Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people. Helen Keller

 

Dear Reader,

Being “deaf” changed my life, and no-one can explain it better than my older sister.

 

She was an adorable girl with soft blonde curls, huge blue eyes and a will of her own. Being the youngest in the house did not stop her from having her say. She knew the difference between right and wrong, and would not hesitate to speak up when she felt that it was necessary. But, behind her bold and cheeky manner was a sensitive and affectionate little angel who spent a lot of her time reading her beloved books. Between her books, in the safety of her sunny room, she often sang songs in satisfaction.

“Deaf” is a scary word and it means loneliness and isolation. She was only ten when she received this sentence to lifelong desolation. Not being able to follow conversations lead her into a world of insecurity and bewilderment. Getting used to hearing aids took a lot of determination, and even then it was nothing more than a simulated ear. “How do you feel when you never know what is going on?” I asked myself, looking at her tiny, defenseless frame.

School was a nightmare. Being a very intelligent child, she found it frustrating never to understand because she did not hear thoroughly. Cruel children mocked her constantly and she would often come home in tears. Slowly she became an outcast and started to spend more and more of her time in the safety of her room. Her books proved to be a better world to live in.


The second “d” sentence was declared after years of mockery, struggle and withdrawal. Depression was a black hole that sucked her in. At the age of sixteen, she had crawled so deep into herself that she was unreachable, completely shut of from all human love and affection. She did not sing anymore. Gestures of help and caring went by unnoticed. Her loved ones stood before an unyielding wall. Only God could fathom the depth of her despair. Only His touch could bring her back to life. We prayed.

The answer to our prayers were seen when she came home one afternoon with a small smile on her face. Slowly she crept back, leaving the blackness behind and moving into the light. Showing more and more effort every day, she learned new skills to handle hurtful situations. Examining her thoughts to determine their validity, and spending as much time outside as possible, proved to be very valuable. She even started to laugh at little daily pleasures again.

Everybody knew that she was healed on the day that she joyfully sang again, pouring out songs of worship to the God who gave her a second chance and new wisdom: Healing can not be found by hiding inside, but only by reaching out to devoted, divine hands.



(Thanks to my sister, Miemie van Loggerenberg, for allowing me to share this with you)

 

Have you ever stood by helplessly watching someone you care about crawling deeper in the black hole of despair? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments.

Thanks for Reading.

Susan

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