That’s what my son, who was 4 at the time, asked me out of the blue one day. Eric and I were gathered around the kitchen table with our two other children who were talking excitedly about the arrival of their baby sister.
“Did God make me talk like this?” our sweet Silas asked again. I shot a quick look to Eric for a rescue of some sort to at least give me some time to control the tears that were already forming. What do I say? How can I say it in a way that he would understand? Clearly I wasn’t prepared for this question!
I can’t quite remember, but Eric then said something cute and silly to make him laugh. What I do remember is the look of sincere questioning and need for explanation in my baby’s eyes. I fumbled out something to the sort of God doesn’t make mistakes, He loves you, this is a challenge but we persevere and work through it. Silas then left happily to go play and Eric and I sat there, realizing we needed to be better prepared for his questions and to start being proactive in everyday life in regards to talking about his speech impediment.
As a new parent, the thought of developmental delays and struggles are the furthest thing from one’s mind. From the moment you know there is a new life being formed you are consumed with the hopes and dreams you have for them. The joy and awe in watching them grow and develop can barely be put into words. It can be a worrisome road of the unknown when slowly, over time, you listen to that inner instinct that something is not right with your child. It had been a long 4 years of pediatrician and specialist visits, therapy sessions, and a multitude of tests. Up until this point it, had been Eric and I shouldering the weight of this all. The reality that Silas was noticing a difference in himself and this struggle was his, hit hard that day with his question.
I haven’t been a parent very long but one thing I have learned along this journey is that I don’t have all the control. No matter what I do, I cannot miraculously take my son’s speech impediment away. What I can do is heed the Spirit’s leading, follow His direction in finding those who can help us, research and learn all I can about his struggle. I can fall and rest deeply in the Lord, and have faith and trust in the One who is the creator of all things.
The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.
The Lord rightly asks Moses in Exodus 4:11, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the LORD?” Yes, it is the Lord! And I KNOW that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
The disciples asked difficult questions too, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). In essence, why? Why Lord? Why must this person struggle? Why must I watch my child have limitations? Why can’t I know what is deep in my son’s heart? Why must that be hidden from me?
Jesus gives the most comforting answer,
“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him”.
Every day I bathe Silas in truth and declare promises over him, that the Lord will be glorified in all aspects of his life, and that Silas, himself will find his purpose in his struggle to speak clearly and allow the works of God to be displayed in him.
So now, when Silas asks, “Did God make me talk like this?” my answer is, “Yes. Yes He did. You have been made in the very image of our God and you are the apple of His eye! He has chosen you so that everyone can see His mighty works!”