Visions for my Children

In the past few months I've had to change a lot of the expectations I held about my daughter. As I've written before my baby, Sage, has microcephaly and we were recently told she has bilateral polymicrogyria. As I've processed through all of that I feel like God gave me a small gift, He reminded me of the prayers I wrote for each of my children before they were born.

It's been truly moving for me to think back over those words and prayers. And I've found it so encouraging that even as I've had to change my expectations for Sage the core words and images that I was given for her before she was born have not changed. The things I prayed most for her before she was born are still the things I pray for her now. The core desires I had for who she would become don't need to change at all by this diagnosis.

With each of my children I had a few words that were particularly important as I thought about the person I desired them to be. And with each of my children I had a picture of who they are before they were ever born. It's been interesting (and affirming) to me that Sage's diagnosis hasn't changed or effected my words for her. It has also been very touching for me that Sage's diagnosis has actually made my words/visions for my son take on new life and meaning.

Sage's words/images:

  • Joy
  • Light
  • intuitive wisdom
  • images of nature and particularly the sky and moon
  • "she will restore to you the joy of your salvation"

(you can see how these words play out and connect to one another by reading the prayer I wrote for Sage when she was first born)

Thaddeus's words/images:

  • protector ("protect him that he might protect others")
  • empathetic
  • courageous heart
  • heart felt, passionate
  • guard (not the soldier charging into battle but the soldier staying back, standing guard, protecting the women and children, not out of cowardice, but conviction)
  • defender of the weak
  • protector of those who cannot protect themselves

(read the prayer I wrote for Thad to learn more about our desires for him)

The pictures I had for each of my children were so different from each other, and I can see now how appropriate that was on so many levels. They are very different little people.

Sage's diagnosis has changed a lot about how I think about her future and the expectations I have for her. But (so far) it hasn't at all changed these core words/images I pray for her or for my son. If anything it has only added a new depth to how I pray over both of my children.

I'm grateful for these images and I look forward to seeing how they play out in both of my children's lives.

Rejoicing in the journey,

Bethany Stedman