Friday, July 22, 2011

Why I don't pray for a miracle

First of all, I have to say that as a Christian, I believe in the supernatural. I believe in miracles. I believe that healings still happen today. However, I do not pray for Maddy to be "healed" of her dwarfism. Not because I do not have faith, but because I completely believe with all my heart that God made her different for a reason, and to change that one aspect of her would be to change who God made her to be. 

There are people in our lives who seem to be fixated upon the fact that Maddy is a dwarf and they continue to "pray for a miracle" for her. This really bothers me because these people are missing a very important biblical truth. I wrote part of my thoughts on this topic over a year ago in this post - "My thoughts on God and suffering" (have a read, if you haven't already. It's one of my favourites). Simply put though, they are missing the fact that sometimes God allows something that looks like weakness to the world in order to show His strength. In my pregnancy, I felt a lot like Paul did, when he prayed and prayed for God to remove his "thorn in the flesh". God's answer to him, as it was to me, was "No - my grace is enough for you". And so Paul learned to accept and boast about his weaknesses instead of continuing to pray for God to change the situation.

In order for God to "heal" Maddy, he would need to change her DNA completely. He would need to go into every cell in her body and take out the affected DNA and replace it with different DNA. DNA that was not Maddy. There is absolutely no difference in me praying for God to heal Maddy's dwarfism as there would be if I prayed for God to change my Chinese husband and make him Caucasian. Or if I prayed for him to turn my uncle into an aunt. We can all see that features such as race or gender would fundamentally change who someone is - and it is the same with this one little gene that causes dwarfism. If God changed it, he would be fundamentally changing who Maddy is - and I don't want that. I love my daughter the way that God made her, and I wish that everyone else would too!

Today I came across a fantastic new blog called Noah's Dad. Noah's dad was writing about this same topic and echoed my thoughts so well - in fact, his post was what inspired me to write this. He says:

... sometimes when people say they are praying for our son they have this tone in their voice like they are praying for him to be “healed” of the swine flu, or the chicken pox. I jokingly (and I really do say this) say to them, “No!  Please don’t pray for our son to be ‘healed’ of Down syndrome. We really like our son, and would prefer to keep him!”
... If you were to “take away” Down syndrome you would take away our son.  He would have a completely different genetic code, thus being a completely different person.

So pray for him to behave, pray for him to come to know God through Christ, pray for him to develop into everything God has created him to be, pray for him to be loving, and kind, and pray for the small hole in his heart to close up before we go back to the doctor.

But please don’t pray for him to be “healed” of Down syndrome.

So in my own words, I want to ask you all - please continue to pray for Maddy. Pray that she will be the healthiest Diastrophic Dwarf in the world, that she will not have many of the common complications of her condition. Pray that when she has the surgery to close her palate, that she will respond well to the anesthesia. Pray that she will grow up to be loved and accepted by all, that she will develop a strong sense of identity. Pray that she will excel in everything that she does. Pray for her character. Pray that she will learn to accept that God made her differently and that she will allow Him to be made strong through her weaknesses. But please do not pray that that she will be made different than who she is. By doing so, you are praying against one of the very things that God intended to make her special.


  1. Beautiful post. And I do pray that God will continue to keep Maddy healthy and that she is used for his Glory like he has intended to do! She is such a sweet baby.

  2. I pray, that when she's older and wants to come to the United States, that she can come stay with me for a few days!! haha =)

    -Amy Smallwood

  3. Now YOU have inspired ME to write a post about this topic too. I will tell Noah's Dad. =) I talk to him on twitter a lot.

  4. So well said. Maddy is fearfully and wonderfully made! She is also blessed to have such amazing mummy xx

  5. Wow,

    I should have been the one quoting you!

    Thank you for your kind words about our site, and our son. Your Maddy is a doll. I prayed for her right before I typed this. I also sent your link out to about 9 thousand of my closest friends this afternoon! (@RickSmith) I was so impressed with your love for God which shines through to how you love your family. So great to hear!

    You don't worry one bit about what the anyone in the world says..God is taking you into places of his heart that few even know exist. I'm so thankful to have "met" you guys and I hope to continue to get to know you guys.

    By the way, I'd encourage you to leave a comment on our site - there are so many wonderful families that comes to our site, and I know that'd like to see your Maddy!

    You can also find us on facebook at

    thank you again..your words are very humbling, and give us the motivation to keep doing what we do!

    Oh...and by the way...I'm "stealing" these lines! :)

    "There is absolutely no difference in me praying for God to heal Maddy's dwarfism as there would be if I prayed for God to change my Chinese husband and make him Caucasian. Or if I prayed for him to turn my uncle into an aunt."

    (Noah's Dad)

  6. Your words have brought me to tears and I completely agree!! While ia m not a mother, I mightbas well be to one special little boy named Asher who has Down Syndrome. Thank you for this post!!

  7. Beautiful! Sending love to your family xoxo thanks to Noahsdad for sharing and 'introducing' Maddy to us. Someone once said, "oh, I'm so sorry", when we told them our daughter has Down Syndrome. I was like, please don't be sorry! We are SO lucky! And I felt like there was nothing I could say to change their mind.

  8. @Melody - Good for you for helping educate! :)

  9. Maddy is just a wonderful precious little girl, why would you ever want her to change? I pray for her to be healthy and live a long happy life, nothing more, nothing less.

  10. I just *love* this post. Do you mind if I share it on kidz? ( Just let me know Thanks! Tara

  11. wow, I love this post, perfectly said.

  12. Just found your blog and was thankful to read it. I share your perspective and am so thankful for fearfully and wonderfully creating my son. Looking forward to reading your blog!

  13. Nicole, I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I feel the same about my daughter and I can no understand how others do not 'get' what Im thinking. I can not pray for a miracle because my child is a miracle and she is exactly as she ought to be. Ive been called 'fluffy' and 'dreamy' but in my heart I feel so very blessed to have her in my life, to be 'nominated' by the Almighty to share her life and watch her grow. I thank you for your truths. God bless you and your family

  14. Whom the heck is really Noah's Dad aka Rick Smith anyway and will he be the next Kelle Hampton, if he puts his blog into a memoir form? Like Kelle Hampton has done with her blog, Bloom. Basically, all of this has been bugging for a mo now. Have yet to come info that tells me one way or the other if both of them are for real or fake.

  15. Great post, Nicole! Totally agree with you :)