Silence--When You Fear What's Not Normal {Day 11}

We go to speech therapy, and she won't look at the lady making exaggerated O's with her lips.

She won't even look at me, my baby girl who is almost three and doesn't say "Mama".

I watch my hopes fall apart right in front of me as she refuses to acknowledge anyone in the room, pretends she can't hear, frowns, focuses on the farm animals, whooshes them up in the air, silently, back down without a word, a sound.

Everything crumbles and I feel so empty. I hear not the sound the room is filled with--children coaxing, playing with their sister, the therapist talking and engaging Lilly, little farm gates opening and shutting, cows bumping up ladders--I hear the sheer volume of voicelessness. It feels the room and crushes me under the weight of it.

I really thought she would walk in, be pleased to meet her therapist, like normal children who engage their world do, and we would begin learning words.

This mama-heart aches as I watch my baby silently refuse the world all around her. I'm just a spectator in her
speechless world.

Somewhere along the way-- between sitting on the foam mat, playing with horses and cows, and displaying sounds like candy in a jar we hope she'll stick her hand in, and picking her up and carrying her out, soundlessly kicking my belly and thighs with her feet-- it stuns like a tazer, that something is wrong. Horribly, can't grasp air, mouth moving but no sound coming out nightmare wrong.

In my nightmare, I am mute, and in this real world, she is the one with the restraints on her mouth like a corset too tight, cutting off oxygen. And I can't figure out what I did wrong, but I know it's something I did very, very wrong along the way.

My heart thuds in my chest like a heavy gong and begins to move into my throat, to reverberate loudly, the beating of a drum in the dark, in the deep, that dread coming for me. It moves up, closer, tighter and squeezes, slowly cinching, until tiny bones bend and snap.

That dread, thudding, as I say it to myself: Is she autistic? Dear God. Has she just decided out of pure stubborness to be mute? Has something traumatic caused her to not articulate, to back far away into a corner, the musical notes of her voice disappearing? 

Because the ma-ma's and waving, her calling bye-bye--it's all disappeared, blown away somewhere on  the wind of all things in life that are lost, un-cared for, suppressed, inhibited, carelessly pushed down.

And what have I done to cause this? 

Was it the hours and hours spent isolating myself, shutting myself away from my family when I was sick? 

Was it all the times I let her go to bed without a story? Should I have read to her more? Loved her more? Held her, rocked her, talked to her more, looked straight in her eyes every. single. day, said I love you? 

Have I let her get lost in a sea of siblings, feeling she doesn't have a place, a voice?

As she lies in my arms, I hold her, and I pray.

I weep as I pray, and it comes out in broken whispers. Tears stream and I come to Him completely broken and in need.

Oh Jesus, let my baby talk.
Let her begin to talk.
Father, wrap us up in your love.
Restore what has been lost.
Restore what has been stolen.
Take this illness that has plagued her and I, and with those stripes you took for her and for me,
I pray healing over us.
Touch my little Lilly, Father, with your healing hands, those scarred hands.
Loose her mouth, Lord, set her free.

It's broken hallelujahs around here, and as I wrap my arms around her in the dark, in this dreaded deep, I feel God wrap 'round us and hold us right where we are.

Forgive me for being sappy, friends, but two beautiful songs I'd like to share with you, would you like to listen and worship for a minute, in this quiet, in this deep, in this dread, in this place of broken hallelujah, worship anyway with me?......
And humbly asking for prayer, to be guarded with angels and His blood here on the doorpost, as the prowling lion seeks to devour. I feel His teeth sinking in as illness tries to suck me back down, as my Lilly struggles to talk, as she vomits off and on for the past few months and we can't figure out why, as Husband and I walk through the hard places and ask God for healing in relationship....

This I found through Ms. Holly: Gorgeous, friends....


Linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers....This ought to be one wild, brave ride...

Do you struggle with fear of what doesn't feel normal, when your life is turned upside down, friend? Please tell me your story? Have you seen God redeem these doubts, these concerns? Have you found grace? Your comments so encourage me. I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here. My faith walk is seasoned with the right ingredients when you hang around...

This is one post in a series of 31 days of Fear. You can find the entire 31 Day collective here.  I have chosen to do this one on FEAR, because it seems to be something I keep wrestling with over and over, something that keeps me in chains, pins me down, won't let me free. I hope you will come with me on this journey--to get a taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus smack-dab in the middle of my fears. And Jesus sits with sinners. I won't have to look very far.

Couldn't we all use some freedom from those fear-chains that bind? I pray God gives me the strength and the courage to complete 31 days--y'all, it's going to be hard on this 'ol gal to write every.single.day. Pray for me?   

Some other 31 Day collectives I'm loving: Shelly @ Redemptions BeautyAmber Haines , and Lisa-Jo

And also linking up with Ann, Emily, Duane, Jennifer 


  1. Oh,my mama heart breaks for you Nacole. I had a cousin who didn't speak for years but he speaks now. God knows and cares and loves you both. May you rest in that knowledge today.

  2. Oh my, the noose of guilt is hanging around your neck, Nacole. Thank you for bearing your soul and being honest about where you and your daughter are right now. My prayer is that both of you would be "loosed" from what binds you.

    1. Beth, I *felt* this prayer. Yes, you are right--that noose has been there for far too long--I think that's why I'm writing about it--and doing this whole series, really. It's painful but necessary. Thank you for your prayer--it means so much. Blessings.

