When a little girl named Lonely became Miracle
It was a hot day in Malawi when I sat down with Lezita, a mother, and her daughter, Miracle.
Lezita sat close to me and as she spoke, the people around us faded into the background. I’ve sat with many moms in other countries, and they seem to sense that I’m a mother too, even if I haven’t told them about my kids. More often than not, there’s a moment of heart connection when we both understand the ache and love we feel for our children.
As Lezita told me the story of her daughter’s suffering, I was struck by the sadness of her eyes and the weary tone of her voice. It was as if she was re-living all the pain and worry she had felt for months and months. The memories were fresh. I’m still honoured that Lezita chose to share her heart with me that day.
She told me that a year ago, her six-year-old daughter, Lonely, had contracted malaria and slipped into a coma for two weeks. No one thought her girl would wake up. So when Lonely finally did open her eyes, much to the nurses’ amazement, they declared, “You should no longer call this girl ‘Lonely’. You should call her ‘Miracle’.”
Lezita lowered her voice and looked at the ground as she confided to me that she couldn’t bring herself to use her daughter’s new name at first.
Her daughter was alive, but she had been left paralyzed. There was nothing miraculous about her child’s motionless limbs. What kind of a future would her child have if she couldn’t even hold her head up?
In the weeks and months following, Lezita would dig a trough in the dirt and pack her daughter into it, just so she could sit upright with some support.
I find myself wondering what Lezita’s prayers sounded like during that time. I wish I had known her then – I wish I could have prayed with her and helped lift her broken heart to God. I wonder if she begged God to heal her daughter. If she whispered a desperate plea for another, more complete miracle.
But time passed, and nothing changed. Lezita spoke quietly, “I had lost all hope my child would ever walk again.”
Then Lezita told me about a community rehabilitation worker named Michael who visited their family. He taught Lezita how to exercise Miracle’s arms and legs. He walked her through every stretch.
Lezita repeated these slow movements and stretches every single day…and the weeks passed. Then months.
She told me, “I used to ask Michael, ‘Are you sure this child is going to walk?’”
And God bless Michael. He assured Lezita, “I’ve been doing this a long time. I believe Miracle will be able to walk.”
After many months, it happened. Miracle wobbled to her feet and stood…all on her own. I can almost hear the tears of joy choking Lezita’s voice as she spoke her daughter’s name for the first time, “Miracle.”
As I watched Miracle the day I visited, as I watched her jump rope with such joy and abandon, knowing all she’d been through, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Then I looked at Lezita.
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more glorious smile.
Her whole face was beaming as she proudly watched her daughter. It was the smile of someone who knew she had experienced a living miracle.
I used to wonder if God still does miracles. But I’ve met too many moms and kids like Lezita and Miracle… so I know He does miracles.
As a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, I see people desperate for miracles every day. The need can be overwhelming. And it’s easy for me to lose hope like Lezita. That’s why I keep Miracle’s picture close. To remind me that nothing is impossible for God.
Maybe you need a miracle today too.
So I’m asking you to join me. This year, I’m asking God to do 100 miracles, and I’m believing they can happen.
I know our God is big enough. I love what the prophet Jeremiah said in Jeremiah 17:32: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
What if today, you and I let those words spark hope in our cautious souls? What if we stepped out in faith and asked God for a miracle? A miracle for the little girl halfway around the world, waiting in pain and loneliness for life-changing surgery. A miracle for the friend who just received a heart-crushing diagnosis. A miracle for the prodigal child who ran away years ago. A miracle for our broken hearts that long for joy and comfort. For hope.
So today, I’m choosing to step out. Today, I’m choosing to lift my eyes to heaven and ask God for 100 miracles.
Will you join me?
Our Facebook community is a place to lift each other up to God. It’s a place for you to share the miracles you’re praying for and have other women support and strengthen you in prayer. Where broken and lonely hearts are reminded of the power of community and the power of our God. It’s a place where we’ll entrust you with exclusive prayer requests for moms and children wrestling through surgery and the recovery process. Just like Lezita and Miracle. Children and mothers, your children, your mothers, you and I, we all need prayer.
Will you commit to joining our Facebook page and praying with us?
Your prayers make a difference. Join our praying community, 100 Miracles of Prayer, and let’s be part of God’s miracles on earth.
Beth Jost-Reimer has been working with Hope and Healing International for almost 30 years. She’s heard hundreds of first-hand accounts of hope and impact from families in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It’s a joy for her to document individual voices and the faces of families who are trapped in and eventually set free from the vicious cycle of poverty and disability. Beth currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her wonderful husband Darrell, her two children Madeleine and Lu, and her three utterly distinct cats.