Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.—James 5:16
This week, Anah started school. For the past five years, we have kept her at home with us. At first, it was for practical reasons. Given her developmental stage, I didn’t think she was ready. I wouldn’t send my 18 month old to school; I didn’t feel right about sending her either. Though she was seven and fully eligible, she was still reeling from being taken out of her homeland and everything she ever knew, in a land where she could not understand or speak the language, with people who she didn’t know. It would have probably done her in.
Over the years, we have found that Anah’s greatest need was not for more opportunities, but connection, family, and belonging. After making multiple trips from the orphanage to a foster home and then back again multiple times, she learned to simply cope. There was no stability in her life—everything was shifting and changing. Who knows when you will find yourself with your small bag packed and headed to a new home? While this is bewildering for any child, add her limited understanding on top of it and you have the recipe for all kinds of unhelpful adaptive behaviors and survival techniques.
And so for the past five years, she has been at home with us, living, learning, and taking tiny steps of independence. And like a typical kindergartener who waits 5 years before they go to school, she is now ready to start on her own journey.
The past few months have been very busy, with many assessments, meetings and evaluations. We have been asking people to pray for Anah very specifically and frequently throughout the whole process. So when the day finally came for us to walk her into her classroom, settle her into her desk, and then leave her there, I felt like it was a victory not just for our own family but for the many faithful friends who have joined us in prayer.
Through this season, God has been teaching me not only about the power of prayer but also how much I need to invite others to pray with me. Because of pride, fear, or worry that I will burden others with my problems, I do not want to ask others to pray for me.
But is that not what families do for one another? Are we not to bear and help absorb the weight of the burdens we carry? God has asked us to bear Anah’s burdens and limitations, just as He has borne ours, so we are to bear each other’s cares. It is one way we show we belong to the family of God.
We are nowhere close to the end of our journey with Anah. This is going to be an ongoing struggle and we trust that God will, by His mercy and grace, help us to be victorious. However, I do not think it is meant to be a victory for us alone, but one for the body of Christ to share together. Thank you so much for being a part of this journey with us by reading and supporting us. You are greatly appreciated; your ministry to our family is more powerful than you can imagine.