I’ve been meaning to blog for the longest time. It’s been a challenge to find the time and energy to think and write. And when I’ve been away from this space for too long, I complicate things in my head and pressure myself to be something other than I am.
Like students in the first few weeks of school, we seem to be in a review course. Right now we’re just simple.
Grace is an ongoing lesson – how to give and be grace to one another. Because we have received God’s never-ending grace. My biggest grace-teachers are Brandon, Rhema and Hope. Even when I am absolutely horrible, those three love me. “Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less.”* Every day, every single day that I get to be Rhema and Hope’s mother, God whispers this truth to me.
I watched a video from six years ago when Rhema’s was working with her in-home therapist. Unexpectedly the video brought tears to my eyes. (Nevermind the fact that my precious baby is growing up so fast!) In it, she is so happy. No aggressions, no bites on her arms or self-hitting, no pulled-out hair. Just giggly. And she speaks. She says, “One, two, three, go.” It’s her sweet four year old voice, and it’s been so very long (years) since we’ve heard clear, articulate, spontaneous words like that. It was like hearing her speaking voice for the first time again and I played it repeatedly, memorizing the sound.
And I wished for a different story. And I wondered and worried. Did we miss something? Did the seizures do this? Did she regress so much? Is it that we failed to consistently practice “One, two, three, go” that we lost it somehow?
This morning I underlined a sentence in the commentary that accompanies my Bible study of Joshua. “People in biblical times viewed a name as a living sign representing the future potential of an individual.” I reviewed: Her name is Rhema, which means ‘spoken word, a thing said’ Her name is a promise. Some have encouraged me, saying that I speak for her through this blog. Yes, I record the stories and share what God is teaching me through it all. But I believe that she speaks (and will speak in whatever form that may be – vocally, in writing, pictures, etc.) for herself. I simply still believe.
Though we could not have imagined the challenges and setbacks we would face, God still has a good good plan for our loved ones, for our dear children. My friend Judith once said of her son, “Two steps forward, one step back. I still believe in you, Jack.”
I still believe in you, God, able to do ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’**.
I still believe in you, Rhema-girl.
*What’s So Amazing About Grace, by Phillip Yancey