BC and AD of Charity

[I’m excited to have my daughter Charity as the guest contributor for today’s post.]

I tend to separate my life into BC (before Charity’s illness)  and AD (After the Destruction) of Charity’s physical body. Those categories can also stand for Before Children and After Daughters. 

You see, being involved in Early Childhood I had very specific ideas of how to raise my children, then I had my first girl and little by little my ideas began morphing and chipping off and once my illness came a full blown Destruction of Ideals happened. 

I remember sitting in that Hospital bed and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt that my kids were now stuck with a broken mom, a mom like me. How can I be a mother when I can’t even take care of myself? I can’t hold them, read them stories, play with them.

It  really was hard those first few AD years. I had so much inner struggle with trying to reconcile myself with my new life, while grasping at motherhood, a gift I so desperately wanted to figure out. It was like trying to unwrap a present with no hands. I had to realize it COULD be done, just in a very different way.

My girls were four and two when I finally returned home, my two-year-old had never experienced me as her mom. She had been six months old when I went into the hospital. I remember the heartbreak that first time I heard her little voice mutter “I don’t like you…”

 I thought I’d die. Right there.

But I didn’t, and the  reason for that was the comfort I found in Him, in His word repeated over and over in my head. (Zeph 3:17 “ the Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save, he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will quiet you by his love).

He spoke droplets of creativity into me, through my therapists and into my  helpers. I saw His faithfulness in the gift of my husband, my family. God had not abandoned me or us. He had given me an entire support system. 

My husband was right there with me, cheering me on, dropping work and coming to reinforce my authority of motherhood. He held me up in front of the kids constantly, reminding them of how important it was to honor and respect me as their mom. Even if I had a faltering voice and limited mobility, he saw in me what I thought was lost. 

 So little by little I started seeing that, no I couldn’t swing them on the swing, but I could look at them in the eye and listen to their stories with complete focus. I couldn’t read them a story, but we could sit together and listen to a book on tape. They learned so quickly to understand me, to look beyond the chair and my voice. Those moments spurred me on to keep trying, to see what else I could figure out.

12 Replies

  1. Gloria Goering Reply

    Enjoy the insights into the walk you’re on through life! God strengthen and bless!
    James’ email is *************************

  2. Deb Reply

    I love, love, love, every word of this testimony. You and Jeremy worked so hard through incredible emotional difficulties to become the family God purposed for you all to become. I’ve grown so much from being your friend. I love you all!!!

  3. Jean Beeler Reply

    Always such joy to hear your updates and see your growing children and be amazed!

  4. Bob Strong Reply

    We praise the Lord for your testimony, and for your beautiful family!

  5. Leah Heinemann Reply

    I remember praying for you with your mom, when you were attending BFA so long ago! What a beautiful heart He has molded in you. Thank you for sharing it so eloquently with us! You have become such a beautiful woman!

  6. Sandy Leeder Reply

    All of our children have broken mothers, just in different ways. And God’s grace is right in the middle of our messes, to see us through and quiet us with his love.

  7. Bapo Roque Reply

    I have the joy and privilege to see strength lived out in the life of Charity and the Georges. She, her husband and her family show me every time I interact with them. The beauty and unity of Christ. Yes their life is not ideal but the Gospel was not either and the Lord has been kind to them to lavish to them the mercies and graces of God. And I have seen first hand the love they have for Christ in this family. Love the article but more importantly, I love to see them walk their life out in front of us all. -Hakuna Matata

  8. Rev Nathaniel Perry Reply

    Thank you for your. honesty! I remember your heartache when all of this strange illness hhit you. I remember your parents from college though I never met you. You have touched many people they
    your ordeal. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Sarah Belt Reply

    You and your family are such a inspiration to us and to others. This is a Beautiful testimony. We love you and your family.


    Charity, you have been emptied of self in your difficult journey and how blessed it must be to see your girls accepting your love and loving you! May they see God’s grace, as you choose to find His JOY in your journey together. Thank you for sharing!

  11. Joyce Nelson Reply

    I still think you should write a book about your journey. You have a special way with words. Would love to hear more from you.

  12. Becky Jacobsen Reply

    Sweet Charity,

    I never saw you as broken. I saw a beautiful soul trying to navigate her world, all the while being a candle on a hill. Your God showing Himself through your eyes, your words and deeds. (I loved coming in your room to see what treasure your calendar in Italian would speak to me for that day!) love you, becky j.
    buon compleanno bella!