Note: This is a postscript to my thoughts about Gracie’s trial. Some of you have been introduced to her in previous posts. If you haven’t, you may want to read “There’s No Way I Signed Up For This,” “The Perfect Stranger,” and “Little Messenger, Big Support” for some background.
It has been several years since Gracie’s first surgery for spina bifida issues. She is now a lively little seven year old. The red hair that crowns her small frame is surely a symbol for her fiery spirit!
It’s the beginning of a new year of dance for Grace. This year she was selected to be part of a company class, and the first day of class was not too soon to start making plans for the spring recital. Before any organized twirling, leaping, or skipping took place the teacher called the chatty little ladies together. Seventeen very excited seven-year-olds dressed in various colors of tights and leotards gathers in a circle. When she had their attention Miss. Jana announced the theme for the concert and for the very special dance they would be creating together.
“This year’s theme is ‘Gifts from Heavenly Father.'” she said. Then with the desire to get them thinking she asked, “What are some of the gifts we receive from Heavenly Father?” Fully expecting age appropriate answers like, “Our food, my dog, my baby sister, my toys, mommy and daddy,” she waited for a hand to pop up.
Gracie took the lead in more ways than one with the following answer. “Sometimes Heavenly Father gives us hard things, because He knows that we can do them, and He gives them to us so we can be stronger.”
The teacher was speechless. The observing company director was speechless. Where does this kind of wisdom come from in a child? Is this dancing dolly seven or seventy?
Gracie still deals with chronic pain and other daily difficulties associated with her spina bifida. She probably will for the rest of her life. But the fruit of her struggle is wisdom, wisdom beyond her years. This wisdom will serve her well in any and all other earthly trials she experiences, and being so young, it’s wisdom she can share with others for a very long time.
For most of us it takes a lifetime to understand that hard things are a gift from God, that they are God’s vote of confidence in our divine abilities, and that through hard things our capacity and tenacity grow to a degree possible in no other way. Gracie is teaching me that hard things make our spirits grow whether we’re seven or seventy.
By Nannette Wiggins
Posted December 22, 2014
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