“I had a very vivid, long dream last night where Rhema and I spoke for a long time on a lot of things. Rhema spoke in gentle, perfect words with a soft, clear voice.”
~Text from the husband
From the moment I peed on the stick, as my friend Leah would say, I had big dreams for my girl. I’m sure I looked at Dartmouth College onesies in a catalog that very day.
But then came the autism diagnosis and the Landau Kleffner diagnosis like a sucker punch… and the placement in a special needs school and years of one step forward and two steps back. And suddenly the goals went from reading Shakespeare by age two, to sitting still, making vocalizations, eating something/anything besides pretzels, sleeping through the night, surviving the day.
And it’s been such a gift to celebrate every big-small, hard-fought victory. Not one inchstone, milestone, iota of development is lost on me, and I’m so thankful for that.
But along the way I stopped seeing her as anything but the way she was in the present. Even in sleep I shielded my heart from dreams, it was too painful to go there: the future.
Then slowly, gently God began opening my eyes (and my husband’s) to all the gifts in Rhema. And I realized that all along His plans for her were even bigger and better than my own.
Fast forward to today. There have been so many firework explosions of progress in my girl that honestly I believe, I believe more in God’s good purpose and His willingness to absolutely blow our minds.
All my assumptions about what life will look like for her, for us, I’ve chucked them. Because she’s doing things now that my mind was too small to imagine just a few short years ago.
Take the whole question-answer thing. I wrote a blog once saying I’d hit the floor if Rhema ever responded to a question. The other day the girls and I drove to a park a good distance away. We pulled into a parking spot and without looking back I asked, “Ready to play, Rhema?” And she was too excited, because she said clear as a bell, “Paay! Paay!”
I just sat there for a minute, awe-filled, laughing like Sarah. (‘God has brought me laughter…’ Gen. 21:6) Is this really real??? She clearly knew I was talking to her, she understood what I said, and she responded vocally, appropriately, wonderfully. In the past if I wanted any acknowledgement that I was on the same planet, I would have to stoop, get in her face, take away whatever she was stimming on and hope for one second of eye contact. Now. Now she’s shouting answers to me from the back of the car??!!!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Lord!!!
She’s learning and understanding SO much, she’s tracing letters, she’s playing with her sister and interacting with babies, she’s dining in restaurants, she’s cooking in the kitchen, she’s humming nursery rhymes, she’s managing her day.
“I had a very vivid, long dream last night where Rhema and I spoke for a long time on a lot of things.”
We’re dreaming big again.
And there’s nothing more exciting than waking up and wondering what new and amazing thing will God and Rhema show me today?