Home Encouragements "Welcome to Holland"
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Thursday, 05 June 2008 18:26

This thought came as something that helped us to understand what was head.  Not long after this, we received an encouragement from a friend and sister in Christ which added something to this thought (at the bottom).

"Welcome to Holland" By Emily Perl Kingsley, 1987.  All rights reserved.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." 

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

The additional thought was as follows, from a daily devotional - I'm sorry, we don't know which one:

"I will make all my mountains a way." (Isaiah 49:11)

Do not try to tunnel under them, nor to squeeze through them, nor to run away from them...  These mountains of difficulty are His stepping-stones; walk on them with holy joy.  Keep the strong staff of faith well in hand, and trust God in the dark.  We are safer with Him in the dark, than without Him in the sunshine.  At the end of the gloomy passage beams the heavenly light!  When we reach heaven we may discover that the richest and most profitable experiences that we had in this world were those gained in the very roads from which we shrank back in dread. 

It was because Job was on God's main [train] line that he found so many tunnels.  The greatest thing to remember is that God's darknesses are not his goals.  His tunnels must be travelled to get somewhere else.  Therefore be patient, my soul!  The tunnel is not thy abiding home!

The traveller that would pass from the wintery slopes of switzerland into the summer beauty of the plains of Italy, must be prepared to tunnel the Alps!

We may have ended up unexpectedly in Holland now, which will indeed have it's own beaties and joys even thus, but we know further that we are in a short tunnel, and the Lord will bring us into many wonderful things through it.