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.