A few years ago I took a test that was based off the book, The5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (wonderful book by the way). According to this test, the top way I receive love is by Words of Affirmation, which comes as no surprise to me or anyone that knows me. I always have something to say and love engaging in meaningful conversations. So as you can imagine, it has been particularly difficult for me to have a child, who is non-verbal with no real guarantee that she will ever really talk or truly comprehend what I’m telling her.
As a mom, to hear the words “I love you” or “Mama” come out of your little ones mouth for the first time is truly music to the heart. Life becomes easier as a child begins to communicate their feelings and it also becomes quite hilarious as they start expressing their opinions on the things around them.
Having the ability to communicate is so important to our very existence. Words are powerful instruments in that they posses the ability to both build up and tear down.
“I love you” has the power to take a relationship to the next level, and people stand before family and friends, proclaiming their love and sealing it with an “I do”. Christ not only spoke the world into existence, but it continues to speak to the world through His Word, the Bible. The ability to communicate is what unites and binds people together. It not only relates information, but is the tool we use to affirm one another.
Not being able to hear Gi call me “mommy” or tell me how much she loves me stings like an open wound, particularly because I am such a verbal person (not that it would sting any less if I wasn’t).
But as I stress about the fact that she doesn’t communicate and our unknown future, I become discouraged – heavy hearted. But as all clichés are founded on truth, I’m reminded of a sweet one which goes “Actions speak louder than words.”
I’ve been worried about her lack of language and forgetting the ways she DOES communicate with me. Like how she stares at me intently when I’m talking to others or how she smiles when I make silly faces at her. I can walk into the room and if she takes one look at me, she starts to wiggle towards me. When it comes to bedtime, she has to have one hand on my chest in order to fall asleep. She needs the reassurance that I am beside her. She has what we call “mommy-itis”, and to most moms it would be a headache, but to me it’s become reassurance that she loves and needs me.
The way she looks at me, with her tiny little smirk, renders me helpless in love.
I do not know what the future holds, and we are doing everything we can to integrate language anyway possible. All I can do is trust that God is with us. You see, I haven’t read the ending to my story to see how everything ends up working out. I’m still living in it and trying to do my best. Wish I could say that I have come to terms with EVERYTHING going on, but that would be a lie. I’m learning and have to still be reminded over and over again that God is in control, because this is hard.
The peace I have in my heart right now is that although she may not speak (now), she shows me in volumes that she loves me. Her heart speaks directly to mine, with no language barriers, with no disability.
She is mine and I am hers and she knows it. I know it and I can’t let myself forget it.