Tentative Steps of Faith

87% of what I’m about to write in this blog post is full of skepticism. I don’t know if it’s all real or not, but I wanted to share.

I believe Esther was given to me, and our family, as a gift. The first person to tell me that was my counselor at the time, right after Esther’s diagnosis at 21 months old. She also said I was “hand-chosen by God” for this role. I very clearly remember sobbing over the phone, “But I don’t want this! I prayed specifically not to have a child like this.”

Fortunately, Deb had the metaphorical balls to remind me how most people called to great things are afraid of the very tasks they are given. Equally fortunately, she gave me the permission to allow it all to suck.

“It’s okay that it’s not okay.”

If anyone else had said all this, I would have drawn the corners of my mouth in and been like, “Yeahhhh, ohhhhkayyyy….” but Deb didn’t say stuff just to hear herself talk. I have mad respect for her, so I actually thought about that idea because at the time, Rett Syndrome sure didn’t feel like a gift.

Which, of course, it wasn’t. Rett Syndrome sucks every kind of hard. It took a good month after her diagnosis to feel like a person again, not to mention being in constant “morning sickness” with my youngest child. How could this grief and despair and terror be a gift?

As I thought about Esther being a gift, I thought about the progression of my life. It made sense that I had a daughter with Rett Syndrome and I can’t explain exactly what made sense. Maybe it was my dad having a massive, traumatic head injury when I was a baby. Maybe it was working with disabled people in college. Maybe it was the innate hatred of “Helen Keller jokes” or anything that demeaned people with disabilities.

Whatever it was, it made sense.

Now, getting to the skepticism of this post…

I believe it is so possible that Esther could be healed. That one day she could walk on her own and talk and use her hands. I hesitate to say “I believe” and definitely that “I know” she will be healed. I don’t, but I so feel it.

For one thing, I have good dreams about her. Historically, I only have stressful or awkward or flat-out terrifying dreams. But I dream only good things about Esther. I dream that she runs (and then falls, but in the dream it’s not a bad thing somehow). I dream that she breaks out in a full sentence. I dream that she feeds herself.

For another thing, many people I respect feel God telling them things about Esther. One church friend believes she heard God tell her that Esther is very special in His Kingdom. Another church friend hears God telling her that Esther has a connection to Him that we will never fully understand.

For a third thing, Esther herself gets excited when we talk to her about being healed. Of course, I realize she’s only four and very impressionable, but there is something that seems to lights up when we ask her about these things. I want her to know that we pray for her healing and believe she can be healed. We make sure to tell her that even if she’s not healed, we love her and that she is wonderful just as she is.

Here’s a fifth thing: a very close family member says she thinks she heard God tell her that Esther sees angels. Ten years ago, I would have been tempted to leave the room in annoyance, but what difference a decade can make. I asked Esther if she sees angels and she made an excited “squawk”. I asked her to touch one hand for “yes” or one hand for “no.” She took about 20 seconds, but she touched the “yes” hand.

Mostly, I’m sharing this as “evidence” in case there is a day when all of these little signs prove themselves to be actual signs. I don’t know what is in store for Esther’s future. I don’t know for sure if she sees angels or if I was hand-chosen or if she will be healed.

I don’t know what all of this means and where it’s going, but I’m learning to let the future be the future. To be excited by the possibilities, but not controlled by them. To have faith in miracles, but not expect them.

Besides, Esther is already a miracle.

There is something special about her. There just is.

3 thoughts on “Tentative Steps of Faith

  1. My dear dear Heather,
    There are simply not words to describe the emotions I feel by this blog Heather. My life with you from birth and those first years of your life, then elementary and High School, College and meeting Ryan have all made precious memories that I will treasure forever. You have shown what suffering is, and yet, how to be blessed, to grieve and yet believe, to despair and yet have hope, to be heart broken and yet comforted, to be cast down and yet lifted up, to feel forsaken and yet loved and cared for by the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords of this whole universe. You can trust HIM with your future and I am trusting Him for all of you also. Withmyarmswrappedaroundyou.


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