I Want You To Know Part 1

hat you’re about to read is a personal story of hearing loss and advocacy.  This is a study of being an advocate through the lens of a story.  It is an observation of having the experience of advocates who were on my side through-out my life.

This is my story — raw and unrefined, and as true as I can remember it.  Consider this installment a foreword.

The Shining Example of Advocacy

I know my story, all too well.  I tell it as if it happened to someone else.  Even so, it takes a lot out of me to the point where I realize it’s going to impact someone every time I tell it, even myself, that I’m left shaking when I’m done.  It is an emotionally draining process, remembering each detail given to me by my family and pieced together as I grew older.

When I started this Heart to Ear project, I knew it was inevitable.  This story would come out in pieces of posts addressing different topics.  That’s how I visualized it happening.  I’m a dreamer with limited imagination.

It was during a brief moment of quiet, on an interstate, during a very long trip that an idea sparked.  It came in this form of inspiration:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
– 1 John 2:1 {emphasis mine}

This was a study of how many Names God was known by.  One of them was Advocate.  Advocate has two important ideas of what the name means.  First, it is an act; the act of supporting, defending, protecting, getting someone else’s voice heard, and standing up for their humanity and rights.  Second, it is a person who does the pleading on someone else’s behalf and supports the choices someone else makes.

Christ has interceded for us.  I know this is in reference to the washing of sins, but His intercession was also for how we could live our life to the fullest in the Father’s glory (John 10:10).  When I thought of it, somewhat groggily as it was a darn long trip, I reminisced on all the advocates of my life.

The Procession of Advocacy

There they were.  Hearing interpreters; my friends who made sure I understood what was going on in a group of people chatting; the people who went through the process of learning about cochlear implant with me; my family members; and so many more.

The ultimate, though, is my grandmother.  She fought long and hard; for custody of me, for appropriate interpreters in classes for me, for my health, for my communication (she believed in both sign language and verbal speech), in those long hours of driving to be tested for cochlear implant, for my driver’s license, and ultimately, defended my freedom.

I recall my youngest aunt doing the same for me, in many ways, in far more unique and subtle ways that she often became the loud, assertive voice for my safety and happiness.  When, at times, I perceived my family members to be cold (in my young, uncertain mind), my aunt was steadfast and understanding.

Whatever else my grandmother and my aunt may be to anyone, to me they showed expressly what it is follow Christ’s example.  To take someone you love out of the deep dark that came in the aftershock of the death of a daughter and a sister.

What follows is my story.  It is the story of losses in many ways and a story of gains in many ways.  It is the story my spirit whispers on a daily basis, the story that God has refined me through fire to take me to this place in life, and further fires await me still.

Part 2 is here!