Spirit-Led Woman

Want to receive SpiritLed Woman by email? Sign up here
DÁndra Haywood
DÁndra Haywood would go to church every day if she could.

The SpiritLed Woman podcast is empowering women weekly to follow their purpose in Christ and boldly walk in faith. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.

Today I read a testimony that hurt me. I hated the fact that it stung me when I read it because I should celebrate with this couple that they received their answer to prayer. The testimony hurt me because I'm still waiting for God to heal my daughter.
When DÁndra was a baby, a lady told me that she would be healed of Down Syndrome at 3 years old. She turned 12 last May, and she still has Down syndrome.
I read a testimony today of a couple who received a diagnosis that their baby had Down syndrome. Their church prayed, and their baby was born healthy. Hallelujah! I should be doing a praise dance, but I gulped when I read it and cried all day. I'm in a church that has seen lots of healings, and sometimes it has been hard hearing the testimonies.
I fight the urge to leave the community of faith when I feel like my daughter's birth has marked me or made me a burden. I'm a target for every person who has a word about why she has Down syndrome. One well-meaning lady told me that my daughter has Down syndrome because I had a great-great-grandfather who practiced incest. "Ask the Lord if there's incest, and break it over your family," she told me in the church bathroom. I wanted to vomit because I was not about to investigate my family line for sexual perversion.
I mean, the church ideally should be the safest place for people who are weak, frail or disabled, right? My church has bent over backwards to help with DÁndra, and she pretty much blends in with people. I'm thankful for the church staff that has been very committed to her well-being. But there are still individuals who will take it upon themselves to give you a "word" when you have a child with a disability.
I've cried out to God to remove every trace of bitterness in my soul because I haven't gotten to stand in front of the congregation to tell them she has been healed. Instead, I celebrate what God has done in her now:
  • She loves to go to church. She would go to church every day if she could.
  • She loves to worship.
  • She is a fiery prayer person.
  • She is prone to being independent which is a typical tween attitude.
  • She is far more sensitive and caring about people than most people that I know.
  • She is extremely outspoken and verbally coherent. You can understand what she is saying, and she has something to say.
  • She's funny, a jokester, and makes me laugh.
  • She has taught me patience and compassion that I didn't know I had.
  • She has opened up a whole new world I didn't notice of people with disabilities. I'm extremely sensitive to how people with disabilities are treated and perceived.
  • She has made an advocate for people who can't speak up for themselves.
My dream is to see the church become the safest place for people with disabilities. I dream of individuals with disabilities being able to step into the house of God and for one moment in His presence, feel normal, loved and significant. Every moment of life, they are told without words that they are inconvenient and stupid by society that prizes beauty and strength. I would love to see a church where they can forget they are disabled and blend in with the community of faith because we are all disabled by sin, fear, poverty and more.
I dream of the church being a place where Christ can step into their life without hindrances. If they get up from their wheelchair and leave their crutches—hallelujah! If they don't, we are still a part of their life and we will fight for them. But there's no pressure of perfection, performance or "get healed or something is wrong with you." Thankfully I have never ever felt that at my church.
My church isn't perfect, but it is a cocoon of acceptance and love for DÁndra. She doesn't even know she has Down syndrome because she has blended in with the congregation. When we're praying for healing, I've asked her if she wants to go down and receive prayer. "No, Mom, I pray for them," she says.
When God doesn't heal your child, know that healing is flowing. It may not be in the bright, shiny package you want it to be so you can show it off. It may be in the moments that she wants to pray for someone else to receive healing or when she says, "Mommy, is there church tonight?" When you say, "No honey, we don't have church tonight," she looks disappointed and asks, "Is there church tomorrow?"
Receive the healing God wants to bring in your heart. I pray for God's healing to flow in you. May you know His healing touch of love, acceptance, grace and strength to take care of your child. And may His healing flow through you.

Leilani Haywood is the editor of SpiritLed Woman. She is a Kansas City, Mo.-based award-winning writer and columnist. Her work has been published in the Kansas City Star, Focus on the Family, Metro Voice and other publications. Follow SpiritLed Woman on Twitter @spiritledmag or on Facebook.

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Roadblock

    6 Roadblocks That Will Stop Your Spiritual Growth

    God wants you to grow in your faith, but many of us get stuck along the way.

  • 2017 is the year that swords will clash.

    Prophetic Word: 2017 Will Bring a Clashing of Heaven and Hell

    "This is a time to cross over and not pull back."

  • Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    Inner Healing Is the Fruit of the Spirit

    I have been puzzled about the subject of inner healing for some time.

  • Cindy Jacobs

    2017: Year of the Breakthrough

    "There will be a significant increase in miracles and signs and wonders."

  • Are you willing to volunteer for God's offensive army?

    Prophetic Word: Preparing for God's World War 3

    God is searching for soldiers of the cross who are willing to volunteer for His offensive army.

  • The devil will try to silence you in any way he can. Don't give him the satisfaction.

    Satan's 2 Most Potent Lies to Render You Ineffective

    There's something in you so powerful that Satan doesn't want it out. Kyle Winkler reveals ...

  • Growing relationship

    2017 Prophetic Word: The Supernatural Key to Growing Your Relationship With God

    It's vital that we understand what comes from God and what comes from the devil.

  • Marriage man and woman

    Why Marriage Is Not Just Between a Man and a Woman

    Marriage is a miracle. Let us treat it like one.

  • Be encouraged to slow down to hear God in unexpected ways.

    A Common Reason You May Be Missing God's Voice

    Out of thousands of people, only six didn't fall into one experiment's trap. Discover how ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit