“Wait! Nina wait!”
I take off running after my daughter.
“I said wait!”
I can hear her giggles, and she has no intention to stop. On the contrary, she runs faster, so I also have to pick up my pace.
We are attending a school field trip, and she stops running when she reaches her friends who wait for us by a large green wagon the farm let us borrow.
When we arrived at the farm, one of the owners approached us and asked if it would be helpful for us to borrow one of their wagons. I was thankful for the offer, as we quickly realized that the terrain was not ideal for my daughter’s walker. I got Nina in the wagon, then I folded up her walker and put it in there, along with my backpack full of water bottles for our little group. The wagon saved her from exhaustion, as there is no way Nina could have walked around the farm for four hours.
Thanks to her fancy ride, when she got down to play she had energy. Enough energy to take off running! She might have an awkward gait, and her knees clank together with every jumpy step, but nonetheless this girl can run and cerebral palsy won’t stop her.
“You little rascal!” I say as I catch up to her just as she falls down besides the wagon in a fit of giggles.
I am laughing too, she is amazing! Once, we thought she would never be able to walk independently, now she is running and her walker is neatly folded up. Thank-you-very-much.
And sometimes it is in the most unexpected places – like a kid farm – that I feel God’s presence and I feel Him whisper, this moment brings me great pleasure. And I don’t know if it is her running, or if it is her accomplishments, or if it is the sight of me running after her, or the fact that one day He will restore her body completely, all I know is that He’s there, and He is smiling down at us, and this field trip suddenly becomes a Holy moment as I feel covered by His presence.
“Mom, I want to go on the swings next!”
“Mom, let’s go feed the goats!”
“Mom, will you go down the big slide with me?”
For a change I suggest we go walk through the tunnels, “And then I can take your picture Nina!”
So she walks into one of the tunnels, barely keeping her balance as the surface is not flat. I wait for her at the end of the tunnel and I can see the sun is bright, so bright. It illuminates her, creating an aura of light around her.
And God whispers to me once more.
You can see her knees are about to buckle, and she is trying so hard, but I am right here. She is mine. I love her. I delight in her. With your help, I will get her through the challenges of life she will face.
So I snap a picture, and I smile. Because I know in this journey of parenting a child with special needs I am not alone either, He is with me, He’s got my back. And sometimes He shows me His love by making Himself undoubtedly present at a field trip, smiling down as I run after my daughter, or by the wondrous display of light through a tunnel.