First of all, thank you (*note: this is not a polite “thanks,” this is a deep, teary, scratchy “thank you“) for all of the kind comments and prayers. They have meant the world to a scared new mommy who believes in the power of prayer. I believe that God listens and answers, and He did.
We took Eleanor to the audiologist last Thursday for the second time, and she had an Auditory Brain Stem Response test (ABR) to gauge the severity of her hearing loss. She sat in my arms for an hour with electrodes taped to her little head and ear monitors stuffed inside her tiny ears while the technician graphed her brain’s response to sound. After the test, we were told truly amazing news: Nora has only moderate hearing loss, which means that she will be able to hear normally with the help of hearing aids. My initial response was: “HOORAY! My daughter will hear!” But then we were escorted to a smaller office and for the next hour were given more information than I could handle. We were shown hearing aid models, given packets of info, warned of the possibility of progressive hearing loss, and provided a run-down of the seemingly endless audiologist appointments in our near future.
After we left the doctor’s office, (I basically ran out) I took a deep breath of fresh air and the let the tears flow. Part of me was so grateful that God answered our prayers in the form of tiny pieces of technology, but the other part of me was asking questions a mile-a-minute, Will she notice she’s different? Will she be made fun of in her classes at school? Will she be self-conscious of her hearing aids?
Guys, middle school sucks. Kids are mean. I was made fun of in middle school and I didn’t even have hearing aids (although I did have huge hair and knobby knees). Sadly, all my ungrateful heart could think about was how terrible middle school would be for Nora.
Then this morning as I was drinking my coffee and praying for the Lord to give me comfort about Nora’s hearing aids, I felt the Lord whisper to my soul, Darling, didn’t you pray for ‘different?’
I had to laugh. It’s true– how many times have I laid hands on my pregnant tummy and on my sleeping baby girl praying for the Lord to make her “different?” I have prayed for God to make Nora wiser than her peers, more modest and gentle than the woman of today, strong enough to stand for Truth in a society that hates it, brave enough to fight for those who are bullied, more passionate about Jesus than I am…indeed, very “different” from the rest of the world. Physically, yes, she will be ever-so-slightly different from the other kids; but my dream for her is that spiritually and emotionally she will be much more noticeably so.
As her parents, we will do everything we can to teach her to be polite and obedient and compassionate and kind. But only Christ can give her “the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4)– that’s not something we are born with, folks. My prayer is that she will always carry with her joy in the Lord, compassion for others, and confidence in herself…and that the other middle school kids (I’m clearly really fixated on middle school) will see those qualities that are slowly but surely disappearing from our society and say, “What makes you different?” and that my daughter will not answer, “Well, ya see, I’ve got this hearing impairment…” but rather she will gently say, “I’m different because of Jesus. Let me tell you about Him.”
I realize now that God is preparing us for the fact that Nora may never fit in. But will it be because of her hearing impairment? Nope.
I have prayed it, and God has been so faithful to answer my prayers.