I awoke this morning with the same words on my mind that were there last night. Words for a little seven-year-old girl I’ve never met, whose parents and family I do not know, but through social media connections, I was led to her and her story.
“Little girl, get up!”
Eva (pronounced Ava) Love Sherbondy continues to be hospitalized and unresponsive after a fluke accident on August 22 that left her with a brain injury. Eva’s parents reached out to social media followers the next day asking for prayers for her healing and recovery. My Instagram feed was overwhelmed with friends sharing about Eva that day as I started to follow her parents and Eva’s journey. Immediately, my mama’s heart connected to the prayers and words her parents posted. The same ones I would struggle to write if I were in their place with my own seven-year-old girl.
This morning I read the Instagram post from her dad sharing about his night of no sleep and the words that flowed with the rhythm of his heart, “Talitha koum. Talitha koum. Talitha koum.” These are the same words they have been praying over their daughter every day, the same words Jesus spoke over Jairus’ daughter in Mark 5:41. This time though, her dad wrote, “Jesus didn’t tell her to “wake up.” He told her to “get up”, which changed my mindset a bit. I obviously want Eva to wake up, but by using the term “get up”, it implies a total and complete healing. She could wake up and still not necessarily be whole, but for her to get up, her mind and body would have to both be healed…and THAT is what I want for my little girl.”
As I reflected on this, I recognized the greatness of those words that we all have been praying and whispering for Eva. The miracle that we seek that shows the magnitude of God’s love and answered prayers. In just that moment, I was startled to another revelation. I have been here before. I have witnessed a miracle and the rising of another little girl who completely woke up after a tragic accident. I called to mind baby Joy who entered my world almost 3 years ago in just the same manner, after an accident, while she lay in a hospital not waking up and her parents praying the same words of Talitha koum to her as well. I joined her team of prayer warriors just as I have joined sweet Eva’s. Baby Joy is now 4 years old and she still shows up on my Instagram feed singing, running and smiling in her every day miraculous life.
Pondering these girls this morning, I connected even more dots to the beautiful relation of myself to each of them. When Joy was in the hospital, my word of the year had been JOY and I was gifted to be blessed by her and uniting in prayer for her early on that year. Similarly, my word this year and scripture focus is ARISE and Talitha koum, “Little girl, arise!” What precious gifts these girls have been to my quiet prayers and uniting of mission for their complete healing and restoration of life.
Again, I’m reminded of the connectivity of the body of Christ and just how big it is when we come together, each in our own brokenness and in need of healing, each of us touched by a story and life we may not have ever known, if not for the tragedy that affected their life. Each of us drawn to act or respond to the need, hearts connected, hands folded, uttering the same petition in eager anticipation of a God of miracles and surprises.
True, social media can be an unpredictable place of squares and posts that lead to comparison and disturbed feelings of our own inadequacy, but if you’re surrounded by the lives and faces of those who encourage and support you and your story, you’ll also find that it weaves an intricate tapestry that includes lives that may not have otherwise intersected with your own.