Thursday, June 9, 2011
Courage and Sweetness at 11 Years of Age -- Happy Birthday, Annie
Sure, I'm mom -- I'm biased.
But, I think that 99% of the people, if surveyed, would agree that Annie is special. She has the ability to make everyone around her feel loved.
She's quiet, and more contemplative than most 11 year olds -- she knows how to laugh and have fun, too. But even in her joy, there's always a concern for others that shines through.
She'll often ask me questions about life -- soulful questions -- you know, the kind that in my mom's era (young adult during WWII) would get your referred to as a "little old lady". She's got a sensitivity and awareness that is beyond her years.
Annie also has the ability, in most instances, to suffer silently and with great courage through enormous pain. Over the last three years, she has been battling several chronic illnesses. It is a struggle for her to move or walk without pain, but she offers it up and makes the best effort to succeed through all of it. Many people don't know the effort it takes for her to even make it through a school day -- she doesn't usually elaborate, but just trusts that this is her vocation and tries her best to muddle through.
That makes us, her parents, pretty proud. Not that she's in pain, but that she knows we are doing everything within our power to help her, and she is making spiritual use of her suffering to help others as we pray and work to find resolution of her own pain. That's a very mature understanding of redemptive suffering from such a very young person.
Today on her 11th birthday, we ask for prayers for this gentle child -- prayers for relief from her pain; prayers for her to be restored to full health so that she can be as happy and carefree as other children her age. We also ask you to offer prayers for those children her age who will not be cured of their disease or ailment, that they may be a witness of suffering with joy -- that God may grant them peace.
Happy birthday our soulful girl, we love you very much. Keep making people smile.
Leave your birthday wishes for Annie (and prayer requests, if you have any) in the comments!