Different

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.

Nora didn't like those pesky electrodes!
Nora didn’t like those pesky electrodes!
Mommy holding Nora, getting comfy for the long ABR test
Mommy holding Nora, getting comfy for the long ABR test
Daddy and Nora at the audiologist
Daddy and Nora at the audiologist
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6 thoughts on “Different

  1. Will be praying for your beautifully different baby girl. “For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

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  2. My name is Texas. I knew you when you were a little girl. I’m very impressed with your blog. You did an excellent job of being authentic, and drawing your reader into the moment. Way to go. I am also a writer. On my a radical difference FB page, I do a word of the day for each day. I had just finished tomorrow’s word when I decided to surf around FB and happened along your blog. When I read it, I realized this word is for you and your daughter in the future. Here it is.

    6-10-15
    W.O.D. -Word of the day
    Support
    G.O.D. -Good orderly direction
    Stop beating yourself up. My love for you finds no fault. I am able to equip you to overcome every adversity. Your faith gains strength, when your confidence is unshakable. I can handle anything, so welcome, and rest in my support. All of the battles you face are meant to end in reward. Don’t trust your shallow view. You won’t believe what I’m really up to. Trust Me, I got this.
    S.O.D. -Scripture of the day
    1 Peter 5:10 VOICE
    After you have suffered for a little while, the God of grace who has called you to His everlasting presence, through Jesus the Anointed will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you.

    I have learned the hard way that everything you go through, brings you to exactly where God wants you. Rest assured, God will use this small issue to develop phenomenal things in her. Things that could not be done any other way. Celebrate the fact that His grace brought you such great news. She CAN hear. Thank you Lord.
    I want to be the kind of woman who remains excited about what God is doing. Hearing God speak through you in your blog, is just the beginning of what He’s going to accomplish through this unfortunate situation.
    I speak blessings over your family, and ask that God tunes your daughters heart to hear Him clearly.

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  3. Beautiful and heartfelt words that are backed with faith and e love you have in our amazing God! You’re going to be a fantastic mommy…. Just like yours! That’s one lucky little girl.

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  4. My name is Nicole. My son is on your dad’s basketball team at GCHS. I spoke with your dad a few days ago and yesterday was able to speak with your mom for awhile also. I asked her to please give you my email address. Please use it and email me with questions anytime even small ones. I know you must have a ton. I have a son and a daughter who are both hard of hearing. I got teary eyed when I read your blogs. I have felt all the same emotions that you are feeling. When they told me in the hospital that my daughter didn’t pass the test, I cried. Even having a son at home that is hard of hearing didn’t make it any easier. No one wants their child to have to deal with any more struggles than life will already be throwing at them. I am here to tell you that it will be ok. Your daughter will struggle as my kids have but with your love and support she will soar. My kids have definitely had to work harder at everything that they do but I honestly feel that it has made them better people. They both do great in school and in sports and are both happy well adjusted children. My son plays basketball and I often wonder in amazement how he can keep up with the other kids. He can’t hear all that the coaches are saying, he can’t hear when a player in running up behind him or when a whistle is blown but he somehow is able to do it. I think it forces him to be more aware of what is going on at all times. My daughter is a cheerleader and last season she cheered competitively. She may not have been able to hear that first music note as all the other girls did but she was able to start on time and be as good if not better than the other girls out on that big stage. My kids have never had an issue with being made fun of for their disability. I don’t know what the secret is in that but maybe it is because we don’t let their disability be a huge issue. And also that they a nice to others so they get treated that way in return? Your daughter will have kids ask her about her hearing aids but she has to be confident and just answer the questions that the kids may have. My daughter used to bring a book and read it to the class at the start of every school year and answer any question that the kids may have. My kids are normal, happy, smart, athletic kids that happen to have a disability. They work hard to make that disability not hold them back. I know your daughter will do the same. Your daughter will struggle and you will help her with her struggles and one day you will watch her shine on the court or stage and you will have tears of joy and pride in your eyes. My kids amaze me with their accomplishments and your daughter will too! I still have questions and fears for my kids. How will they do in college and big lecture hall classrooms? How will my daughter be a mom one day and be able to hear her kids cry when she doesn’t have her hearing aids in? But we love our kids and we learn as we go. I will be there to help my kids when they need me and to sit back and watch them when they do things on their own. You and your husband will do all of that for your daughter as well. Please email me. I would love to talk with you. I certainly don’t have all the answers but I have been through what you are going through now and can possibly lend some support. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful!

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