When God Doesn’t Heal Your Child

Today I read a testimony that hurt me. I hated the fact that it stung me when I read it because I should celebrate with this couple that they received their answer to prayer. The testimony hurt me because I’m still waiting for God to heal my daughter.

DÁndra taught herself to use Photo booth on my Mac.

DÁndra taught herself to use Photo booth on my Mac.

When DÁndra was a baby, a lady told me that she would be healed of Down syndrome at 3-years-old. She turned 11 last May and she still has Down syndrome. I read a testimony today of a couple who received a diagnosis that their baby had Down syndrome.

Their church prayed and their baby was born healthy. Hallelujah! I should be doing a praise dance but I gulped when I read it and cried all day. I’m in a church that has seen lots of healings and sometimes it has been hard hearing the testimonies.

I fight the urge to leave the community of faith when I feel like her birth has marked me or made me a burden. I’m a target for every person who has a word about why she has Down syndrome. One well-meaning lady told me that my daughter had Down syndrome because I had a great great grandfather who practiced incest. “Ask the Lord if there’s incest and break it over your family,” she told me in the church bathroom. I wanted to vomit because I was not about to investigate my family line for sexual perversion.

I mean the church ideally should be the safest place for people who are weak, frail or disabled, right? My church has bent over backwards to help with DÁndra and she pretty much blends in with the people. I’m thankful for the church staff that has been very committed to her well-being. But there are still individuals that will take it upon themselves to give you a ‘word’ when you have a child with a disability.

I’ve cried out to God to remove every trace of bitterness in my soul because I haven’t got to stand in front of the congregation to tell them that she has been healed. Instead, I celebrate what God has done in her now:

  • She loves to go to church. She would go to church everyday if she could.
  •  She loves to worship.
  • She is a fiery prayer person.
  • She is prone to being independent which is a typical tween.
  • She is far more sensitive and caring about people then most people that I know.
  •  She is extremely outspoken and verbally coherent. You can understand what she is saying and she has something to say.
  • She’s funny, a jokester and makes me laugh.
  • She has taught me patience and compassion that I didn’t know I had.
  • She has opened up a whole new world I didn’t notice of people with disabilities. I’m extremely sensitive to how people with disabilities are treated and perceived.
  • She has made an advocate for people who can’t speak up for themselves.

My dream is to see the church become the safest place for people with disabilities. I dream of individuals with disabilities being able to step into the house of God and for one moment in His presence, feel normal, loved and significant. Every moment of life they are told without words that they are inconvenient and stupid by society that prizes beauty and strength. I would love to see a church where they can forget that they are disabled and blend in with the community of faith because we are all disabled by sin, fear, poverty, etc.

A place where Christ can step into their life without hindrances. If they get up from their wheel chair and leave their crutches  – hallelujah! If they don’t, we are still a part of their life and we will fight for them. But there’s no pressure of perfection, performance or get healed or something is wrong with you. Thankfully I have never ever felt that at my church.

My church isn’t perfect but it is a cocoon of acceptance and love for DÁndra. She doesn’t even know she has Down syndrome because she has blended in with the congregation. When we’re praying for healing, I’ve asked her if she wants to go down and receive prayer. “No mom, I pray for them.” she says.

When God doesn’t heal your child, know that healing is flowing. It may not be in the bright, shiny package you want it to be so you can show it off. It may be in the moments that she wants to pray for someone else to receive healing or she says, “Mommy, is their church tonight?” “No honey, we don’t have church tonight.” She looks disappointed and asks, “Is their church tomorrow?”

Receive the healing God wants to bring in your heart. I pray for God’s healing to flow in you. May you know His healing touch of love, acceptance, grace and strength to take care of your child. And may His healing flow through you.

26 thoughts on “When God Doesn’t Heal Your Child

  1. Hi Leilani, I have always noticed D’andre and she is a beautiful girl. thanks for sharing, sometimes we forget that others have their struggles as we walk through our own struggles. Great story and i love you and your family!

