For the past twenty eight years I have worn hearing aids. This is because of the lack of care that I received in the early ages of my life. By the time I was eight years old, I had failed every single one of the hearing tests at school, and finally in my 3rd grade year, the school told my parents that I needed hearing aids.
I remember when I received my first pair, and how strange they were to me. I remember crying, because I was already such an outcast, and now that I have to wear hearing aids on top of that, well it devastated me. I remember going to school that first day, and being made fun of. This would continue on through middle school, high school, and even college. If I am being completely honest, even in my now adult life.
For years now I haven't been able to hear in social settings, or intimate settings. I have missed out on so many things. That is until............. this past Tuesday I was gifted with TWO top of the line hearing aids from one of my soul-sisters.
At the time that she contacted me, it had only been four days since my son's passing. She left me a lengthy voice mail stating that she heard about my need for a new hearing aid, as I had only been wearing one of mine. I was shocked to say the least, and tears streamed from my eyes, as I tracked down my husband to listen to the message with me, as I was so shocked that I couldn't even comprehend, much less hear what she had left on that voicemail.
Three weeks ago I met her at her ENT's office, where I would undergo the most thorough test that I have ever had in my entire life. I received a complete and total workup and exam of my ears, nose, and throat. I was told things that I had never heard before. My experience was not only pleasant but I felt safe and secure. I was so thankful for that comfort that day, as in the past my experiences were not so great.
I then met with the audiologist who tested me in a way that I had never been tested before, and who took her time to explain things in great detail to me. Afterwards she said that she would be making my molds, plural.... molds, I was astonished, and shocked, that I couldn't even speak. At that time it had been three weeks since my son received HIS FATHER'S calling for him to return home. That very thought was weighing heavily on my mind, as she began to show me the many different types of hearing aids that they offer. I was given the gift of choice, so that I could choose which hearing aid I liked best, including the color. I got to choose what features I wanted, and was blown away by the many choices.
Afterwards the audiologist asked me when I wanted to schedule to pick up my new hearing aids. It was then that I broke into tears, and cried so hard, as I knew that when I did pick them up, I will have had to live through another two weeks without my son.
My beautiful, loving, kind soul-sister stepped in at that moment, and took over the scheduling for me. She NOT only came to my first appointment, but she was also there for my second appointment. I was overwhelmed to say that least when I walked back into the office that day, and saw that there were NOT only one hearing aids, but two. It hit me right then and there, that because HE loves me so much, HE was giving me double the blessings.
Back to what I am now hearing. Did you know that water running from the faucet makes a sound? Did you know that your turn signal in your vehicle clicks? Did you know that our ovens, stoves, all of that have beeping sounds? Did you know that if you are like me and haven't heard well in over 28 years that the sound of a flushing toilet can scare you? I can tell you from my experiences from this past week of being able to hear that all of that is true.
Today I am now hearing my children in a way I have never heard them before. Today I am a part of all conversations. Today I no longer have to dread going to the movies, as I will actually be able to hear what is going on without having to interrupt any of my families experience of watching said movie. Today I am hearing sounds, everywhere, and I am hearing the LIFE that is being lived in our home. HE has truly blessed me double for my trouble.
I am already so incredibly overwhelmed by HIS GOODNESS and HIS FAITHFULNESS to me, so when I began to read today's devotional, my mind immediately began to also think of something that HE has placed on my heart. I'm not even sure how to explain how HE has been working in mine and D's heart about being open to receiving HIS blessings. I guess I will start from the beginning of our walks with HIM.
It was in the 2nd year of our Redemption that HE placed it heavily on our hearts, that our children were NOT our own, but rather HIS. Not only that, but HE was the one WHO knew how many children we would have. Now for D and I we felt as if though after our third daughter we were done, however, HE had much bigger plans. Not only would we have one son, but we would be blessed with two sons. Sadly, part of that plan was that one of our sons, HIS son would be called home, but NOT before teaching all of us about HIS love, HIS HOPE, and HIS joy, through HIS ultimate gift of HIS son of LIGHT that HE blessed our family with.
