I’ve sat on this couch just about all week long. Well, except the parts where I was sleeping upstairs or moaning to my husband about how cruddy I feel. The flu and I are not good friends, you see. I hate fevers, chills, and feeling like an invalid. And so I’ve been quite a good little whiner about it.
In between moaning practice, however, I observed something miraculous:
God really does heal people.
I know this because my oft-volatile 8 year old has been my Florence Nightingale this week. Every morning she checked to see if I needed help, and every day after school she sat with me, held my hand and stroked my forehead. She even helped with dinner tonight!
This from a child whose hobby until recently has been melting down at stores and while doing homework. Whose early life in foster care left her deeply troubled and often dangerous to herself and others because of broken attachments.
I have spent thousands of hours working with her at home, hundreds of hours in counseling, dozens troubleshooting behaviors with schools and family friends …countless moments in tears.
I think at some point I decided that I’d still ask God to heal her completely, but that maybe that wasn’t what He thought was best for her. I didn’t understand. I didn’t particularly like it. But I found ways to make peace with it and somehow move on. And off I went, doing things like speaking, writing and helping other people find joy and wholeness, grieving that I could not help my own daughter do the same.
Then, this week, I wasn’t doing much moving-on (or moving) at all, and as I sat still and observed life in my home as a near-outsider (Dayquil will do that to you!) I realized that N wasn’t just getting better, she was just better, period.
She noticed the needs of her younger sisters. She handled the dog with ease instead of obvious anxiety. She offered me help. And thanked people for things. Ideas and feelings that, until recently, only came out in stomps and screaming, found words – intuitive, profound words. Things like “I think my resolution this year is to stop being afraid when I read out loud in class.” Which, even as I write it now, brings tears to my eyes and stops my breath. That my little girl, who was so disconnected from the planet and so emotionally delayed, could come up with that ON HER OWN, changes my entire view of my family. And of my God.
He really does still heal people.
It doesn’t come when we want. Or look like we want. But be certain, the healing is there. And it keeps coming. It’s not over in my daughter’s life, that’s for sure. With her diagnosis of bipolar and ADHD, and her history of attachment disorder, she’s sure to face some hiccups along the way in life. It won’t take away the significance of this moment. And it won’t make it any less precious to me
Take it from this mom, who thought she was cautiously optimistic, but who, in reality, had greatly lost hope.
He really does still heal.
“Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” -Malachai 3:10
Update on New Year’s giveaway: There’s still hope for you to win a copy of Philippe Petit’s fabulous story of vision and courage – The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (children’s book) or Man On Wire (autobiography). Giveaway closes at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) today. Check out Life on a Tightrope for details!