Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rainbow Encouragement

(photo by Maria Spencer copyright 2008)

I’ve always loved rainbows. Even before I knew the things of God, I knew there was something very special about rainbows. Their pure hues of vibrant colors have always served as a sign of hope deep within my spirit.

Then once I came to know the Lord, I realized why I always felt connected to rainbows.

“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” (Gen. 9:14)

So what is this covenant and what does it mean in our lives?To me, rainbows represent this covenant from God, that He is working in our lives, and He knows just when to send color to our gray days.

I believe He sometimes sends an actual rainbow in the sky to display His greatness and His promise, but I also feel sometimes He sends us pieces of His rainbows through other means.

My five-year-old daughter is a person with hemiplegic cerebral palsy (the muscles on the left side of her body are tighter than ours). Because of a trauma she experienced as an infant, her body is the way it is. My husband and I have always searched and fought for what treatments and services that we felt were best for her. No matter how much faith we have, sometimes we still doubt whether or not all of our decisions will shape her future for the better.

The other day, I was having a gray kind of day—thoughts of doubts and worry regarding her care were coming at me full speed. I was in desperate need of a sign that we were going in the right direction. Then out of nowhere, I felt compelled to go and look out my back window. There, in beautiful shades of purple, green, yellow and red, was the awesome rainbow pictured above.
Then I heard, “It’s going to be OK, have hope-- hope in Me –I will take care of her. You are doing a good job. Keep believing”—Firm, yet gentle words that could only be from the voice of my heavenly father. In an instant, my breathing became easier, my mind was now clear. His covenant with me and my life was ever present in the form of this beautiful rainbow.

And if that wasn’t enough, He sent another rainbow.
This time, it came in the form of a person on the page of a magazine.
Her name is Abbey Curran.
She is “Miss Iowa” and recently competed in the Miss USA Pageant.
She looks like all of the other beauty queens-except for one detail.
She is a person with cerebral palsy.
A co-worker of mine put an article on my desk, which revealed details about her life, her upbringing, and how she never gave up on her dreams just because she had a physical disability.

This rainbow shone even brighter than the one I saw in the sky two days earlier.
As a Mother, I have had hopes and dreams for my daughter’s life hidden deep within my heart, because only the Lord knows what her future holds.
But on the pages of this magazine, He displayed His covenant with me ever so clearly.
Abby Curran’s life and achievements are a pure sign from Him that those dreams I’ve held on to for my daughter can become a reality.
She will always be an inspiration to me and my family.

So the next time I’m having a gray, cloudy kind of day, I will be able to see the bright, vivid colors of my daughter’s rainbow in Abbey Curran’s smile.

Maria and her family reside in NE Ohio. She and her husband are the parents of two. Their daughter is a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy. Because of her experiences, Maria provides parent-to-parent support for families involved in her local early intervention program. Her gift for writing has come directly from the Lord since her daughter’s diagnosis. She writes a monthly column entitled, “Special Parents, Special Kids” for the Mahoning Valley Parent magazine in Ohio; and has expanded into Parent magazines in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. She is also a contributing author at Maria is very passionate about getting the word out to special parents that they are not alone in their journey of raising their special child; and that they were chosen by God to parent their children. Maria welcomes comments and communication.

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