For years I’ve wanted to put a small closet at the end of my kitchen.  Yesterday, the contractor and I found that there were electrical wires that could not be moved.  Therefore, we would need to put a small closet in that area.  I was thrilled because it was the exact spot where I’d wanted a closet for years.  I must admit that I was overwhelmed at God’s graciousness toward me.   I don’t think I ever prayed for a closet there but it was as though God had read my heart.

Today, a friend came over.  After viewing the skull of the new closet, she asked sarcastically, “And what do you expect to put into that small thing?” 

Surprised and dripping with an equal amount of sarcasm, I smacked with a smirk, “Whatever I want to put in it that fits.”  My friend smiled sympathetically at my ignorance and left the room.

At times, we must realize that we can’t have everything we want.  At other times, we unexpectedly get what we want and others aren’t impressed or they may even disapprove.  Looking at the facts of your life, you understand that desire must often compromise with reality.

In speaking with younger parents of children with developmental disabilities, I’m often a bit surprised by the fact that their desires and reality sometimes bang heads.  When a child is younger, desires are paramount.  This week I was discussing a young woman with a family member.  The aunt is now having to adjust her expectations in regard to her niece who is mentally challenged.

“She won’t ever be able to do many of the things I desired for her.  However, I’ve come to realize that Leeza is a good and kind person.  She loves the Lord.  She is able to love the unlovely.  She is eagerly willing to work hard.  Those are the important things in life, not her achievements in the workplace,” said the aunt.

After years of living with desire, reality has met desire and surpassed it for this family.  Does this mean that hope no longer lives?  No.  It means that hope can now be taken an a positive direction where achievement can be made.  Forrest Gump was a great story; but it was fiction.  In twenty years, I been working with people who are mentally challenged, I’ve seen God move in miraculous ways in the hearts of our members.  However, I’ve never seen the time that reality wasn’t needed in regard to the ability of a person.

Is ability more important than integrity?  What aspects of integrity do you see in your members?