We had known each other once before, in school, but had lost touch for many years. 

By the time we reconnected on Facebook, she had two children.  

Her son was 'typical', her daughter has a shortlist of special needs.

As I read through her daily pictures and posts, I observed that her outward life was full of grace, perseverance, class, and tenderness.  
 

She administers medications, changes tubes, uses adaptive equipment - bends and scoops and hugs and carries and straps and buckles and tickles and kisses like a mom of true excellence.

One day I reached out to her in a private message on Facebook.  

I tell her that she never asked for it, but that I watch her -- she's an inspiration to me.  

I thank her.
 

My next words surprise even me: I confess, "I can't help feel at fault somehow for not being able to help him along more."

Her response stopped me in my tracks.

"Three years ago, when we got her diagnosis, I was devastated. 

I did not think I could handle it. 

I didn't feel strong enough and I asked God to make me weak, because I didn't want to have to be strong enough to handle it. 

And I crumbled. 

I was a wreck. 

Then, I asked God for strength, and He gave me what I needed to not only "handle it" but to embrace and celebrate this journey."

Two moms.   
 

Two children.  

Two lives.  

Two views.

Where I was feeling like the epicenter of my son's life, where all of his future development and success and 'normalcy' rested -- she was asking for less of herself.  

I wanted more control, she openly asked for daily reminders that she wasn't in control.
 

Here I was thinking that the cause of all my woes was not being able to do more, was reaching my own limits.

The difference between me and my friend at that moment was that I was stuck in a pattern of living out of fear -- and she was living out of love.

I told myself it was all out of love, and yes, my heart was in a good place. 

But it was really out of sheer ambition to give my child the most normal and fulfilling life possible.  

He is the most perfectly imperfect gift I had ever been trusted with.

I didn't want any shortcomings to be my fault.
 

I was making myself sick with worry, biting my nails and wondering, what if I'm not enough?

True humility is not self-hatred or self-loathing, knowing one can do better but isn't.  

It simply starts with the absence of the delusion of control.

My friend has taught me true humility is beautiful.  

It's not a prayer to God to make us bigger or more important.  

It's not a 'make me bigger' prayer to our neurologists, or our physical therapists, or occupational therapists, or speech pathologists, or geneticists.
 

True humility is recognizing reality for what it is, acknowledging a force bigger than yourself at play, and submitting to the symphony of events in life.

It's a calling to celebrate life, to love more, to live with a bigger perspective, and to make room for the idea that you're not the end-all, only solution, everything-rests-on-me answer to life.

And that's absolutely ok.

Thank you for letting me watch on, Beth.  

Thank you for inspiring me.  

Thank you for your brave words and your selfless acts and your honesty.
 

Let your true light shine, for you never know who is watching.

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