This is my sweet Emma Grace.
She started out like this…
…and now here she is.
My absolute favorite author is Jane Austen, and my favorite book, by far, is Emma. I didn’t name Emma because it was popular at the time and was pretty, but I named her after the main character of that book. Even though Emma (Jane Austen’s) got in to quite a bit of mischief and had a lot to learn, which she did, about social value of people independent of financial status, I fell in love with her youthful spirit. Her personality seems sweet, youthful, and naive to me. Watching her make blunder after blunder with her attempts to play matchmaker for her friend, only to learn in the end that she can’t control everything and to let it take its course, was entertaining and endearing.
Now enter my Emma. She is a sweet, kind, intelligent, loving, accepting, patient, flexible, and enduring little girl. She doesn’t even see how beautiful, inside and out, she really is. So, we should probably add in blissfully naive to her characteristics as well. When I named her, as I said above, I named her after a book. As I looked up her name’s meaning during my pregnancy, I was disheartened to see her name didn’t mean something majestic, deep, or beautiful. But because I loved the book, Emma it was.
Her name is of German origin and means nurse or universal healer, depending on what reference book you read. Not as inspiring to a 20 something as jewel, princess, beloved, etc.
Her middle name is Grace. Put those together and let that sink in a second…
“Healer of Grace”…
Now in my 30’s, that name is the most beautiful. And I had no idea back then how fitting that name would be. In the middle of pregnancy with Emma, Taylor was diagnosed with autism, and my world felt like it was collapsing.
Fast forward to Emma, around 10 months. The place where we lived was a two story, with all the bedrooms on the second floor. Taylor had run out to the back yard, which at the time wasn’t fenced well, right at the time that I had gone upstairs to put Emma down for a nap. I remember being panicked, every two seconds rushing to the window to check if Taylor hadn’t squeezed through the gap in the fence and run out into the field behind us, or had stripped and running around our yard. I remember finally being just fed up and angrily done with autism. I loudly, with a very painful angry tone (mentally stomping my foot) and complained to God.
“God, I have prayed and prayed, and prayed. Why have You not answered me!??”
I heard Him in my heart…
“What makes you think she is not My answer?”
My mind was brought back Emma’s name and how I had been so disappointed that it didn’t have some grand meaning. But it did.
“Healer of Grace”
Ok God, I’ll shut up now.
It wasn’t the kind of answer I was expecting. I was looking for a miraculous healing of Taylor. God gave me a gift what I really needed as I went on doing life with autism; A daughter who was without autism, to play with, love on, and get to enjoy life as a normal mom. She was/is a breath of fresh air. I get to be the soccer mom, ballet mom, basketball mom, Barbie and My Little Pony mom. I get to have conversations with her about anything and everything. I get to play video games with her and go on dates.
She is incredibly smart, and I’m not sure she fully knows that. She knows more about the solar system and nearby stars than I do. She knows about imploding mega stars and how they can create black holes. She knows and understands the term, Event Horizon. She loved watching the shows about the universe. She doesn’t watch them anymore…because she’s seen them all.
She was reading before she entered kindergarten. We knew she would be the youngest in her class, but she was/is so smart and was begging to go.
I also get the blessing to share my love of music and singing with her. I made sure I never pushed my talent and love of music on her. I want her love of music to be her choice. She has sung songs in Italian, working on a song in German, and has set a goal for a song in french next year. She has a beautiful voice.
She loves her big brother with an unconditional love. He can be rough, take things, break things and make life more difficult. Yet, she has never stopped loving him. She cares about his future and how people treat him. She loved that at school he was just down the hall. She got to say hi to him almost each day. She spent most of last year dreading the school year ending because she knew it was the last year they would ever be in the same school together. She cheers him on with his accomplishments, big and small. She encourages him and brings the good things he has done to everyone’s notice. She looks out for him and is protective of him. Without her with him, Taylor doesn’t like to play on playgrounds or in indoor gyms. I haven’t heard her ever say he embarrasses her. She has a beautiful soul.
I wish she knew that.
Recently, she has been having trouble at school. Relationship troubles that have sent her home crying on multiple times. She is naive socially and learning how time can change things. It breaks my heart to watch her go through this. It’s painful to hear when she says she played alone on recess or won’t eat her lunch. It hurts because every fiber in my being wants to step in and fix it for her, but I can’t and couldn’t even fix it for her if I did try.
I, all too well, understand school-age struggles like that. It makes seeing her deal with hard things all too painful for my mommy heart. It is an opportunity to talk to her and teach her about her intrinsic value, independent of relationships, talents, intelligence, or financial status. It opens me up to tell her things that, from my experience, I would have wanted to hear. Because of my past, I can better understand how to love her through this. It is an opportunity to teach her that she is enough.
She will come home and talk about how well others are doing in such and such. She comes home feeling not smart enough.
…Sweet girl, you are enough and always have been.
You don’t need to be rich, smart, talented, or pretty. You don’t need to be the best at everything; In fact, you could be the worst at everything. You are still enough. God doesn’t love you because of what you are, what you can do, what you have done or will do. He loves you because He made you. You are His and each day, He tells heaven, “Have you seen my daughter? Isn’t she beautiful? Have you seen my daughter?? She is perfect in My eyes. There is no one like her.”
Sweet girl, you are enough. You always have been.
I know it’s counter-cultural and hard to remember or believe when the opposite is being told by this world.
I realized last night, that I could remind her of all the things she excelled at and was better at, but realized that it would be only a temporary fix, if even that at all. Nothing will fix lack of self-esteem other than fully realizing your true value. God’s standard of value, which you have to do nothing to obtain, nor could you even if you tried.
So, my beautiful gift from God, go about your day, strive to achieve great things, realizing that it’s ok to fail, and you don’t have to be popular with people, because you are popular with God…You are enough!
*Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
As always, positive comments are welcome. Negative hurtful comments will be trashed before I can even finish reading them. I have many readers who are emotionally vulnerable, and I will not post comments that will further harm.
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