There’s an old Gospel song I grew up singing in church and I’ve been “going back”, singing it a lot lately:
“Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind
Took the time to pray for me
I’m so glad they prayed, I’m so glad they prayed
I’m so glad they prayed for me.”
Reading words on a screen don’t do it justice, you have to hear the piano rocking, the tambourines shaking, the hands clapping and the feet stomping. You have to hear Dorothy Norwood sing it with the Georgia Mass Choir (click ->here<-) to really feel it.
Last week we were in crisis mode with dear Rhema. The intensity of her destructive behaviors left me crushed and shaken for days. I don’t recall ever being so afraid for my girl and what she might do. We went from hoping for a good day to just trying to get through the next hour. We even gave voice to our deepest, unspoken fears – What if this doesn’t stop? What if she gets worse? What if it gets so bad she can’t stay at home? No, no, no.
She had dental “surgery” last week and we were in the recovery room waiting for her to wake up from anesthesia. A nurse wanting to make conversation said, “We had a teenaged girl with autism in here last week. She was nonverbal. So you know. Her method of expressing herself was kicking, screaming, biting… it wasn’t easy.”
Her words stung and lit my fears on fire. “My daughter is nonverbal, too.” She communicates in many ways. And I am praying with all my heart that peace will rule inside her and that we’ll be able to understand all she’s trying to tell us.
Throughout the week I was lifted by the amazing gift of comfort, the knowledge that we are not alone. From family, friends, friends of friends, churches… I was blown away and humbled that people would care to say a prayer for us. Thank you so much!
(Nothing like opening your computer to find that your friend Jess has gotten over 344 of her friends to send over love and prayers on your behalf. Amazing! What a special community. Thank you, dear friend).
And Thursday I felt the winds and waves settle. Hope knew it too. She peeked into Rhema’s room and then declared, “Mommy. Rhema’s getting happy again!”
“You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.”
~Psalm 30:11-12 (Another friend reminded me of this passage).
To see her body at peace and the smile on her face, to hear her hum again… I tell you it was like the brightest sun was dawning in my house. And I knew that if it only lasted a minute it was all I needed to keep going, keep hoping.
Thankfully that moment has stretched — the past several days have been pretty good. I can’t help but kiss her cheek and whisper, “I’m so glad you’re back.”
Because you can’t go through such extreme weather and not be changed. My friend Judith has walked a similar path and she said it best: we’re holding our breath. Waiting, wondering, looking in every direction for the next tornado. Doing everything we can to try and fend it off.
But I want to/need to breathe again.
When the next tempest comes, I want to cling to this:
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. ~2 Cor. 1:9,10
As for today, she is getting happy. (!)
“I’m so glad they prayed, I’m so glad they prayed, I’m so glad they prayed for me.”