Lately I’ve been finding myself especially grateful for Anne’s words.
A friend of mine graciously stayed with our kids recently so Eric and I could go out to celebrate my birthday (yes, Happy Birthday to me :). When we got home, my friend said, “I had no idea Anne talked herself to sleep!” It’s true. I actually have never considered how strange this is!
Sometimes she talks to Kate; sometimes she talks to herself, but every night she giggles and sighs and in the quiet darkness, she is lulled to sleep by the sound of her own voice. It reminds me that her voice is a gift.
It was the first part of her brain to switch back “on” after the accident. She barely had the ability to move her right index finger, but she could talk. Her eyes were fixed, un-moving, but she could talk. Even now, her vocabulary, sentence structure, reasoning and conversation skills are her strength and she daily uses this gift to bless others.
Lately, Anne has been even more discouraged about her physical disability. She wants independence so badly. She also struggles with watching her independent family carry on their independent lives around her. She complains, “Why can’t I walk? I’m tired of this stupid brain injury. When will it go away, Mama? Why doesn’t anyone pay attention to me? Nobody loves me.”
I’m so grateful that Anne is able to communicate her deepest needs and longings to us. The beauty of Anne’s ability to utter words is that she is also able to absorb words. And she absorbs them deeply, so my answers to her, the words I speak to her, have power. So before I answer her, I pray. I need God’s words, not my words.
Anne. Listen to me. God has given you a gift. A very important gift. He has given you the gift of words. Everyday I watch you bring joy to others through your words. You will have to fight to overcome your brain injury for a very long time. But God uses your brain injury to bring joy to others. You are a treasure.
The word, “treasure,” was the word Anne needed to hear. She repeats it daily. “I am a treasure, mama. God thinks I’m treasure.”
Words. They are so important. Lately, I’ve been praying for God to show me how to use my words more effectively for Him. I recently shared Anne’s story with Kat Lee, the founder of the Inspired to Action podcast. If you’ve never heard me talk about the gory details of the accident, I share that story along with how God’s presence was so palpable both during and after the accident. I also talk about Anne’s gift of words and ways to help moms of special needs kids. It’s so easy for me to be careless with my words! But I pray that my words in this podcast reflect God’s goodness and faithfulness.
11 thoughts on “The Power of Words”
Words ARE so powerful! I have been blown away for years now by Anne’s incredible gift of language. She definitely bears the image of both our God and her mama in her gift of words!
May God’s words bring hope to you, as you masterfully bring hope and peace to this sweet little girl every day!
Loved the podcast. Bless you, Kathryn. Mary Ellen
So glad you were able to listen, Mary Ellen!
For many with brain injuries, words are the last to come back, if they do at all…..so yes, this is a HUGE gift in the midst of exhausting, frustrating, challenging, patience-demanding stuff!
Yes, Anne, you are indeed a Treasure.
Mom, as always, Thank you for sharing.
I love you Kathryn…..
We love you too, Alice!
Most people go through they’re daily live uttering words and they have no idea who or how they are influencing! Choose your words carefully! You just don’t know who you might be a help to!
God has blessed me through your words of Anne through this journey. I’m thrilled that God has blessed Ann with words and the ability to express her feelings. She doesn’t have to keep them all bottled up inside, like some of us choose to do.
Came to your blog through Inspired to Action – and am so glad I did.
As an adult, I am also a TBI survivor as a result of a car accident, so I can identify with Anne in many ways, and loved being able to see things from my family’s perspective through you and your gift of writing.
Thanks for sharing, thanks for caring, thanks for loving – you truly are the hands and feet of Christ when you minister to your daughter, and through that, minister to the world around you by your testimony.
May our sovereign God continue to grant you His grace moment by moment as you depend upon Him!!
Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I’ve never heard from an adult survivor of TBI, so your post was especially meaningful to me! Thank you so much!!!!