Mary Faith. Even her name is beautiful and significant. Mary was the one and only lady that God chose to bring his Son into the world. And Faith is what all Christians must have. Whether this little one, Mary Faith, knows it or not, she is a testament to God’s plan for our lives.
Mary Faith’s life story started about ten years ago. But her CURE story started when she was a little girl. Although I just had the pleasure of meeting Mary Faith recently, she’s been to CURE multiple times and had surgery before.
And each time Mary Faith comes to CURE, something really sad happens.
Mary Faith’s mother brings her, stays in the hospital with her for a bit, and then… she leaves.
This time when Mary Faith came to CURE, it was no different.
Mary Faith and her mother came to us recently. We met them on a Monday morning. But later on, Mary Faith’s mother basically said: “I’m leaving for such and such a place. I’ll come back and pick up Mary Faith once her surgery is over.” Then she left.
And that’s when Mary Faith became ours at CURE to love and care for.
She spent over a week with us. She spent time cruising around the hospital on her crutches. She spent time with the nurses at their station. The mamas in the ward looked after her. There was TV to be watched. And laundry. Don’t forget the laundry. Mary Faith may be tiny, but she’s actually nine or ten. And she’s very independent. She did her own laundry and made sure she changed her clothes from time to time.
I also got to bring her into our office a couple of times. The first time, she sat on my lap for a very long time, and I soaked it up. I was also getting some work done and at one point I got a message from my mom: “So tell me about the photo you just posted on Facebook…” I went to Facebook and discovered a photo posted by me – apparently. Sweet Mary had been on my phone and managed to post a photo of some patient information that really shouldn’t have been posted. I hit delete, and it left Facebook. It was only a minor CUREkids Coordinator fail!
One of my co-workers made a joke about Mary Faith being my child. The thing is, recently, adoption has crossed my mind. I even told God: “If you’ll give me a husband, I’ll adopt her!” Oh the things we tell God… and then stop to consider what we’ve just prayed.
Mary Faith had been asking me for colors, so I brought her into the office again the day before she left, and I let her sit at my desk and color. She sat there and colored for a while. She also wanted my phone. I set a timer for five minutes with the agreement that she’d bring the phone back to me when the timer went off. As soon as it went off, she marched right back to me from where she’d been seated and handed me the phone!
Mary Faith has a smile that is beyond precious, and it comes so easily. And yet, when I think of her smile, I also think of the hidden girl beneath. The one who knows that her mother left her at the hospital. Again. The one who knows that other children have their mamas with them. And she doesn’t. The one who can’t help feeling rejected by the one person in the world she should be accepted by. Her mother.
Sometimes I just almost cry because it makes me so sad. I feel for her. Does she feel unwanted? Unloved? Insecure?
We can all feel for her. We’ve all felt those things. We’ve all experienced rejection.
But you know what’s amazing about Mary Faith’s story? Mary Faith, who has the same name as Jesus’s mother? Just like Mary Faith, Jesus felt rejected too while he was here on earth. But, He also took the ultimate rejection – from His and our Father – so that Mary Faith and all of us don’t have to feel rejected.
Right now, things look bleak for Mary Faith. CURE staff had to take her to a temporary children’s home. She has been going to boarding school, but she’s on break and that’s why she was with her mom. Because of some things Mary Faith’s mom told CURE staff, a social worker has decided that it would be best to locate another relative that can take over Mary Faith’s care when she’s not in school. And to top it all off, she was unable to have surgery while at CURE because her mother was not there to care for her.
Mary Faith’s story is heartbreaking, but it is not over yet.
We have a God that is bigger than the biggest heartbreak. He can put any broken heart back together again. He can put Mary Faith’s broken heart back together again. He can put her mother’s broken heart back together again.
It’s easy to think of her mother as a horrible, terrible person. How could you leave your sweet and beautiful daughter at a hospital by herself and then not come back for her?
But you know what? Her mother’s heart has probably been broken by something too. And just like the rest of us, she’s a sinner. But Jesus died for her too. And he wants to fix her and Mary Faith’s hearts and this broken relationship between the two of them.
So please pray, friends.
Pray for Mary Faith – that she would know God’s deep, deep love for her. That she would be cared for always. And that her relationship with her mama would be restored.
Pray for her mama – that she would be woken up to her sin. That she would begin to love her daughter deeply. And that she would give everything to Jesus.
Pray and thank God for – the people looking out for Mary Faith. There’s a Catholic charity that watches out for her. The social worker will hopefully find a relative of Mary Faith’s to help watch out for her. And she has a boarding school that she attends that God-willing will watch out for her.
And let’s not forget the CURE staff who love her and want what’s best for her. Elizabeth, one of our staff members who helped take Mary Faith to the children’s home, told me about when they were dropping her off: “She cried when we left her. I almost cried too.”
God has given our staff members unique hearts for our kiddos. You see it in the way the nurses let Mary Faith come and be with them at their desk. You see it from the tears that Elizabeth felt like crying. You see it in all of the hellos that Mary Faith received while here. You see it in the prayers that were and are prayed for her. You even see it in comments like: “I’ve wondered if I should adopt her!” This comment came from a co-worker when I told her about my thoughts on adopting Mary Faith!
We’re hoping that eventually, a relative or guardian will be able to bring Mary Faith back to CURE so that she can have surgery. And when she does, we’re excited to highlight this sweet girl as a CUREkid. We’re hoping that by doing this, we can bring her some encouragement through get-well messages and letting her know people are praying for her.
But, in the meantime friends, may each one of you —
“Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you.” Elisabeth Elliot
And this includes Mary Faith.