Micaela quickly lost her cool. She held her hand out to the shelves of toys and made frantic noises.
I could guess what she was after. The school bus, a current favorite, perched out of reach. I asked her, “Do you want the bus, Micaela? Bus?” I said the word, exagerating the “B” sound beginning. It was a word she could almost imitate. “Bus?”
Micaela’s eyes widened. She whined, reaching her hand upward.
Part of me wanted to give in. I could pick up the bus, set it down in front of her, and she would be mostly happy for a while.
But, she needs to speak.
It took five more minutes before Micaela finally opened her mouth and tried to say the word.
These are painful days. We know Micaela is working on talking, so we have to give her ample opportunity to work on new words. It is hard for me. As her caretaker, I know her every mood and expression and can accurately guess what she needs or wants. But, if Micaela is going to grow, she needs to start using her voice.
Parenting is often challenging and frustrating, but I love how much I learn about my Heavenly Father in this season.
I too have had to learn to speak and find my “voice” when talking to God.
For a long time, I prayed to God saying words that I believed He wanted to hear. I was more concerned with how I appeared to Him than I was about having a true connection. How silly, God saw it all anyways. When I finally took off that mask and prayed to Him with an open heart, my words often tumbled into incoherent rambles. Today, I love praying with Him. It is sweet conversation with a loving father, an understanding friend, and a generous wise teacher.
God had to push me to find that voice. He had to hold back some of His peace and joy, challenging me to come to Him without a mask and use words meant just for Him.
We’ve got a long road ahead of us with Micaela. Her brain injuries were severe in areas involving speech and muscle control, but she cannot improve without us pushing her forward. Just as we will never find ourselves in true communication with our Heavenly Father until we throw off the masks and give Him an open heart and mind.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Do you ever feel like you are holding back your true voice from God?
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"...and God was already there with me."