Finding the Right Words...
Strangers are always curious about my daughter’s story when they see how far behind she is in her development. Its always bothered me, because It makes me feel like I have to give them an explanation. How do I accurately tell Katy’s story to a perfect stranger? My daughter is fine, so it would be wrong to say otherwise. I finally came up with a quick thing that I could say in order to satisfy any stranger’s curiosity: “she’s a miracle.” Surely then, people would be touched and would not act as if she was any different from their children. Armed with this mental preparation, I set out to play with Katy in the park.
The park was full of little children who were running, shouting and playing. Many were younger than my daughter. As the other children played blissfully, I held Katy’s arms and guided her through her first steps. As usual, people stared, wondering what was wrong. Still, I felt proud. Katy was a miracle. Her accomplishments testified of her will to thrive and overcome.
A Shocking Statement
“They make special shoes for kids like her,” a woman said.
She took my by surprise. I never imagined that conversation in my head. Yes. Katy has a problem with her balance, but its not just in her feet. Its also in her hips. She’s working on it, which is why I take her out to exercise every day.
“Oh, I know about the orthopedic shoes. She’s wearing them.” I answered quickly, “Were working on strengthening her hips” I hoped my reply would shoo the woman away.
“Was it from birth?” she continued.
I was stunned. My daughter is fine. I see her and she’s fine. Yet, there was this woman whom I’ve never spoken to who saw her differently.
“She’s fine.” I stood my ground. “She had a rough first year of life, but she’s making a great recovery. You’re watching a miracle.”
“Oh, just wait,” she persisted, “it gets harder when they get big and heavy.”
“She’s fine. My daughter is just catching up. There’s nothing wrong with her.” I was mad now.
Katy and I continued our stroll, and I held my head up high. Nobody could have guessed that underneath my smile, I was upset and distressed. Half an hour later, I drove home. I felt so alone. Isaac was in Germany and there was no one else who could possibly understand what I was feeling. My friends with babies had never gone through any health battles, and none of my family members had ever gone through a trial like mine. There was nobody. No one to go home and cry to. And I wanted to cry so badly…
Jumping to Conclusions
Putting Katy on the floor to play with her favorite toys, I clutched a pillow and cried silently on it. That’s when I heard that voice
“Are you going to let a stranger’s comment weigh so heavily on your heart?”
I knew that voice. He’s become as familiar as the rhythm of my breath. It was God. Clutching the pillow harder, I protested in my heart.
“This is why I need a friend to talk to! Those are really harsh words to say to me right now!”
“Shouldn’t a friend tell you what you need to hear?”
Yeah. I was a bit shocked by the wisdom in those words. Yeah! Why should I let a total stranger’s comment put such weight on my heart? I mean, who am I really going to listen to? That woman? Hasn’t God been faithful to me for nearly two decades? Hasn’t He filled me with hope and always come through? What has He told me about Katy?
She is unharmed.
Everything in life is about how you choose to respond. Contrary to many peoples belief, responses are conscious choices that we make, These responses have the power to shape and change our destiny- even the destiny of our children, and their children’s children. And it takes just a moment. Its so subltle. That split second, when you decide how you are going to respond to what has been thrown at you. Its that glimpse of a flash in time where a choice is made in your heart and you head in the direction of that choice.
I brushed off my tears. That woman was nobody. Nobody! What did she know about Katy’s life? What did she know about her past, present or future? Why should her opinion count? Had she been there when I received Katy’s horrible diagnosis? Was she there during her seizures? Was it her hand on my shoulder as I cried bitterly on the kitchen floor? Was it her whispering on my ear when all I felt was pain?
Who gave me hope when none could be given? Who listened when no one else could understand? Who took the horror and replaced it with hope? Not her. Jesus. It was Him all along. It was Him who walked along side of me through this long dark path, holding a candle to the ground so I could see where I stepped. It was Him who told me that all would be OK. It is Him who is taking my daughter from victory to victory, despite all medical predicitons. No broken promises. No reason to doubt.
Did you know that sheep only follow one pastor? They only respond to one voice. This is how they are not led astray. They learn to hear one man’s voice and they follow only that man.
Faith: Accepting MIracles the Way they Come
I stood up and swallowed hard. There was a lump in my throat protesting against me. No matter, it would have to submit to my choice. My feelings would have to follow my decision. No matter how much time they took to settle, these feelings would have to fall into line with my choice.
Katy’s miracle has begun to unfold in a very slow and natural way. It has not come the way I expected it. I anticipated glitz, glamour, sparkles and instantaneousness. I have been forged and reshaped to where the old Michelle harldy resembles the new one. It hasn’t only been Katy who’s been transformed. I have become a new person. Ive become the mother that Katy needs. The one that the world needs.
I suppose that I could have stuck to my ideals. I could have waited stubbornly for a miracle to come in the box that I pictured, but that would have been tragic. I could have missed its coming, just the way many missed Jesus. They expected him to be a certain way, and when he showed up in a different manner, they passed him up.
I follow one voice. Watch and believe, you wont be disappointed. God has never been unfaithful, and he’s not about to change now. I’ll keep you posted.