In losing our gift of LIGHT, our world turned very dark, but all was NOT lost, in it a NEW HOPE was born, and transforming of minds came about. It was on the fifth day of losing our son, that D and I would celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. We were sitting at a table in our favorite restaurant, shocked, heartbroken, feeling so completely and utterly shattered. Desperately trying to hold it all together, to get through a meal together without bursting into tears. It was then that D looked into my eyes, reached his hand across the table and took mine into his and said, "Do you think GOD will bless us with more children? Do you SEE us having more children?" I did I double take as I couldn't believe what I was hearing, as I had been feeling for months that HE was preparing me to have more children, but D was so against it. Stating that we couldn't possibly provide for, much less care for another child. However in my heart, I knew, I knew that HE was preparing me.
With this NEW HOPE that HE placed deep into each of our hearts, we began to pray about what this means for our family. We shared what GOD had placed on our hearts with our children to which they replied, "Finally!!! We would love to have two babies!!!" It was then that our precious four began to pray for the two babies, double babies, that HE would bless us with. If those prayers weren't enough, HE placed two names, double, on our hearts, Joel and Joy. Not really understanding WHY, HE knew, HE was in the details and led me straight to HIS word, where I would fully understand WHY Joel and Joy were placed so heavily on our hearts. To say that I was astonished doesn't even begin to cover it.
HIS word that HE led me to said:
"Rend your heartReturn to the your God,slow to anger and abounding in love,Who knows? He may turn and relentgrain offerings and drink offerings for the Joel 2:13-14 your God."
To put it another way, The Message Bible says:
"Change your life, not just your clothes.And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.This most patient God, extravagant in love,Who knows? Maybe he’ll do it now, Maybe, when all’s said and done,
I can tell you that in the moment of losing our son, D and I knew that he was with HIM. We knew what we needed to do and that was PRAISE HIM. That is why all I could do during our long goodbye with our son, I didn't cry, rather I PRAISED HIM for HIS GOODNESS, HIS FAITHFULNESS, HIS BLESSING of our precious children, HIS precious children. In our sadness all we could do was PRAISE, had back our precious son to OUR loving HEAVENLY FATHER, trusting and BELIEVING that he would be taken care of, that he would be loved, even more than he was on this earth with us.
Through our sorrow we have found a deep resolve that because HE loves us HE blessed us with our son. We are thankful that through HIS teachings, we have learned that through true repentance comes forgiveness through HIS love for us. Not only that but healing, and with healing, comes freedom, and through freedom comes total and complete and amazingly overwhelming HIS true JOY.
I am so overwhelmed daily by how deeply loved I am. I am overwhelmed at just how far HE will go to ensure that I am hearing HIM, by blessing me with two, double hearing aids so that I will be able to hear HIS teachings at bible study, and at church. That HE would bless me with be able to hear the hearts of others, and be able to speak HIS truth, speak LIFE into this broken and fallen world. I am so incredibly thankful that I have been chosen to live this life, just the way I have been living it. I am thankful that NEVER ONCE have I ever walked alone in this journey towards wholeness. I am thankful that even in our deep sorrow, HIS HOPE, HIS JOY, is there, and I SEE it because I SEE HIS light shining to show me in which way I need to walk. With HIM teaching, leading, and guiding me I am learning that HE will do what HE says HE will do!
Today I am trusting HIM, with everything! Today I am BELIEVING in HIS promises to me that HE will give me double for my trouble. Today I am standing firm in my FAITH and declaring that I BELIEVE in JOEL and JOY, and through HIS timing and provision we will SEE and receive double for our trouble.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, if you don't know by now, let me tell you, you are all so deeply loved by HIM. I pray today that HE will reveal HIMSELF to you in a way that you will have NO doubt that it is indeed HIM. I pray that you will feel HIS presence, and feel HIM wrap HIS loving arms around you in your time of need. I pray that you will come to know HIM, and SEE HIM as the ONE WHO LOVES, and KNOWS you the best. I pray that your confidence in this world diminishes and that your confidence in HIM grows stronger by the minute. I pray today that you will have the courage to lay down your burdens, hurts, and pains and allow HIM to take them from you. I pray today that you will repent, receive HIS gift of forgiveness, so that HIS healing will be poured into your lives. I pray that in receiving HIS healing you will be set free from the bondage's and lies that have kept you locked up in your own prison without a key. I pray today that is the day that you will start living your life as HE has always intended by experiencing HIS true JOY. Today I pray that you will trust and know in choosing to HOLD FAST that HIS help is on the way, and HE will give you double for your trouble.
Much love, fervent prayers, compassion, grace, and understanding,
Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,