Father of Newborn Prayed God Would Heal Her or Take Her to Heaven. He Didn’t Know God Had a Different Plan
“I prayed that God would heal her or that he would just take her home.” Pastor Robin Steele remembers the day his daughter was born 17 years ago. He and his wife found out that their newborn baby had a rare condition that would eventually take her life. While he prayed for one of two options, he didn’t realize that God had a different plan.
I Wasn’t Truly Loving Her
Baby Kennady was born with Alobar Holoprosencephaly, which means her brain did not separate into two hemispheres. Doctors told the Steeles that she wouldn’t have a meaningful life. They told them to take her home and love her while they had her. Steele and his wife continued to pray for Kennady. One day while praying for her, Steele had a revelation. “I slowly realized that I wasn’t truly loving her and knowing her for who she was because I constantly wanted her to change.”
At that moment during his prayer, he began to feel peace. “This is okay,” Steele thought. “This is going to work. God is in control, He’s got this figured out.” He thought about all the ways God was providing for his family. “We had a great life. God had provided every single day what we needed — whether it was somebody to help with childcare, or a financial need, or a doctor that was provided for us that we didn’t know about. Every step of the way God had provided the grace to handle the situation.”
I Didn’t Know God was That Good
Steele thought about 1 Corinthians 2:9. In their family, he says, “the Scripture was being lived out that ‘no eye has seen nor ear heard, no mind can conceive what God has in store for those who love him.’ When I was in that hospital room early on, my mind could not conceive that I could have a good life and my daughter could be disabled at the same time. I didn’t know God was that good. I thought the only way for Him to be displayed was for her to be healed. I didn’t know that God was so good that she could be in the state that she was and our family could be happy and whole and strong.” It was a relief to receive that revelation.
Joyful in the Moment
The Steele family has learned a lot from Kennady, not the least of which is how to enjoy life each day and be joyful in the moment. “She’s unable to do anything as far as using her hands or feet. So we have to do things for her. We put her in bed at night, we position her and she has to stay in that position the entire night until we come and rotate her the next day. We’ll go in there in the morning and turn on the light and she’s been awake. She’s just smiling at us and it’s like, ‘How can you be happy stuck in a position and you have zero control over your life?’ Yet she is at peace.”
Kennady rests in the peace of God so that even physical limitations don’t steal that away. “She’s disabled, her brain is not able to think in certain ways. We call that a handicap, but there are some blessings to it. … I think she’s in tune with the Spirit much more than we are because she doesn’t have those distractions that we have and she doesn’t have the hunger for satisfaction.” Steele explained that people often get satisfaction from entertainment, sports, relationships or something else. “She’s purely satisfied by God, it’s clear.” She lives “in the moment.”
A Much Different Prayer
Being Kennady’s father has taught Steele about prayer. “Sometimes life is difficult and your prayers do not get answered the way you want them to be answered. [But] God has a different plan for your life.” God isn’t abandoning us when He decides not to answer prayers in a specific way. “He’s going to provide the grace for that ‘no’ answer. That’s the ultimate lesson.”
God’s grace has been sufficient, said Steele. He now prays a much different prayer. “Our prayers have shifted to ‘let the will of God be done.’ We’re praying ‘Your will be done.’ We’re praying for the grace to happen for today. And ‘Lord, if it’s in Your will, heal her completely.’ I didn’t pray that for a while, but now I’ve kind of come full circle and I’m okay either way. He also said, ‘Ye have not because ye ask not.’ I’m going to go ahead and ask but I’m not depending on that for my peace.”
The Jesus He Knows
Because of his experiences, Steele hopes to help others who are in similar circumstances. He wants to show them the Jesus he knows. “When I meet somebody with a special needs kid, my heart just goes out to them. I just want them to know that I’m there for them. I want to listen and offer any help that I can and just hope that our life can be a picture of the Gospel to them. [I want them to know] that they can make it. Whether their kid lives or dies or has special needs their whole life, they can make it outside of that kids’ circumstances. I just hope that that message gets across because, man, I can’t imagine living this life without the faith in Jesus that we have.”