Fifteen and one-half years ago God decided that I needed a little spice in my life! She has been adding flavor to my life in fifty-one varieties ever since! Allow me to describe a few of those flavors to you.
Flavor of Strong Will: When she was just a baby, she would have these screaming fits. She would writhe in unbearable pain. It was heartbreaking. We carried her to one doctor, who referred us to another. Eventually, we wound up at Egleston's Children's Hospital in Atlanta. The only way to find out what was causing the pain was an endoscopy. I will never forget the doctor's response when she came to talk with us afterwards. "Well, maybe she is going to be the first female president." They could find nothing wrong.
She got really good with her little "fits" as she became a toddler. She quickly realized that when she fell down and threw her head on the floor, it hurt. So she would scream, fall in the floor, but stop when her head was about six inches away from hitting. She would gently it lay down and then go back into the "fit." That's my girl! One time she was saying her prayers at night. They went something like this: "Dear God, I am sorry that you made me have a fit today." Then she opened one eye and peeked at me. "Well, I guess He didn't make me have the fit." She closed her eyes. "Dear God. I am sorry that I had a fit today."
There was Easter season when Anna decided that she was going to give up fits for Lent. She was probably about eight. The idea was all hers. We were so excited! Needless to say, that didn't go too well for her. It lasted all of about four hours. You know, sometimes a girl just has to have her fits!
Flavor of Laughter: Without a doubt that girl has made me laugh! She continues to do that until this very day. She is so quick witted. You have to always be ready because you never know what she is going to come up with next. I was sitting with her one night in church when she was about six. Just as her dad was beginning the sermon, she piped up and started singing, "I don't want no scrub, A scrub is s guy that can't get no love from me, Hanging out the passenger's side of his best friend's ride, tryin' to holla at me." As I said, you never knew what would happen.
She does this "Granny from the Bronx" voice that cracks me up every single time that I hear it. I never know when this voice will surface! Many times she has used her laughter to help me feel better. It truly is a gift from God for this special girl. She never uses it to make fun of people, only to brighten the days of others! I thank God for that gift that she shares with me.
Flavor of Compassion: On a more serious note this child has one of the strongest gifts of compassion that I have ever seen in anyone. Everything she feels, she feels deeply and passionately. She will cry for hours if she sees a dead kitten by the road. There have been so many times that she has come home from school concerned about a student in her class that she thought was mistreated. If she thought you needed it, she would give you the shirt off her back.
However, because Anna feels things so deeply, the last few months have been especially difficult for her. My prayer is that in the years ahead, she will be able to use her journey to help others. I know that she has a special purpose on this earth. No doubt she is hurting now. But she is learning how to deal with the hurt and lean on God and friends to get through it. I believe with all my heart that while she is experiencing this pain for a season, God is going to use what she learns through it to help so many people in the future.
My good friend wrote a poem for a student who was struggling. It expresses the idea of God's using the pain we now feel to help others in the future. I want to dedicate it to my baby girl. I know that one day God will take the pain she now feels and eclipse it with love so that she can be a dreamgiver to others.
A Paladin’s song
Dream, my child, dream
Of the searching eyes longing for hope
Of the wounded hearts that you help heal
Of the broken lives mended by your care
Enemies knowing fear will flee
Your pain, eclipsed by love
Hate gives way to friendship
Dream, my child, dream
Of a bastion of love in the sea of suffering
Of a lighthouse of hope piercing the cruel darkness
Of a warm home and a good meal
Hatred's rushing waves will weary
Your path, filled with turmoil
Death gives way to life
Dream, my child, dream
Not of fame or fortune
Not of romance or comfort
Dream to be a dreamgiver
Heroes fighting on will inspire
Your hope, changed their course
Emptiness gives way to love
Take the sword from the stone
Feel the Source flow through
And fight to defend the victims of hate
This blog has been read, edited and approved by my daughter!