Psalms 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
In the original Hebrew text of the Bible, the word fearfully means: with great reverence, heart-felt interest and with respect. The word wonderfully means: unique, set apart, marvelous.
My youngest son, Corbin, who is two years old, has been struggling with some developmental delays as well as negative behavior lately, and I have been doing a lot of research to ensure I approach this mindfully to encourage a positive outcome for him. We have contacted Early Intervention and scheduled an evaluation, but we have also made some changes to our daily routine, diet, supplements and activities, as well as increasing our visits to the chiropractor. I am finding these small changes have made big improvements. At our last visit, Corbin’s chiropractor picked him up and said “Look at you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
For the past month, I have spent some time reading books and articles on developmental delays, balancing the central nervous system, boosting the immune system, holistic approaches, mainstream approaches, what are the causes, what parents can do, what makes kids tick, etc. Throughout this journey, I have become full of awe at the complexity of human development.
What can cause a developmental delay? Anything from constipation to not spending enough time on your head. Who knew? Obviously, there are circumstances that are far more extreme than others, but realizing how intricate the human body is has changed my perception of growth and disorders in general.
That scripture bounced around in my head all day and after my boys fell asleep that night, I snuck in their room to look at their perfect, peaceful sleeping faces and announced in a whisper “You were fearfully and wonderfully made.” It doesn’t take much to make me cry, so it’s no surprise that fat tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought of a Creator designing my children with such thought and care.
I considered how my oldest son has rarely been mad in all of his life. Landon is more the happy or sad type. Corbin, on the other hand, my little rager, was born with a temper. He is happy or mad, it’s not too often that you will see him disappointed. Landon has always pushed the line. He loves to see your reaction and seeks a reaction in all of his actions. Corbin hates a reaction. He wants to do what he has set out to do – please look away. I could go on about the subtle differences that were seen in infancy (Landon wanted to be swaddled until he was 6 months old, and Corbin kicked out of his blanket at the hospital never to be swaddled again) and how those differences have created two people who share many common pleasures and hardships, yet react to these in immensely different ways.
We all share one world, and this world has accommodated to averages as best we know how. It is a way that we can all live, grow, and share in this human experience with each other. Because there are so many people who are fearfully and wonderfully made living in this one world, and because there is so much to gain from sharing our lives with others, I believe as parents it is imperative that we recognize the qualities that make our children unique but do our best to help our children adapt to being able to live comfortably in this world. Likewise, our bodies’ needs are individual and while most children may be able to ingest certain foods, or endure certain environments without adverse effects, this cannot be said of all children. As parents it becomes our duty to encourage our children to find ways to enjoy the world around them, but also to safeguard them on an individual level.
Corbin has had physiological and physical stress responses not only to unhealthy environments but also to things that are generally deemed to help grow and protect our children like milk, vaccines, antibiotics, lotion, etc. I cannot say why he is so sensitive to the world around him – why Landon’s cheese stick helps grow his bones, and poisons Corbin. That I do not know. How one child’s vaccine safeguards them from serious sickness or death and yet causes another child to become unconscious, lethargic, and sick. Why the antibiotic that relieved one child’s eczema did nothing for the others but caused a painful yeast infection.
I can only tell you that my children were fearfully and wonderfully made. I can tell you that I will do my best to raise them to bring to and receive love from a world that has so much to offer. To find joy and give peace wherever they go and to do so without harming themselves or those around them.
I pray their Creator fills the gaps where I am lacking, and that they never shut out a world full of awe and beauty yet never fully conform to it. They were not made by this world, but were fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and He gave them the ability to endure the struggles, encompass the love, and enjoy the wonders of this world.