I Still Would Have Chosen You (by Terri Banish)
If before you were born, I could have gone to heaven and saw all the beautiful souls…I still would have chosen you,
If God had told me, “This soul would one day need extra care and needs”…I still would have chosen you,
If He would have told me, “This soul may make your heart bleed”…I still would have chosen you,
If He had told me, “This soul would make you question the depth of your faith”…I still would have chosen you,
If He had told me, “This soul would make tears flow from your eyes that could fill a river”…I still would have chosen you,
If He had told me, “This soul may one day make you witness overbearing suffering”…I still would have chosen you,
If He had told me, “All that you know to be normal would drastically change”…I still would have chosen you.
Of course, even though I would have chosen you, I know it was God who chose me for you.
I found this poem at a funeral I attended for Colton Childers today. Colton was 4. Colton endured what only a few sick adults and sick children endure. A long year of hospital life, transplants, arduous periods of recovery and deterioration, long stays in a hospital bed, seeing the same Santa two different seasons but in the same hospital room, being in awful miserable pain day in and day out, crying to ease the mysterious cause of continuous discomforts, numerous surgeries and exploratory procedures, being away from his sister so much, rarely seeing his parents together…the list goes on.
But here’s what wouldn’t make the news. Colton could draw up a storm, loved making artwork out of stickers and scissoring paper to end, loved his superheroes and particularly loved Captain America, Superman, Spider-Man, and Hulk, loved his family more, had a sweet spot for telling nurses thank you, longed for water anytime he could drink, had a very deep faith in Jesus, loved prayer and being prayed for, enjoyed making staff smile, had his own special dance, clinged to fingers for loving assurance, had a sweet voice to greet you when you walked in, and well, was quite the superhero himself.
Colton was precious in every way and no matter how much of a struggle he went through, had every right to be stubborn or particular or honest to a T. But he was always previous, always persevering, and always at home with his family.
That’s the lesson from Colton and his parents that I walk away with. It’s that moments with family are precious. It’s the appreciation from clinging to a finger for assurance, it’s the ability to treat family as a gift to be cherished but not clung to. It is that God is in family and more so in the bonds of those family relationships- relationships of a parent to child that are more than just authoritative. The bonds formed are those that are honestly loving, refreshingly honest about hopes and dreams, and full of the willingness to bear your cross every day, every moment, as long as it takes, through every heart wronging and faith altering struggle, because you would have chosen them just as Coltons parents would have chosen him.
To sum up, just being a parent is good. Allowing your child to be a fountain of grace and gift to you and allowing yourself to be Gods hands and feet to them- well that is better. It’s allowing your child show you God and faith in new ways, when it brings both tears and smiles. Thank you Colton, Brynn, Teresa, Lexi et al for teaching me this in the most humble and difficult of journeys.
We miss you Colton and thank God for you and your family.