It is always good to look back and see the road that one has traveled. It is actually a biblical concept –
“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. (Jeremiah 31:21)!
As I was looking back over the road I have traveled this morning, 4 years ago on this day, Giovanna and I were at the Shriner’s hospital for Children preparing to have her first set of fixators taken off of her left leg and foot. She had a bad infection that we were keeping an eye on, plus going through the pre-op appointments so that the fixator could be removed a few days later. Giovanna was smiling throughout the very long morning.
It is good to have a record of what God was doing in her – the physical process of correcting her legs and feet so she could walk normally as well as what He was doing through her as she ministered to others. She has a way of lighting up a room and inspiring others as she “joyfully” works through the hard process of surgery after surgery. Seeing a petite little girl walking and swimming with her fixator challenged a 15-year-old to try harder!
Now on the other side of these surgeries, it has made a big difference in her ability to walk, run, dance and be very active. Now her challenges are not so much physical. She now struggles with learning. Her brain has been knit together in such a way that it takes her a bit longer to learn and retain the information. This is much harder to overcome and can be extremely frustrating at times for her. With the physical, once you learn to walk or run, it just gets easier. One doesn’t have to “re-learn” it every day. The academics in life is not so easy. Once you learn something, you need to remember it and then build on it in the next stage. This can be difficult for someone who is non typical neurologically.
However as I listened to her “dictate” a blog post for her sister’s blog, I was amazed at how much clearer her speech has become. She no longer struggles as much to get her words out and while her grammar is still very much Chinese, she is using complete sentences! So not all of her sentences make sense and as she continued, she became a little silly! What a joy to listen to her laughing as she was dictating her post! There were days when this seemed impossible! God has been faithful and has done an amazing amount of work in this little one!
Now she is super excited about learning! She is reading almost everything and only stumbles on the longer words. She is also very excited about learning to write in cursive! Thanks to a friend, there is a website that I can make worksheets for her. She has practiced her letters, some words and now is working on sentences and phrases like “Happy Valentine’s Day!”
My heart is full of thankfulness to see where she is today. It has been a very long and hard road, but to hear her today as she was talking made this mom’s heart beat a little faster. It also found me praising God for the miracles that he is bringing about in her life.