Waiting For Rhema


A couple months ago, Rhema’s school bus route changed.

Her hour-long bus ride got even longer. There was no way she’d make her after-school therapy sessions on time.

The decision was made to have the bus take her directly to therapy after school.

I do not like the new schedule. She’s at school all day and then therapy after school and… what time do I get to be her mommy?  She’s still so young, and she needs me (I tell myself). And I need to see her, touch her, know she’s o.k.

So Hope and I meet her bus – along with her teacher – at the therapy center.

When she gets off the bus, her teacher takes her hand, and we walk the corridor to her room. We pause many times in the hall, prompting her to walk when she gets spaghetti legs or drops to the floor. She doesn’t seem to notice me, she doesn’t look my way.

She is prompted to say, “Bye”, which she does pretty easily now. But her gaze is averted.

Hope and I do what we do. We wait for Rhema.

Later, when she’s finally home, we are at odds. She doesn’t know what to do with herself, her body. She escapes into her world. She can’t stay still. She sheds her clothes, she breaks a glass, she pulls down a curtain and dances in the window. She stims at the sink, letting the water run over her hands. She climbs into the washing machine, sits atop the agitator and spins around. She shrieks continuously.

And I find myself saying, “No! No, no, no.” to every single thing she does. “No! No, no, no.” because this is not what I wanted.

We battle over her food – she won’t eat what I’ve made, she only wants popsicles for dinner. She hides her dinner in the cupboard, and when I retrieve it, she tears her meal into tiny pieces all over the table. She dumps her drink in the toilet. She’s been home for an hour, and I’m already frustrated and exhausted.

As I put her to bed, my heart literally pounds. I hope against hope for the miracle of connection. Just one moment, God, for me and my girl, I pray. Let her turn her lovely face to me. Let her see me. Let her be still with me. Let me occupy her attention for just a moment in time. (It occurs to me that God desires the same things from me – that He would be my attention, that I would turn and see Him, be still and know Him).

“Nigh, nigh,” she whispers, like a benediction, unprompted.

Before I can exult in the spontaneous, appropriate language, she pushes me toward the door. Like a pirate ship carnival ride, we swing back and forth, high and low.

“Wait. I love you,” I say.

I luh yew,” she mimics.

“I love you!”  Another bedtime miracle granted, thank you, Lord.

She is my dream, a part of me, the extension of me, she is me.


And I realize that I’ve been missing her all day. All her life.

23 thoughts on “Waiting For Rhema

  1. Oh, her precious, glorious words! Her beautiful voice! I am so moved by this post, the wondrous exchange between the two of you. Sending hugs for the missing, the exhaustion, the frustration. Thinking of you always.

  2. It’s funny how no one can get it, that we miss our kids and they are in the same room with us but off in their own world. As we try desperately to pull them out of the world in their heads.

    Right there with you!

  3. So beautifully expressed, Jeneil. It drew my heart to so many Scriptures about waiting on the Lord.

    “In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

    “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14)

    “We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.” (Psalm 33:20)

    “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fred when men carry out their wicked schemes.” (Psalm 37:7)

    “Wait for the LORD and keep His way. He will exalt you to inherit the land …” (Psalm 37:34)

    “I will wait for You, O LORD; You will answer, O LORD my God.” (Psalm 38:15)

    “I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)

    “I wait for Your salvation, O LORD, and I follow Your commands.” (Psalm 119:166)

    “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope. My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning …” (Psalm 130:5-6)

    “Blessed is the man who listens to Me, watching daily at My doors, waiting at My doorway.” (Proverbs 8:34)

    “… Wait for the LORD, and He will deliver you.” (Proverbs 20:22)

    “I will wait for the LORD … I will put my trust in Him.” (Isaiah 8:17)

    “Yes, LORD, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your Name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” (Isaiah 26:8)

    “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18)

    “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.” (Isaiah 64:4)

    (To Be Continued …)

  4. (Continued)

    “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.’ The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:24-26)

    “… maintain love an justice, and wait for your God always.” (Hosea 12:6)

    “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)

    “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)

    “The creation waits in eager expectation … we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. … But hope that is seen is no hope at all … we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:19-27)

    “… you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait … He will keep you strong to the end … God … is faithful.” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9)

    “… judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes …” (1 Corinthians 4:5)

    “… we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ …” (Titus 2:13)

    “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” (Hebrews 6:15)

    “… He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” (Hebrews 9:28)

    “Be patient then … See how the farmer wiats for the land to yield its valuable crop … You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7-8)

    “Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait …” (Jude 1:21)

    Still, and yet, my precious friend, I know the waiting is the hardest part. 🙂

  5. Oh, yes! It’s amazing how much we wish we could MATTER to our kids. I got 20 seconds of full-on eye contact – attentive, yes-can-I -help-you eye contact TWO WEEKS ago and the thought of it makes my heart flutter.


  6. I get this. The No no no’s, the missing, the longing for connection, the exhaustion, and the sweetness of the moments are when they come. You express it all so well.

    She knows. She needs you and loves you so much. Just can’t show it the way we wish. Don’t forget that.

  7. Yes, she does know. And even on the days when you don’t get the “I love you..” try to hold that in your heart.

    Will Tri-care cover any in-home therapy for you? Why does she have to go elsewhere? (Judith is getting nosy now ..) Let me know if I can help.

    • She does get in-home therapy on Saturdays by an AMAZING ABA therapist.
      As for weekdays, we’re happy with the services she receives at the therapy center.
      Thanks Judith!

  8. Beautiful and touching as always. I have an award for you over on my blog today. Please don’t feel any pressure to play along unless you want to. I love coming over here because it’s always humorous and uplifting. I love your writing. =) Praying for your family,

  9. Today I talked at length with someone about finding out what God wants from me. I read your post and the answer is so clear. I can’t get away from it. My heart is drawn to children who are stuck in a world that we are not allowed to enter, but how? Jeneil I want Rehma to experience the world around her, I want her to experience the love you have for her. You my sister in hope are amazing. Your patience in God’s time is a lesson I take with me daily.

  10. Your faith and writing are beautiful and poignant.

    You often make me cry (in a good way).

    I’m an ASD mom, twin, and SLP in EI!

    Your grace inspires.

    Thank you!

  11. My heart aches for you both. I know the pain and frustration of having to fight every single second of your existance together… and on such limited time. I know the frustration with yourself that all you feel as though your saying is, “No”… when that’s not the kind of “conversation” you want to have with your littlest love. I know and I’m so sorry that it’s so difficult.

    She knows you’re there. She just can’t tell you. She knows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s