  3. OH Sweet Nacole....so sorry for your momma's heart. Please don't take on what is probably not yours to carry. I promise...the Lord will lead you if and where you need to heal...and remember...she is still young... children develop at different rates. You are doing the right thing...a good momma thing...praying...getting some help. Keep handing over all your concerns to Him...continue to ask for wisdom...HE is faithful...He love you little one with perfect love. thanks for sharing here...one more way I can pray for you and your family.

    1. Ro, you are such a special lady, such a dear friend. Oh, I know I'm not supposed to carry this, but mamas tend to do what we really shouldn't, don't we? I suppose on the one hand, that's what makes us good at our job, and it's also what makes us run head-long into Jesus. Running, friend, head-long into him. *Thank you* for your faithful prayers, Ro. I can't be grateful enough to you, friend.

  4. Sweet friend. Prayers wrapped around. Be strong in Him, in Him alone. God, the redeemer is in this, Nacole. Praying for you and Lilly. God the Healer, God the Great Physician is in the middle of all of this. Give yourself the gift of releasing it to Him. My momma's heart aches with yours. Showering your Lilly with prayers to the Healer. Sweet one, you are not alone. We do not leave a sister to suffer alone, lonely or afraid. You are loved in a community of believers. Amen? AMEN.

    1. Ah, dear Elizabeth, I may have cried. You bring up emotions strong in me with your words of healing. How could you really have known--that feeling alone in the midst of believers is one of my hardest struggles, most difficult to heal pain? It's been a life-long journey, and it wasn't until I met people like you in this community that I began to feel loved by the body. Love you, friend.

  5. Nacole, one again today you have made your mama cry. I so wish that I could take this pain from you as your mama. My heart aches to hear the words written upon this page. God know all our hurts, heartaches and pains and he wants so much to take this from you. I know because I have lived a long time in alot of pain and unhappiness. So, my prayer for you and Lily today is that a supernatural healing occurs in you and in her. I know that God can do this because he has done it for me. I love you so much and those babies are a true gift to this MeMe!! All my love Mama

    1. Thank you, Mama. Love you and *thank you* so much for those words of prayer. I needed them.

  6. Nacole, I found your blog through Emily's and read your post. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. May you both experience God's peace through this difficult time. I first heard the song "Better Than a Hallelujah" a few weeks ago, and its words have brought healing. What a comfort to know that our Heavenly Father hears our wordless cries and loves us enough to never leave us, no matter how much we may be hurting!

  7. the reality of the pain and fear that mark our lives is far deeper and much more real than any comment i leave here could approximate. yet even still, share we must, for in the sharing of our journeys, we are in ways visible and unseen taking part in the healing that God has started and that God will finish in his time. there are moments when words simply won't do, and it is in those times that the stories we've told will come and bear witness for us. witness to our faith and our pain and the grace that dares to grow even in winter...

    thanks so much for sharing - s.

  8. I have no answers or words of profound comfort any better than what has already been shared, Nacole.
    But I do acknowledge the blood of your heart that runs in these words. So, I will sit without sharing many of my own in respect of your dark hour.
    And cry together for a tear-stained world.

  9. I have no words for you, just tears. And prayers. May God's peace and healing rain all around you endlessly.

  10. Praying for you ... the silence has got to be be hard. Her little heart seems to be carrying a weight she cannot voice and it will take a holy spirit touch to 'open' her.
    Lord Jesus you know this little one I ask for you to touch her deep and heal the 'broken' voice that doesn't want to come from her. I ask that you give her strength, confidence and a new awareness of her momma's gentle love. I ask that you heal her father, heal her speech and heal her heart through the power and the name of your holy spirit~ Amen.

  11. I am you. My daughter is seven and does not talk. I know she will never be the same as others.

    However...I recently attended a conference for speech therapists with four of the leading experts in the nation and I now KNOW she will.

    Even if I didn't read her enough stories. Even though it is my genes that have done this to her. In spite of everything I could have done better, but didn't.

    Sarah Rosenfeld Johnson, Tamara Kaspar and Nancy Kauffman...they are amazing. They do amazing. Your future is full of hope.

  12. My first time to your blog.. came over through Emily's site. This is a powerful post, Nacole. Thank you for your vulnerability and your honesty about this struggle. What a gift you are offering by telling your family's story!

  13. Nacole,

    Oh friend. I want to reach through the screen to find you and to hug you. I want you to know that you are not alone. We love and care for you. We are holding you up in prayer, even though miles separate us. I am praying for Lilly's words to come ... and for God to speak words of love and peace over all of you.

  14. My mama heart breaks for you. Normal. I really don't like this word. Who says what is normal. She and my son, were fearfully and wonderfully made. I hang on those words.

  15. oh girl. oh my friend. may you be released of guilt, set free to see that God is in this, in your sweet baby girl, in your beautiful mama heart, and that we can't save each other. all we can do, in all of our brokenness, is lead our children to the foot of the cross. and this, you are doing so, so well. love you nacole. praying. (btw, i didn't speak until i was four. i started to, and then we moved from canada to africa, and i stopped speaking completely until i turned four. and now i speak at conferences. :) may the same be of your sweet lilly.)

  16. Nacole,

    Nice to meet you. I am hopping over from last week's Scribing the journey link up. I am so sorry about this fearful time and hard time of wondering what hard things your Lily is wrestling with, that manifest in not communicating and with nausea. I am so sorry. A friend of mine wrestles with some similar things with her daughter and we cry together somedays.

    I have my own fears that pull me down sometimes, and I am thankful for an Abba Daddy who can whisper truth, patient tenderness, and grace to me in that- often through his word, through others.

    Have a good week, Nacole.

    Jennifer Dougan



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