I climbed in bed with my precious girl, slid over next to her, and waited to see what was on her mind. It wasn't long before she started opening up.
For quite some time now, Sydney has been wanting to learn French. She found an old English to French dictionary I had in high school and, like she does with all books, she devoured it! She wanted more! So, I had started researching some French lessons for this coming school year (quick FYI, we have been homeschooling for over 4 years and absolutely love it). I hadn't yet made a decision on what to order.
Sometimes delaying is a good thing.
Sydney slowly, and with much reservation at first, started to let me know that she felt God was putting something big on her heart. My heart swelled at the realization that she was learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit!! I wanted to get up and dance around the room...but realizing that might be a little over the top, I bravely fought back tears instead, becoming misty-eyed pretty quickly.
As she talked on, I began to realize how much of an impact summer camp had had on her. At camp, she and other girls her age were given the opportunity to hear from different missionaries. One particular missionary couple made a strong impression on her. They had been called to serve deaf people and had even learned how to sign in three different languages! This couple had taught the girls how to sign the entire alphabet.
In the weeks following camp, Sydney went on to tell me that it seemed that she was constantly coming across something having to do with the hard of hearing, whether it was in books, on tv, or in real life. As she recounted the times, I also began to realize how often it was happening. Then she said the words that made me go..."Well, okay then, I guess you need to learn sign language!"
She said, "Mommy, this is not just something I want to do, but something I feel like ...ya know...I need to do. If I learned French, that would just be for fun, but learning sign language would be for God."
(Insert big, beaming smile...annnnnd just go ahead and throw in a happy dance, too!)
I don't care if she ever wins one race, paints one masterpiece, sings like an angel, breaks a world record, or earns a million dollars. I care that she knows how to hear the still, small voice of the Lord and obey it.
So, with that said...my nine year old is now whole-heartedly, one-hundred-percent sold out on learning sign language! She has been watching instructional videos on signing over and over, like it is her job. She is wanting me to find books on the subject. I'm looking for someone to teach her (in real life, not on youtube). We're doing this!!
Because, who am I to say that at the age of nine, my baby girl can't hear the voice of God?
My husband and I have prayed for her. We have instructed her. We have given her tools. Our job is far from over, of course...yet we are realizing that there comes a time to start actively trusting God that the seeds planted are growing up into full maturity.
Seeing wings sprout means it's time to start letting them fly.
Spiritually speaking, I pray Sydney learns to soar far beyond anything I could ever imagine for her. May her wings take her exactly where our Father bids...because, just as with all of us, I know that is the place of His greatest blessing (and consequently, her greatest contentment).
In whatever way He chooses to use it, may her knowledge of sign language and her overwhelming, growing compassion for the hard of hearing, be mightily used for His glory.
"Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Tim 4:12
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With a heart overflowing,