Of all the diagnoses Nani received the first few years of her life, her profound hearing loss was the hardest for me to accept. Every moment I was not consciously focused on something else, I was pleading with God not to leave her in a silent world. Every moment. I am a tenacious woman.
The other diagnoses had not produced this desperation. The brain damage and seizure disorder had pierced me but the hearing loss crushed me. Everything I heard reminded me that she could not hear. The wind in the trees, rain hitting the window, her sisters’ laughter were all filtered through that grief. Months passed, the pain did not.
I pleaded and pleaded with God. I purposed to pray differently, to pray thy will be done, to find more eloquent words to state my case, as though God was waiting for me to convince Him to see my request in a new light. I purposed to pray so that I could hear what He might want to tell me. I purposed to pray to lay my grief down. If awards were given for “most purposes” I would have definitely been a finalist. But I could not pray beyond my inner refrain of “please don’t leave her in a silent world”, over and over and over.
One day while in the car with the girls, I was at it again, driving and pleading with God in my head. Quite out of the blue, Ashley, age 5 then, asks me, “Mama do you believe Jesus talks to Nani in her heart?” Suddenly it was such a holy moment. I had the sense I needed to answer more than yes, the sense that a confession of faith was required of me.
“Yes Ashley, I believe that Jesus speaks to Nani in her heart.”
Her reply-“that’s good, because Nani needs someone to talk to her that she can hear.”
My pleading stopped. My grief drained away, gone in an instant. Her world was not silent, she could hear the person she needed to hear. It was not what I had asked for, but it was enough. More than enough.
Years later I read a quote by Francis De Sales and it reminded me of that day,
“Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them… So hold tightly to His loving hands and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand He will carry you in His arms…. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries”.
I’m not confident that I will get to a place of faith that allows me no fear, especially when it comes to my daughters. I do know that deliverance does not always come in the form of answered prayers. But it comes.