My Name Means Listener of God

My name means listener of God

But I wasn’t always able to hear.

It wasn’t until I was two that my parents found out my adenoids were blocking sound from entering my ears. I was “deaf” the first two years of my life.  

But my name means listener of God.

I was 13 when I noticed something was off. I struggled to hear my teachers. I was asking everyone to repeat themselves.

The doctors did tests only to find out I had the average hearing of a 50-year-old at the mere age of 13. If things regressed, I would need hearing aids by the age of thirty, I was told.

But my name means listener of God.

I lipread my way through middle school and the beginning of high school. Why would my name mean listener of God when I was struggling to hear?

My ears were producing more wax than necessary. Ears that don’t hear. Ears that overproduce wax.

But my name means listener of God.

I was angry and frustrated.

Why would I be named this?

And yet, in the world that felt like it was destined to silence on me, I heard God. And I learned the difference between hearing and listening.

I prayed for healing and experienced some. But I eventually made peace with the prognosis over my life. I made peace with the possibility that I would need hearing aids by 30. I made peace with the unknown.

I am a listener of God.

7 years went by.

The story of my ears became old news. I accepted the “hard of hearing” label and rolled with the punches. I found a way to live life without many people knowing.

Then on a Wednesday in January 2020, I went to a Wesley service.

The morning of I felt like God told me He had healing for me, but He did not reveal what kind of healing.

I am a listener of God.

The guest speaker that night gave a great message about God’s love and affection. I was undone.

The guest speaker closed by saying, “I think God wants to heal someone tonight… I think He wants to heal someone’s ears.”

I scoffed. What boldness. Would anyone go up?

My hearing problems weren’t that bad. Surely, he wasn’t speaking about me. Surely, I’ve accepted my low-grade hearing as reality.  

The speaker waited.

And waited.

Then, he pointed to where I sat with my friends every Wednesday night and said, “I think the person is sitting over here.”

I could not move.

Surely, this is about me. None of my friends have hearing problems.

I waited and waited. I waited till he got off the stage. I waited 5 minutes. I waited because I did not know if I wanted to try for healing again.

But I am a listener of God.

And my God is comforting.

I felt the Father’s gentleness tell me it was okay to step out.

The guest speaker, who I had never met before, prayed over me. My ears began to get really warm. I felt wax loosen up and unclog. I felt the bitterness in my heart release. I was undone.

The next day I walked by a bus and my head began to hurt. I hadn’t heard the bus that loud before.  

I am a listener of God.

And I won’t need hearing aids at the age of 30.

Author  |  Samantha Richey




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