Rhema’s name (pronounced RAY-MAH) means “the spoken word.” In the Bible, the Greek translation for rhema is “God’s Word revealed.” One of our favorite Bible verses that contains the “rhema word” is Romans 10:8,9. I quote this verse every night to our daughter when I tuck her in to bed:
“..The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is LORD”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We named our daughter Rhema with a vision that she would always speak and share the wonderful Truth about salvation in Christ. We hold on to that vision, and for us, her name is a promise.
Rhema was diagnosed with autism at age 2 in 2006. Months later she received a diagnosis of a seizure disorder and a feeding disorder. The seizure activity is continuous in the regions of her brain that govern speech and language comprehension. At age four, Rhema is still nonverbal. But we continue to hope that Rhema will one day be able to communicate in spoken language.
This video can also be viewed on the Five For Fighting website where money is being raised for Autism Speaks.
*****An update to this page. In September 2009, I posted the following:
So here’s a recap,
Rhema is a 5 ½ years old with autism, aphasia, and a seizure disorder – all of which make it extremely difficult… no, nearly impossible for her to speak and understand language.
When last tested, Rhema had the expressive and receptive language of a 12-month old.
For years I wondered how/why God would give us a daughter named Rhema – a name that means the “spoken word” – that could not, would not speak. Now I know that it was, as my twin would say, the perfect setup. The perfect setup for God to do something amazing with The Word.
Readers of this blog know that I have quoted a verse to Rhema every night since she was a baby. It never seemed like she was listening. But she was. Recently she began saying parts of the verse on her own. Of all the countless hours of language-based therapy she has received, no one taught her this…
This Word is in her heart, and now, it’s in her mouth.
Over the past year of blogging I have been blessed and surprised at the care and interest people have shown toward Rhema and our family. Many have cheered the ups and endured the downs with us for over a year now. Many have prayed for Rhema.
Come and listen to what the Lord has done.
“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:8,9)
If you can spare a quiet 3 minutes and 40 seconds: