Prayers for Valerie – Team Isaiah

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As you know, we are reading every email that comes to us. The below email came to us from Charlotte Ennis in Maryland regarding her daughter, Valerie, now 13 years old. I hope you are touched by her words as you go about your day today, remembering that ALL our flaws our beautiful. God bless you.
Michelle & Paul,

You don’t know me, but I was watching golf today and heard about your son, Isaiah.  They said that he is home now, and I was happy to hear that.

I have a daughter with Down Syndrome.  Her name is Valerie and she will be 14 in February.  I thought I’d send on an article I wrote about it.  We learned that she had Down Syndrome when I was five months pregnant, so it wasn’t a surprise to us when she was born.  Still, it tested my faith.  Now, our family has come to see that God knew exactly which child to send to us, and that she was exactly what we needed.

Please just pray that God will continue to use Valerie, and other people like her, to show Himself to the world.  Our God does not do things the way we would – and aren’t we glad (eventually)?

I hope you will be encouraged by the article.  Meanwhile, it sounds like it will be a while until things get sorted out and become “normal” again for your family.  You’re in the deep end of the pool now, but God will teach you not only to tread water, but to swim. You will grow in amazing ways if you embrace the process, like it sounds like you are doing.  I’m praying that you and your family will be able to rest in the grace given for today!  We’re also praying that your son grows stronger and stronger.

~ Charlotte Ennis

PictureValerie, courtesy of her Mom, Charlotte.

written by Charlotte Ennis

I could tell the moment I held her that she was different.  She felt soft and limp instead of strong and wiggly like my other children.  I searched her face for the signs of Down Syndrome the doctors had said I would find.  They were all there -  a short, thick neck, tiny ears, and slightly slanted eyes with lashes that lay on her flat cheekbones as she slept.  I gently ran my fingers down her abnormally short thighs and over the unusually large gap next to her big toe.  Yes, she was different, and I knew in that moment so was I.

“Did God know what he was doing?” I wondered for the thousandth time.  Harsh questions marched across my mind mocking my attempts to understand.  My sleepy baby girl was not like everyone else and never would be. 

My nurse opened the door. As she took my blood pressure I asked, “Is it hard to see babies born like this?”

“Like what?” she replied.

“Well, you know . . . not right.”

She paused a moment, then spoke softly, “I have a daughter with Russell-Silver Syndrome.  It affects how she looks.  She’s had to have shots every day of her life.  She’s thirteen now.  Yesterday, when I was giving her her shot, she asked me why God had made her like that.”

“What did you say?” I blurted out anxiously, knowing I would be asked a similar question someday.

“I told her the truth.”

“But what did you say, exactly?” I pressed, trying to figure out how a mother tells a child that when she was made God somehow didn’t. . . what?

“I told her that God’s word says she is fearfully and wonderfully made to bring glory to Him.  We may not understand that completely now, but someday we will.  Right now, it is enough to know God says it’s true.”

She smiled and smoothed my hair.  “You’ll see.”

After she left, I opened my Bible to Psalm 139:14.  I had read that verse many times, but never more intently than in that moment.  Now, I did begin to see.  In my heart I had added a word to that scripture.  The word was “unless.”

Tears that I could no longer hold back began to run down my face.  In my heart, Psalm 139:14 had said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made unless . . .”

Unless you have Down Syndrome, or Russell-Silver Syndrome, or you are an unwanted gender, or not athletic, or not pretty, or unless something else.  I began to see that a perfect God does not draw lines like that with His children.  We poor, blind sinners draw those lines.

My daughter stirred and opened her eyes.  I could see tiny gold flecks rimming her brown eyes like little stars.  The doctors call them Brushfield Spots, and they usually occur in people with Down Syndrome.  I had thought that they were flaws.  Slowly I began to see that they were beautiful.

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