Today starts Down Syndrome Awareness month. As part of my dedication to raise awareness about Lydia and others like her, I thought I would share lessons that she has taught me. I don't want to focus on anything other than who she is. I want to push aside all of the stereotypes and negative things and just focus on the pureness of who she is. She is much more than her diagnosis, she is much more than 47 chromosomes, she is much more than any physical defect or cognitive delay could describe. She is a human being, a beating heart, a caring mind, a real hug, a true friend, a loving daughter, a crazy little sister, joy wrapped in a smile that will light a room.
The first lesson that she has taught me is the power of prayer. While I have believed in Jesus and I have gone through many of the emotions and rituals, she has truly taught me what it is like to pray. She has taught me that prayer is a powerful thing in more than one way. It is the connection with my Father, and it is a lifeline that is essential to my life. Prayer gives hopes and takes away worries.
When we found out at 20 weeks that there may be a diagnosis of Down syndrome, it was not a huge deal. While yes, there were tears, we were ready, we were excited. We were worried about her health, but I don't think it ever really sank in. After this finding, the prayer bike was made famous! I had been biking every day and that is when I prayed. However, the prayers got longer and longer and the bike seemed as though it was only about 5 minutes rather than 30 minutes.
It was in these quiet moments that I had time with God to just pour my heart out. I remember praying "God just let our baby be healthy, but ultimately it is Your Will." I remember feeling such a peace about our new journey that we may or may not be taking. They were quiet moments that were preparing my heart, teaching me how important this lifeline would be for me.
Then, at 33 weeks when we found out some of the medical complications, when they had to do the amniocenteses and there were risks that I would deliver early; this is where prayer was my everything. When the situation is so large and you are unsure of how to make your next move, when you don't even know what the next step may be, prayer is there. miracles happen when you are faithfully down on your knees.
We saw miracle after miracle happen. While our prayers were not usually answered the way that we had wanted them to be answered, they were answered in much powerful ways. See when you pray, you open your heart and pour out everything to God. He knows best for your life. He will direct your steps, keep you from stumbling. Prayer will calm you knowing you are in relation with your Heavenly Father.
Prayer is a powerful thing. On days of surgeries, we knew we were covered in prayer from miles and miles around. Those prayers were wrapped around us and felt. Those prayers held us in some of the deepest darkest moments we had ever experienced. However, those prayers offered hope and healing, no matter the situation.
So today I thank Lydia for teaching me the power of prayer in my life. This is a lesson that was hard to learn but has been a complete reward for me. I am so blessed and honored that I know this and can continue to learn about prayer and the impact on my life. Thank you sweet little daughter for giving me much more than I will ever be able to give you. You have impacted my life in a profound way and I am so grateful for you!