Listen to me.
I hear the words every day..in countless ways.
I say the words every day...in countless ways.
"Listen to me." My body language says that as I walk into the surgery center. I have had enough negative experiences that I come on guard...ready to advocate. My child may look "normal" at first glance. But he is not. His ADHD, FASD and anxiety are always there-- underlying everything he does and everything his says. The look of panic in his eye, the fidgety body, the silly talk..it says "listen to me." It says it loud and clear.
Kaden is almost 7 years old. Yesterday he had dental work under anesthesia--fillings, caps, extractions. He can't sit still for x-rays. His anxiety gets in the way. The nurses and doctor listened to him, they listened to us. They didn't fight him to put on the hospital pajamas...they listened. His sensory issues make it painful for him to switch into clothes that do not feel right. They stopped to listen. It made all the difference. Kaden was heard. We were heard. It was a good day.
I am learning that speaking is only a small part of communication. I want to hear what my kids are not saying. The withdrawal, the acting out, the screaming, the silence. They shout "listen to me" even if they have no words to tell me what is going on inside of me. Listen to me...
I want to hear their frustration, their fears and their dreams. So often, in our world, we are so busy. We only take the time to hear what is said out loud..and even then, we rush others along to spit out the words. Moments of silence, while my kids process what was just said and what they want to say, make people uncomfortable. They try and fill the gap. They talk...and don't listen. They often are trying to help.. I've done it too. One thing I have learned is that my kids have profound observations and insights that get missed every day because no one has taken the time to really listen.
I want to listen. I want them to know that God is listening...to every thought, every struggle, every fear.
We have two children who will never speak. But they communicate volumes. The look my sweet Isaac gives me each morning at 4am makes getting up at 4 am worth it every day. He adores his family..that is very clear. And we can not get enough of him...his smile, his beautiful eyes draw us in...he reflects the light of Christ in His eyes..and it makes us slow down, and listen to he wants to share.
And then there is Aaron. The joy that Aaron shares...the crazy humor that flows from him, the little concern he shows for anything but people..we have so much to learn from what he doesn't say. If we take the time to listen.
Listen to me. I am scared. I am overwhelmed. I am blessed. I am humbled by those who take the time to listen to me. It is a gift that gives more than just about any other. We need others to stand alongside of us as we face these next months. Do you see us? Do you hear us? We need you.. we all want to be heard...but I want to be a listener...of the soul.
I hear God saying the same words to me, "Listen to Me. I have so much to say to you. But you run so fast...you think you know what I am going to say and you don't take the time to hear that I may be telling you something so unexpected. You miss out on such blessings because you forget to stop. You forget to listen...sometimes you are afraid of what I may say or what I may ask of you. Don't run from My words because you are afraid. What I have to say to you is all that you need...I have listened to the cries of your heart. I am listening to you now...the words you can express and the words you can not. Come sit with me and listen to Me. And I will give you rest."