So many things stand out in my memory from that day. Despair, pain, grief, ‘deaf’. And an intense light. The light seemed blinding in the waiting area, the hospital room, the cloudless sky. I remember my irritation at its intensity. Why, on my darkest day, would it be so bright. Why isn’t the rain pouring down. Why, Lord, aren’t you crying, too?
I realize now that I had written the novel of Rhyan’s life long before she was born. My hopes, dreams and expectations of who she would become, not realizing that futures are so fragile. That brittle book fell to the ground that day and shattered next to my heart. The doctor wrote a novel for her, too. His read that Rhyan would never hear, never speak, never sing, never be comforted by my lullaby whispered in her ear. And the pages of that book were torn and set on fire the moment she first heard my voice.
God and God alone is the author of Rhyan’s story. He seared the words onto the pages of her life before He created time. And the ink from Rhyan’s script spilled onto mine and penned my purpose as Rhyan’s Hope was spoken over my heart. It was also used to write a most beautiful chapter for Jillian. Because of you and an extremely generous donation from an anonymous foundation, the necessary funds were raised in Rhyan’s Hope for Jillian to receive her bilateral cochlear implant. On December 16, 2008, Jillian’s story marked another miracle.
Life can be so difficult. Over the past year, I’ve seen so much pain in the lives of those I love. There are those that have been forced to say good-bye in this life to their loved ones, others have seen financial devastation, marriages have been tested and some have failed, and it feels like our world will soon implode. Not long ago, I had a firm grasp on the robe of the Healer, ready to follow where He led. But somewhere over the last months, I’ve let go of His robe and held fast to His hand. It’s only when we focus on the light of His face that the darkness disappears. When we stare into His light, our feet will never shuffle from exhaustion, we will not stumble, we can never fail. And if, for a moment, we glance around us instead of up, and we start to fall, we might loosen our grasp, but His hold will tighten and He will raise us. The brilliant light from that day of Rhyan’s diagnosis was there specifically for this moment in time. So that I can look back and see that it wasn’t my darkest day at all. It was the Lord telling me that He was holding me up in my pain, and we can use our pain to light the way to His will.
We all have a novel. Each of our stories is a page turner, and they are all so very different. But if Jesus holds are hearts, we are certain to all have written in the books of our lives, the very same ending. The very same happily ever after.
This couldn’t have been done without you. You have been there in support, encouragement and prayers, and I love you all so much. Thank you, as always, for allowing yourselves to be written into the story of Rhyan’s life. And now into the story of Jillian’s.