Recently the school called to say that she was doing something really strange with her hand. She held it rigid against her chest, wouldn’t use it. It seemed like she’d lost some mobility. They wanted to know, ‘Is this a pre-cursor to a seizure?’

But I didn’t know.

I drove the 45 minutes to the school to pick her up early. A school nurse came out to talk to me. She believed Rhema was having absence seizures. Rhema had been “out of it” all week. ‘Is this the result of medication changes? Is she coming down with something? Is this just a bad week?’ Yes? No? Maybe all of those things? Maybe none of those things?

I don’t know.

She is constantly moving, and she needs constant supervision. I’ve had conversations with God about making me younger, stronger. I’ve suggested that He grow me an extra, bionic arm.

I had to laugh at a recent IEP meeting when someone commented that my almost 5-year old is still treating people as if they are jungle gyms. She’ll climb right up your legs and do a backflip. And she’ll swing from the shower curtain rods. And eat soap. And paint herself in butter. Where will I find the energy to keep up with this child?

I don’t know.

I’m not creative. I’m not organized. I’m not a “natural” teacher.

What God was thinking?


After the IEP meeting, my head was swimming with I don’t know’s. With everything that she needs to learn, are these the right goals for right now? Are these goals going to stretch her, challenge her? Are they realistic?

There was a stack of annual consent forms to sign (not the IEP). I quickly flipped through them and signed my name with an unsteady hand as uncertainty wreaked havoc in my mind.

Someone in the room looked up. “Hi Rhema.”

I turned around in my chair.

There was my girl…

Standing in the doorway in her purple coat and pink backpack. I had not seen her yet. I had been escorted into the meeting before I had the chance to see her in her classroom.

“Hi Rhema!”

Not looking at me, she smiled. But the smile was for me. She came in and sat down in the chair next to me. Her eyes were averted, but the soft smile never left her face. Cindy Crawford mole above her lip. Exquisite.

All my love.

I reached over and held her hand…

So many things I don’t know.

But then there are moments when I just know with everything in me that I was always meant to be her mommy. And she was always meant to be my girl.


Just like this.




Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6

18 thoughts on “Inextricable

  1. The frustration of not knowing what symptoms do and don’t mean, and the uncertainty of how to establish the “right” IEP goals, both resonate in our household these days.

    But you are so right — they’re OUR girls, and that was surely meant to be!

  2. Thank you for being real, open, and such an example of faith in Him.

    Isaiah 43:1 kept coming to mind as I read this post…

    “…Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.”

    You are absolutely right; God did choose you as Rhema’s mom. He knew that you would be the perfect woman to be trusted with the care of His beautiful treasure. (Rhema)

    It is so comforting to know that He will guide each of us through each step, phase, and decision. I often take comfort in that as a mom. So many decisions to make each day on what to do with them, for them, and expose them to. It brings me encouragement to know that if God can move the hearts of kings to do His will; surely He will work through me as I seek His face.

  3. Janeil,
    The Hess’s gave me your website many months ago and I have been blessed by it ever since. Each time I read a new post the same song plays through my mind (Jonah33) “I want a faith like that”. You are a true inspiration. Your unwavering faith and love of Christ shines through every excerpt.
    Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
    Before God formed Rhema in your womb, He knew her. Before Rhema was born, the Lord set you apart (for her); May the Lord speak to many through Rhema, and may you be blessed to be her voice until she finds her own.

    (From WAMC, Fort Bragg, NC)

  4. God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave Rhema to you. And God will give you the strength, patience, stamina and determination to be exactly the mommy that Rhema needs.

    I’ll be praying for you and Rhema today.

  5. That picture is so precious!

    I needed to read this, as my husband and I just had this conversation earlier today. It was one of those “off” days that can make you forget all of the good things that have been happening. I feel so inadequate and cannot for the life of me fathom why I was chosen to be the mother of my daughter. But I am ever so grateful!

  6. As I read this, the crocodile tears just welled up and fell down my cheeks. The love for your little one runs so deep. So beautiful. I felt the same way when I picked Josiah up from school the other day. My husband usually picks him up, but I was hoping that when he saw me he would be excited and engage with me. Instead he didn’t seemed phased, so I just got down and put my arm around him and listened to the therapist tell me how his day went. I want him to tell me how his day went someday. But, for now, there is a beauty in what we call “love transfers.” He knows. I know.

    Praying for Rhema’s brain and for any seizure activity to cease! May God continue to give you that supernatural energy!

  7. Ah, my friend, here is what you do know:“I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods.” (Psalm 135:5)

    And, that’s all you need to know.

    Here is what I know: “The God Who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:24-26).

    And, I also know that he specifically chose you to be Rhema’s mother. Out of all the women in the world, HE. CHOSE. YOU. to be His “treasured possession” and her precious mama.

  8. Jeneil, here is the Scripture that I wanted to give you about being the Lord’s “treasured possession”: “Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name. ‘They will be mine,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up My treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.’ “ (Malachi 3:16-18) 😀

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