I recently took my Gabby girl back to UNC for a follow-up appointment with her orthopaedic doctor.
I swung our 12-passenger van widely to make the turn into the parking space.
“Oops. We can’t park here. This is a handicap spot,” I remarked.
“What is handicapped even for?” she asked.
I began to explain. I began to tell her how much some people struggle to get around…
And then I saw them.
A mom pushing her severely handicapped child. They exited from the front of the building and walked toward us.
“We thought that would be you, Gabby. We didn’t know if you would ever learn to walk, talk, or read.”
Yes, I told her, we fully expected to be the ones parking in that special spot.
Mercy if the tears didn’t threaten to overflow right then and there.
Tears of thankfulness for what He had done.
We didn’t deserve it. We don’t deserve it.
He lavished us with His abundant mercy and grace.
Us, a broken-hearted family in the lowliest of places.
He silenced the electrical storms long enough for her to find her legs to walk.
Long enough for her to figure out her voice to speak.
Long enough for her mind to make sense of the letters and read the words.
I took my child’s hand.
We glided across that parking lot and into the clinic. Not one stride taken for granted.
We saw the doctor after an hour wait, and do you know what he said?
“She looks fantastic. What more could we ask for?”
I was overwhelmed by those words in that moment.
Overwhelmed by how true they rang in my heart.
Overwhelmed by how true they rang in my mind.
Overwhelmed by how truly wonderful He is.
Gabby has been doing fantastic.
We haven’t seen any blinking or suspicious activity since we increased her seizure medication back in January to regain therapeutic levels.
Gabby continues to move forward academically with her reading and math, even her penmanship has improved.
She enjoys sitting wherever she lands to read chapter books for fun.
She continues to strive toward independence with everyday tasks like bathing, brushing hair, and changing out of wet bathing suits.
While we were away this summer Gabby shocked me. She pranced out of the bathroom completely dressed in a clean outfit. I was thrilled. I was overjoyed because I knew only moments before she had entered that changing room in a wet bathing suit and rash guard, something she regularly struggled to remove one-handedly. When I asked her how she had managed such a feat, she said…
“I had this idea in my head that I could surprise you and get myself all changed and dressed without any help.”
I’m still celebrating that moment.
And speaking of celebrations…
Gabby turned 10 last month.
She wanted to go to Build-A-Bear more than anything.
I tried to talk her out of it…
but this girl apparently knows what makes her happy.
Father, what more could we ask for?
You have blessed us tremendously.
Given us so many undeserved gifts.
Our hearts overflow with thankfulness.