For those who may be new to my blog, my daughter Anna has NVLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder). Her brain does not pick up and process non-verbal things like tone of voice, implied meaning, and body-language are difficult for her to pick up on and to accurately give herself. Being that non-verbal cues are so essential to understanding verbal communication correctly, you can see how traumatic this could be. People with this problem often struggle with anxiety and depression because they have such a hard time understanding and communicating with the world around them. From 2014-2015 she was hospitalized eight times for severe depression and suicidal ideation.
Today we celebrated the one year anniversary of Anna’s last time in the hospital. She has come so far in the last twelve months. No thoughts of suicide. No desire to go back to the hospital. No feeling of not being safe at home or at school. Her mom and I are so proud of her. Yes, she still has her hard days, and sometimes she can crash pretty hard, but none of it has been near as serious as it had been, and none of it has required hospital intervention. Things have been so positive in fact, that she has “graduated” from some of the programs and therapies she had been in.
I am so grateful for God’s incredible care for her. She has a great medical team. She is connecting with the girls in her Sunday school class and youth group. She loves going to church now. She looks forward to it. She is growing to like herself, even to love herself. And as she sees the darkness leaving and as she continues to learn how to cope and operate with her NVLD, her spirit is brightening and her love for her heavenly Father and Jesus is growing too. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6, we have planted and watered her, but God has made her grow.
I won’t lie to you, there were days (weeks, months even) when we wondered if that would ever happen. There were days when the Dark we were in was so deep and black that we wondered if we would ever get out. But God did lead us out, and we are so thankful. And that is definitely worth celebrating.
Thank you Jesus, for the blessing of being able to join David in singing, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me (Psalm 23:4, ESV).