Monday, February 28, 2011

Listening & Soli Deo Gloria

Welcome, Soli Deo Gloria Sisters!  I'm so glad to see your faces and meet some new ones as well.  This is a place of encouragement and blessing, and it is my prayer that you always feel welcome here.  If you are new (anyone is welcome), please read here for the heart behind this meme and some general guidelines (the button is to your right).  I hope you are blessed on your page and leave blessings for others, as well.  Also, if you would like to be put on the Soli Deo Gloria email list, please leave your contact information below in the comments.


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It’s really quite ironic that this whole speaking calling is called s(He) Listens.  Not because I’m not a good listener because I am.  It’s because I’m officially hearing impaired.  I fall in the moderate-to-severe range so if we ever meet in person and I don’t have my hearing aids in, I won’t hear you call my name if you are behind me.  Heck, I might not even hear you if you are standing in front of me.

I’ve had a hearing loss ever since I can remember.  I was officially diagnosed in early elementary school and was fitted for hearing aids.  Do you know how many kids wear hearing aids in elementary school?  None that I knew and I was terrified to be different from the norm.  I would dutifully put them in every morning before school.  Mom would watch me walk down the street and as soon as I turned the corner, I would dutifully pluck them out of my ears and stuff them in my backpack.  It was worse to be teased than to not hear the teacher.  Or my friends.  But, do you know that I don’t have any memory of anyone ever teasing me about wearing hearing aids?  Probably because I didn’t give them a chance. 

I didn’t start wearing hearing aids regularly until my second year of teaching special education.  After two and a half decades of coping (reading lips, sitting in front of class, using my brain to fill in the missing words from sentences I could barely hear), I decided that I was doing my students a disservice and it was time to face the music.  I broke down and started wearing hearing aids.  It only took me 18 years to come to terms with my disability.  I wonder what I really missed in those 18 years, sometimes.

Pretty much my whole life, I have prayed that God would heal my hearing loss.  I prayed that He would unstop these ears so that I could hear fully.  Somehow, each time I prayed or ask someone else to pray for this, I knew in my heart that He wasn’t going to take this burden away from me.  It wasn’t that He couldn’t, because He is Almighty God and everything.  But rather I think He lets me continue to live life with this deficit because He is going to get more glory through this struggle of mine than if He were to take it away with a snap of His fingers.  And I think He compensates me for it, if that makes any sense.  What I may lack in physical ability to hear with  my ears, He seems to make up with my abilities to hear with my heart.

But really, isn’t that what listening really is?  Hearing with your heart?

Alright, enough about me.  Please go read about everyone else and spread some hope, encouragement, and love. If you notice someone new to our community, please make them feel welcomed by leaving them a comment.


22 comments :

  1. Oh Jen...this is so interesting. Not just that He hasn't healed you of the hearing loss, but that you have it in the first place. And then, years later, He places this ministry and the idea of s(He)Listens on your heart. Coincidence? I think not. Is there anything lovelier than watching God put another piece in the beautiful puzzle that is one’s life map?

    This is an exquisite story..can't wait to hear more. No pun intended :)

    Love,
    Erin

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  2. I love this story, Jen. It speaks of God's grace and his desire to use our weaknesses. Wow, so neat that He's called you to this ministry of s(HE) listens. And I'm excited to see how God leads and directs you. It gives me goosebumps.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Mel

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  3. Hearing with your heart indeed! May God continue to use your weaknesses as a way to radiate Him. May He use all of our crosses as a bridge to Him.

    I just love your witness girl!

    Jill

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  4. So, I'm surprised. Why? I don't know.

    It's funny that you can pour out your heart day after day on these pages, and we don't know something as major as this! I'm thrilled you shared, and I think this part of your life story is so profound.

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  5. My heart was so touched by this post. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

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  6. Just when I thought I couldn't love you more...ummm...yea....I do. As a mom of a child with different abilities (I prefer this over dissability, HA) I know what a struggle it can be, but also what an amazing blessing. I have no doubts that God formed those ears of yours exactly how he wanted them. He used the hearing loss of your ears to strengthen the hearing of your heart. Amazing, isn't He!?! Love you girl.

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  7. Have you ever heard Jennifer Rothschild speak? She lost her sight in high school and her testimony is beautiful!! God can do such goodness in anything!

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  8. I needed your words tonight Jen. Sometimes I shout of the unfairness of things without thinking of Him...and His plans and the beauty that comes when you follow the path He has set before us.... deficiencies and all. I am learning it is Him in our deficiencies that beauty flows. I find it amazing that He would bring this so full circle in such a way....He is so good like that :)

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  9. 'But really, isn’t that what listening really is? Hearing with your heart?'

    Jen, I had no idea! But, you know what, my swedish mor mor (grandmother) has been hearing impaired almost as long as you and she didn't get hearing aides until?? she has always read lips and she raised 10 kids during the depression--nothing she couldn't do! she's one of the most amazing people i have ever known, let alone know personally...and well, i couldn't compare you to anyone that i respect or think is more special...

    wow! so amazing...YOU!

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  10. thank you for sharing this, i don't think it's any different than a person who has to wear glasses because their eyes don't work perfectly... xo

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  11. Jen-one thing I do know about you is that you listen. You hear in ways I never will and I'm not kidding. You hear and then speak truth in just the right way that I and others I'm sure can pick it up and use it. Does that make sense?
    So yes - I agree that God has compensated you in other ways and I'm SO glad He did:)
    thanks for your words to me also
    xo

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  12. It is sweet to know this part of your life too, Jen. Aren't we all beautifully flawed and complicated. I love that.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  13. Just one more beautiful thing that makes you who you are! I agree with Erin - I love to see how God is putting together the pieces of your puzzle.

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  14. Wow Jen, just when I thought you were something amazing I now am in augh. The Lord has given you a gifting of insight with hearing with your heart that surpasses much more than we with good hearing. Thank you for being here and being such a listener and encourager. I always get excited to read your 'stuff' and hearing your heart. I love the Lord that He cares so much to give us abilities where we lack.

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  15. this post makes me want to give you a big hug. i forget that you are disabled sometimes because you handle it with such grace. once again, i learn from you. lots of LOVE.

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  16. As someone struggling with my eyesight, I needed to read this post today. I guess I need to turn my "thorn" into a rose. Your spirit is just so beautiful.

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  17. This whole post is so stinkin' beautiful!!! I am reminded as I read this while praying for you (am I crazy that I do this?) the enemy only attacks what God is doing... Sister, you must hear Him so well. When you're listening, of course. He has great things for you to hear. Thank you for sharing them.

    xoxo

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  18. Thanks for this beautiful sisterhood, Jen, I awarded you the stylish blogger award. Come check it out!

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  19. That is a beautiful testimony! And so true...how often we try listening with our ears, when we should be listening to our hearts!

    I'm linking up for the first time today...I hope I did it correctly. :)

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  20. No wonder you are such a good listener, writer, and communicator. God is using this for His glory already!

    And, dear Jen, you hear His voice with a clarity that many have never known...perhaps there is yet another way that He has refined your hearing...

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  21. Wow Jen, thanks for bravely peeling back anothe layer of the onion so we can get to know you. And it does make the s(He) Listens title of your new initiative even more meaningful!

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