We never really know what life will send our way do we? As a young mom I had no idea when giving birth to my third child—a beautiful baby girl—that thirteen years later I would be launching a ministry for moms who have children with disabilities. God has certainly taken us through some storms, and there were times when I thought I would sink below the waves of fear, doubt and disappointment as I watched my sweet girl struggle. But through every drop of rough water, Jesus—the One who anchors my soul—proved faithful.
I have been blessed with a wonderful family. I have a loving husband, Alex, two handsome boys – Austen, 18, and 14-year-old, JD – and a beautiful little 13-year-old girl named Leanna. They are precious to me, and like any mother my desire has always been for them to be healthy, happy children who pursue God’s purpose for their lives.
I had magnificent plans for all of my children, dreams that were certain to come true. And there were no bigger and more lovely dreams than the ones I had for my precious daughter, Leanna. Many of those dreams, however, had to be eclipsed and altered, some completely surrendered. You see, as time went on, we began to realize that Leanna had a cognitive and learning disability that would limit her future development. Oh, on the outside she is perfect, beautiful, and a glorious addition to our hearts and home, but inwardly, her cognitive development is limited making learning a rigorous challenge for her. I was devastated.
So I began my search … for the right doctor, the right diagnosis, the right medications, the right schools, the right teachers, the right tutors, anything that would make this right. I searched and I searched and I searched for my miracle. I was very acquainted with God, and I knew His capabilities. I knew that without so much as a word, just a thought, He could heal her and make her “perfect.” And that is what I continued searching for –my miracle.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
Now I won’t lie. I would love to be able to tell you that we received my miracle – the one I so desperately prayed for – but we haven’t. What I can tell you is that I’ve witnessed not one, but numerous miracles over the last 13 years of her life. Thanks be to God, He gave me the grace and faith to stop searching for my miracle and look at the provisions He placed in front of us for Leanna along her journey. Leanna is the most passionate individual I have ever met, and she brings more joy to people than anyone I have ever known. She is our ray of sunshine!
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11 (ESV)
I could still be searching for my miracle – the miracle of perfection, normality, and life without a disability. But instead, day by day, with the help of Jesus – the One who anchors my soul – I choose to rest and trust in Him for her life.
Satisfaction, salvation, security, success – these are measured not by how many books one can read, degrees one has, or stellar report cards one receives. They are found in Jesus alone.
So my prayer for my precious Leanna has changed over these years. It has changed from “heal her and take away her disability” to “love her, give her a love for and understanding of You, help others see love and compassion in her, and use her for Your glory.”
You see through the years I've discovered a truth written in the Scriptures that I cling to, and it is my desire to share this truth with you ...
Hebrews 6:19 says it like this, We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
This Hope, this Anchor is Jesus, and in Him we don' t just have to tread water and hope that we can float.
By His grace and with His power, we can walk on water with Him.