The creak in the floor (the many of them!)... the distant sound of the faucet not fully turned off after a child's rushed attempt at washing his hands before getting back to play time... the gentle whisper of a goodnight prayer tucking babies into bed...
Sound carries so much more than a synapses of information to the brain.
How much of what we hear do we take for granted every moment. Even as I type this, I make a point of listening to the many levels of noise right down to the plunking of my keyboard... the temporary pauses as I think of the right word(s)... and the tiny moments of "checking in" with the sounds to make sure all of them are "normal" (as is "normal" in this house!). What if you were to pause right now and think of all the sounds around you? Has your furnace just kicked in? Is the fan still running in the bathroom? Has someone just turned the page of a book in another room?
With Sivana's hearing loss, I try to ask myself HOW her world is different with an avenue of information coming at her being somewhat obstructed. How much do I depend on my own hearing? And what would I subconsciously depend on without it? What affirmations depend on it? What can replace them? Does she realize that we hear things that she doesn't? Or does she assume everyone hears the way she does?
Our darling Sivana is only two and a half but God equipped her with a persistent and unafraid spirit. There is nothing she cannot do, as she sees it! If her six year old sister and four year old brother are doing it, this means she can do it, too! No questions about it. And if mom won't take the time to show her, she'll just do it herself, mistakes, bumps, bruises and all.
I catch myself struggling with HOW to honour this. She will need this attitude in her life. This will be a strength down the road. But how do I embrace it now when it means prolonging tasks to five times their duration? If lunch is already going to be late, now that she's grabbed her stool and has plunked it on my foot to make sure she's directly in front of what I'm trying to make, I need to call upon God to fill me with His patience and His eyes to see the gift in this moment and not the inconvenience of delaying lunch even further. It is a process for all of us.
We had a CT scan back in December to get a better "picture" of Sivana's inner ear structure. Is her hearing loss structurally based or nerve based? The problem with inner ear hearing loss is that it is considered permanent.
God likes these kinds of words. As a parent, I could do without them, but for God's glory, I say "bring it on!" In moments like these, I say to God "Father, I don't know what your plan is here and I'm having a hard time understanding it... but my whole life, you have known better and your plans have been greater than my wildest dreams, so while I don't understand....I'll (gulp) trust you."
How can Sivana's hearing loss bring glory to God? I don't know, but He does. And that's all that matters. For now, we'll equip her with faith, a foundation of love and trust and do our best to represent authority in a fruitful, life-giving way. Her trust and submission to our authority should pave the way for the trust she can place in God's. If we can prepare her, He will find the right time to work through her. And I know He will.
But these last few weeks, I have observed something I've been afraid to even whisper.
When I go to get Sivana out of bed in the mornings when she is yelling for one of us, I go as quickly as I can before she wakes up Ethan and Anika who are still fast asleep in the room. I have to put my face right in front of hers so she can SEE me sign "shhhhhhh". I have to touch her shoulder for her to realize I am there. But the other morning, the usual creak of the door opening made her sit up in her bed. Could she have heard it?
When I went to pick her up, I had both hands around her so i couldn't sign but I made the "shhhhh" sound without thinking... to which she whispered "be quiet." Is that simply the fruits of routine?
This past week she has been speaking more and we are understanding her! She is trying sounds and words she hasn't tried before. I have been baffled. They had turned up the volume in her hearing aids back in the winter and she refuses to wear them now saying that "pu-po fends hurt eahs." (purple friends hurt ears).
Outdoors is the most challenging. Because there isn't much for sound to bounce off, Sivana's rendered more deaf when we go outside than when we're in a closed in space. She seldom hears when we yell for her. Often times, we're short of firing off flare guns to get her attention!
Just today, Duane and I took the kids outside to see the new lambs being born and the chicks that just arrived and the two week old puppies... a Sabbath family time to enjoy our provisions and God's promise of new life in Spring. Duane was holding Sivana in his arms when she asked him "Whea's airpane?" Duane looked puzzled, strained his ears and realized that far off in the distance, there was a jet plane in the sky.
Sivana heard it when Duane did not!
What is happening with our Sivana's inner ears? Can this be happening? Are we imagining this? I dare whisper these thoughts because there have been too many observations in obvious changes to her hearing NOT to say something!
I will request another hearing test given these new observations and I will be very interested to know the results. Sivana is responding to sound like we've never seen her do before. She has even startled at sounds she never responded to before!
Is God working a miracle in our Sivana? What could we have possibly done to be blessed with such a gift? Even as I type this, my eyes are filling up at the possibility! I know that all things are possible through Christ Jesus, our beloved Saviour... but sometimes I find myself surrendering to the idea that nothing will ever change. And why should they if I lack the faith?
So I have dared to share these observations prior to any real tests. But what I am telling you is that something has changed when it should have been considered impossible. Our little girl hears us when we whisper to her, our goodnight prayers, our messages of "love, love, love Sivana".
Sound is so much more than a synapses of information to the brain... and if miracles had sound to them, I would imagine they would sound something like the sudden whisper of God's word within your ear as though He commanded it to hear Him. Just like that.
With that, my darling beloveds, I reach out to you with a gladness in my heart that words fail to speak for me. Perhaps simply close your eyes and listen, not just to the sounds around you, but to God's voice within you and join with me in the holiness of His will... surrender your understanding and seek past its limitations to the impossibility that is God. Because those are His most glorious moments of revealing Himself to us.
My darlings, He is with us... He is with you. This is my prayer, my heart's petition, that you all may KNOW His presence with you and that you ask Him to give you the eyes to SEE the many ways He reveals Himself to you. Perhaps even in the very simple things we take for granted.
Much love to you all out there... now and always. I will keep you posted on what becomes of this whisper. Pray that we are faithful to His will and diligent in teaching our children to "love the Lord with all our hearts, all our soul, all our strength and all our mind." (Deut 6:5, Luke 10:27, Mark 12:30, Matt 22:37) Mostly, by being examples of this ourselves.
God bless you all!