A mom reflects on the years she's spent caring for her son with special needs and finds comfort in a song she'd forgotten: Timothy's Burden.

Today’s post comes from guest blogger, Sharon Cargin, who reflects upon a day when her stressed, caregiving heart needed to hear God speak, and He did.

I was feeling very restless one fall morning so I took a little trip to look at what my favorite greenhouse had out for autumn pots. I love autumn but I tend to struggle emotionally every fall. As I was driving, I got hit by a flashback. Old memories of 29 years ago when my son Tim was in the NICU in Omaha, very sick, flooded back. I images of entertaining 6 and 2-year-old sons Luke and Levi at the Ronald McDonald house poured into my mind. Mom and I–and my husband on the weekends–spent that lovely fall and into winter playing outside when we could as we anxiously awaited for Timothy to be well enough to go home. Sadly, those memories are very intertwined with stress.

Later the same day, I came across this diary entry:

3-26-00 I: finally gave in to shop for a bigger car seat for Tim. We are at the dreaded point where Tim is too big for a regular car seat, and he is too big for me to care for him alone. He is handicapped and I hate that so much. I did not want to find out we needed a handicapped car seat. It seems like failure to me.  I don’t know it just hurt so much. Monday night I was upset again and prayed for encouragement like someone calling. At that moment, the phone rang and it was my mom. I thought,” I don’t want to talk to my mom right now!” 

The first thing she says is, “You made me cry.”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
She said,” By that song.”  

I had given her a tape of a singing group that I thought she might like. The song was titled Timothy’s Burden.  It is about keeping the faith and walking in grace in hard times. Next, I picked up a book I was reading and the chapter was on handicaps and it had a prayer on not being set back by adverse circumstances!

I do not remember writing the diary entry, let alone why it was saved on my computer. I guess God wanted me to see it today. I looked up the song and listened to the lyrics.

 I’m takin on Timothy’s burden
Not ashamed to wear these chains
If I suffer things uncertain
I’m gonna count my loss for gain
I’m takin on Timothy’s burden
Oh yes, I am, I’m takin on Timothy’s burden

Though I suffer things uncertain
I’ll keep the faith and fight the fight
I’m takin on Timothy’s burden
Oh yes, I am, I’m takin on Timothy’s burden

The song is based on 2 Timothy when Paul is in prison, soon to be executed. He admonishes Timothy to carry the gospel forth and urges him to be faithful with a very hard burden. The admonishment is also for believers today. Will we be faithful even as we suffer?

For me the song parallels my life of caring for Timothy all these years. On the outside our family appears to handle Tim’s care well. But don’t be fooled. It has been hard. We have suffered and struggled to keep the faith and fight the fight. We have struggled to count the loss of a normal life for Tim and for us as gain. Even though Tim’s prognosis is not good according to the doctors, we still hope and dream about a full life for Tim. We strive to see the positive. It is only by grace we serve Tim, and it is only by grace we serve the Lord. The same is true for all of us in every area we are called to serve.

On that fall day, I saw Jesus.
He ministered to me and my hurts.
He encouraged me.

May he encourage you as you cry out to Him with your burdens today. May you see God lift your burdens and give you hope as His plan unfolds. May you be confident God has a good plan. May you embrace the burden of carrying the gospel with His help and grace! May others see its hope as you carry your burdens while keeping the faith and fighting the fight!

And because I preach this Good News,
I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal.
But the word of God cannot be chained.
So, I am willing to endure anything
if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.
2 Timothy 2:9-10