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Please Don’t Pray for My Daughter With a Disability to Be Healed

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When I post pictures of Emmy or updates of her health and development, I always get an overwhelming amount of “prayer hand” emojis. I always appreciate good thoughts for Emmy, even if it’s not something I believe in.

I also inevitably get the people who want God or Jesus to heal her. They send prayers via Instagram asking for her healing, asking God to “fix” my child.

Emmy is never going to be healed. I understand people want her to be, but God or Jesus can’t magically fix her syndrome. If you believe in those things, fine. Send her your prayers, but instead pray that her amazing surgeons can help her brain. Pray her doctors can help her breathe better through medicine and science and that she may not always need her tracheostomy. Pray that other kids will treat her kindly when she looks different. Pray that she will end up a satisfied and happy adult and that her struggles through childhood are only a blip on the radar.

But don’t pray for her to be healed. Don’t pray for her to be fixed. She’s not broken in any way that can ever be “fixed.” We adapt to her differences and help her make the best of her abilities.

Your prayers, as well intentioned as they may be, are a sorrowful reminder of who you perceive my daughter should be. We need your prayers, your well wishes, your positive vibes for what she can be, who she is destined to become. We do not need to focus on healing, but rather on developing and growing and adapting.

My daughter will never be typical, and no amount of any positivity and good will can make that happen.

What she can be is brave. Strong. Kind. She can be unique and she can be wonderful. She is cherished and loved exactly how she is and how she will be in the future.

What she can be is extraordinary.

Originally published: June 4, 2018
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