  2. Wow, balled like a baby when I read this. L, I never knew you had a child ,and God bless you for dealing w idiotic comments w such restraint and compassion. When I lost my first son, the cruel comments that were well meaning put my wife into therapy, and hardened my heart. People think they need to comment and explain on matters of faith, it made my faith stronger, even when the fallout ended that marriage. We press on.

  3. I love this story! Thank you for sharing. I believe we all have a purpose and the fact that your daughter has a disability is no exception. The fact is, she is already fulfilling her purpose. Through you and everyone she meets. She is so blessed…to have a desire so great for God and showing his love so purely. Yes…I believe she is highly anointed. And thank you for raising her to love the Lord.

  4. I, too, have been the recipient of some remarks regarding why we lost our first born (she was a bad seed, you must have sinned, you didn’t have enough faith) as well as when one of ours was born with deformities. For some reason people think they have to answer the “why” for themselves and the one who has suffered. I,too, have grieved when I have heard testimonies of how babies survived and felt terrible that I struggled with their victory! There is a fellowship among those who have been tried in these areas and an understanding of the difficulties faced. D’Andra is a testimony of God’s unconditional love and favor. What joy she brings to His heart when she brings her worship to HIm!!

    • Hi Maretta. I had no idea you lost your first born. So sorry to hear of your loss and I know it still stings after all these years. When I first heard about DÁndra’s diagnosis, I went from the clinic to a meeting with our pastors. The first thing I said when I walked into the room was why did God judge me? I remember my pastor sitting there quietly and tears came to his eyes. He didn’t want me to see them and he said that we were all under judgment. I did nothing wrong to bring this on to myself. He explained how we live in a fallen world and how innocent bystanders get mud flung on them. I told them I was afraid of people saying kookie stuff to me and his wife grabbed by the shoulders. With her fiery blue piercing eyes, she said, “If anyone says anything crazy to you, you tell me their names and I’ll punch them in the stomach.” I knew she would and never told her who the people that said the crazy stuff to me lol! I’m so thankful that they were there to stand with me when she was born and as she grew up. The pastor even asked to pay for music therapy for her and I didn’t take him up on it because I thought he had done so much for me already. Pastor Steve and Kathy Gray, Pastor Tom and Diana Trout are rare leaders and I’m thankful to have them in our lives after all these years.

  5. I have so much to say to you. For now I will ask, have you checked out the blog Not Alone? It is a Christ centered blog on parenting children with disabilities. I encourage you to check it out.

    God HAS a purpose for every life, even for those with disabilities. Yes, some people need healing, but not any more healing that I need from my selfishness, pride, or self-reliance.

    Sending you a big hug. Every single chromosome in your daughter is meant to be there, God knit her together in your womb. She is a gift to you and to your church. Maybe God has purposed for her to be the one to bring healing to many in your congregation. Hugs to you!

  6. GREAT Work you do !!! People need only to open there eyes and hearts to see how individuals like DÁndra add so much to our lives. She is such a blessing and I am glad to be a part of her life!!

  7. Honestly I view us all with disabilities! I feel disabled most days and I am diligently praying for the church to be the safest place on the planet! No one should ever have an unkind thought about anyone ever!!
    Many times we just are too busy or distracted to reach out to the people who are standing in front of us because we think they are o.k.! Joy loves your daughter, she is a blessing in more ways than one!
    I pray we all learn how to be better at SHOWING love to the ones who we see every day!!
    Loved this and hope it will cause a change in us all!

  8. Powerful words. Thank you for sharing this. Great insight into what you face.
    I have attended many services and I must say that your daughter has on more than one occasion brought me to tears with her worship and singing. 🙂

    • Thank you Jennifer. It was one of the hardest posts to write but I felt like it needed to be said because God was stirring it up. When something hits me hard, I pray. Then He says, I want you to write about this challenge to help someone else facing this now. I’m sure my own testimonies may have been hard for someone else to hear who is battling for their finances or their health etc.

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