Monday, September 4, 2017

Confession: Answered Prayers Sometimes Annoy Me

Photo image courtesy of Michelle Patrick Photography©
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Luke 17:11-19 NIV

If you are like me, then you may have read this passage in the Bible and thought poorly of the 9 people healed of leprosy. How in the world could this miraculous event happen to 10 people but only 1 went back to praise Jesus? What were the other 9 thinking? 

Surely, if I saw a miracle, I would feel nothing but gratitude. Or would I? 

Years ago when my daughter was taking weekly physical therapy and struggling with low muscle tone as a baby, I wanted her to walk so badly. There were a few seasoned moms who told me that when she started walking, I'd change my tune. I assured them that I wouldn't be like that. I prayed for her little steps to come quickly. 

Then Jaycee started to walk around 21 months of age, and I was ecstatic. No more carrying her everywhere! I'd have two arms free all the time! She didn't have to rely on me to move her around too. It was wonderful! 

But then, it happened. Her walk turned into a run. She loved to run, and she did it often. She ran away from me in public as soon as her feet hit the floor. She didn't understand dangers around her or listen when I pleaded with her to stop. Jaycee loved having this new freedom, but I certainly didn't. 

I soon found myself hating the thing that I had wanted to see for so long. I became very annoyed that my daughter was walking, because it opened up new problems for me (and her).

How did I go from praying to praising to being annoyed

Then, there was Jaycee's communication. Jaycee was silent for many, many years. Her Down Syndrome and childhood apraxia of speech severely limited her language and speech development. Jaycee became an avid signer as a toddler, but I couldn't communicate WITH her. She would see a dog and sign "dog." She would see me fix pizza and sign "pizza." Someone would leave and she would say, "bye-bye." These words and signs were precious, but I wanted more. 

My daughter couldn't answer questions. She could not tell me about her school day. She would not use words to request things that weren't already visible. She did not retell events that happened to her. We could not have conversations. These were the things that I wanted to hear her say or even sign. 

In the past couple of years, Jaycee has made some big progress in her language and speech. At age 11 now, she uses sign and words to tell me things she wants to eat or watch on TV, and I love it. I laugh when she signs, "Dog, hit, head," as she recalls smacking her cousin's dog in the head when it was standing in her way. 

Although there isn't yet total verbal communication, she is able to tell me so many things. It is awesome! It also helps us have a stronger relationship as I understand her thoughts and preferences. 

But, then her favorite cousin, Gabby, will take a vacation, which leads to Jaycee signing the same message over and over and over. "Gabby, vacation. Gabby, home?" (As she signs this, she is also trying to say the words using only the vowel sounds.)

"Yes, Gabby is still on vacation. She's not home," I reply.

I think if I said this once, I said it a dozen times. Finally after this conversation circled round and round as I was trying to make dinner, I said, "Jaycee, you know Gabby is on vacation. She's not home. I'm not talking about Gabby anymore! Stop!"

Did I really just say that? Did I sort of tell my newly talking child to be quiet? 

Is this the child that I prayed for God to give speech to time and time again? Did I ask God to help her mouth to have the ability to speak? And am I really telling her to be quiet now?

Lord, help me!

How did I get so far away from my prayers? I should be grateful for these words and communication. I am not responding to her the right way. Instead of teaching her how to end conversations, I just told her to stop talking.

Later, I felt very convicted. God answered my prayers. My daughter who was nonverbal for years is verbal. She is speaking. The thing I honestly lost hope in happening was happening, and God surely had a part to play in that. I shouldn't be annoyed. I should be grateful, happy, and in awe that this moment was here.

What about you? Have you ever lost gratefulness for an answered prayer?  

Let's Pray:

God,
Help me to keep a Heavenly perspective. Let me have an attitude of thankfulness in all the aspects of my parenting. When my child is displaying new skills but not yet understanding how to use them appropriately, help me to have patience with my child. Let me respond to my child with love. Help me to not forget the beauty of these answered prayers, and my child's progress. Amen! 

2 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Evana...this is my life. :) I too have felt that guilt of having to say, "I'm done talking about it!" I had prayed for so many years for her to talk! :) Thanks for being able to relate. xoxo

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    1. Right??!! Such a bizarre time in life when things finally happen and you're on the other side!

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