything on its head (pun intended). Yeah I can legitimately tell dad jokes because I’m a daddy in spite of you. Check out my kids, ain’t they something? 

I’ve gotta confess, when we first met I thought you were ugly as sin. Matter of fact, I thought you were sin or some punishment for a sin I’d committed in years past. I hated you. I loathed you. My skin crawled at the thought of us being together longer than even a year. I cringed whenever anybody associated you with me. Until I jokingly started giving you the occasional side hug and tried to laugh you off with brain injury jokes. It worked sometimes, it really did. For a few moments at a time I felt I could be “the old Lane” again, though I hadn’t quite figured out who he actually was. Much less who the “new” Lane was.

But I owe you an apology for that. For years I didn’t (and still struggle to) give you the credit you deserve. Bitterness at what you’ve taken away often blinds me to the truth of what you really are: God’s gift to me and my family.

No, don’t roll your eyes at me. Hear me out. Before you and I met, I was just a cocky church kid who thought I had the world figured out. But God has been using you, Brain Injury, to slowly, painfully, steadily, faithfully peel back layers of Lane and reveal the brilliant light of Himself.

Yeah it hurts. Something fierce. You probably catch me glaring at you sometimes. Like when my daughter doesn’t want me to read her a book because she can’t understand me. Or when I can’t get down on the ground and play with my kids or pick them up and toss them in the air, or teach them how to swim, or how to play catch. The list is too long to write. Guess I glare at you a lot. Even though you’re a large part of the reason why my beautiful little girl is so helpful, patient and understanding of people that are marginalized by the rest of society. Kudos to you for that.

But I’m also learning to stop looking at you. Because you’re not the point. And neither am I. That doesn’t mean I won’t brag on you though. On the contrary, I’m proud we’re together. Know why? Because you make Lane look like a moron but you make Christ look beautiful!

In 2 Corinthians 11:30, after comparing a list of his qualifications with a list of his sufferings, Paul said this: “If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.” 

Then in chapter 12, talking about some sort of suffering God had placed in his life, he wrote:
“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So yeah, thanks Brain Injury. Thanks for making me weak. It’s making me strong in Christ. And it’s making Christ beautiful to my incredible wife and kids. I couldn’t have done it without you. Happy anniversary. Here’s to many more.

Love (yes love),