Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just Believe!!!

A very good friend of mine recently sent me a video clip of her beautiful and talented 14 year old daughter, Zoe Noell, singing a song she wrote while accompanied by another very talented 14 year old award winning classical pianist, Michael Yallourakis.

When I listened to the song for the first time, so many things hit home with me. This life, this adventure that I'm on has tested my faith so many times. I have at times had to put everything into God's hands because it was too much for me to bear and other times I believe that God has pushed me along wanting me to see the difference I could make. I had to believe in Him and then in myself to make it through and only then could I do the same for my children.

As I have often pondered on my boys and their differences I found myself always asking God to guide times I've asked that he make problems and issues just go away...I wanted an easier road. But honestly, some of my strongest life lessons, some of the things I hold most dear to me in my heart have been learned as I have faced the challenges of raising children that are differently abled, that learn in a different way. I have taken on the challenge of helping them realize their full potential and yet making sure they know how much I love and cherish them for the wonderful individuals that they are. My life often feels like I am walking on a tight rope, as is the feeling for most parents I imagine....mine just doesn't seem to have a net and it's really high and I'm afraid of heights and someone forgot to teach me how to do this. But then I stop...I think about how Ben, Danielle and Sam view life and I work to help lower their tight rope (ease their fears), to build that safety net (helping them to make good choices and letting them know that I will catch them if they fall) and to encourage them to take the next step. I imagine Ben running, skipping and jumping across his tightrope making me nervous, anxious and always watchful, sometimes I picture him hanging on by just one finger and at other times showing me skill and ability I didn't think was possible on a tightrope. I envision Danielle gliding, dancing and spinning across hers with a jump or two just to make sure I'm paying attention and I haven't let my guard down. And then there is my dear, amazing Sammy taking five huge steps forward with determination and unbelievable persistence and then a few steps back but always trying to move forward and never taking a step without a huge smile or yelling a huge "NO". As a parent the greatest gift I can give to my children is to "Just Believe", those two words hold so much hope and power. To believe in God, to believe in themselves and their abilities, to believe in other people, to believe that anything is possible. This takes it past dreaming, this is the action step.

As I listen to Zoe's song another time in my life comes to mind. The building of Possibility Playground. Zoe writes "I believe that everyone came make a difference." I think of my co-general coordinator, each member of the steering committee, our donors, those who donated supplies and services, our community, our city, each and every person that touched that project. WE BELIEVED!

When I asked Zoe's mom, how does a 14 year old write such a powerful song like this, she replied:

"Zoe and I were curled up watching a special on TV about children from the US going to Africa to build wells for clean water. After the show she picked up her pen and started writing. She wanted to let people know that if one person does something to make a difference, others will likely follow and benefit too, in one way or another."

My friend and her family also have a wonderful love and commitment of children who are differently abled. In the video you get to see some of these wonderful children and I think the message is clear that "everyone can make a difference".

And now the moment you have all been waiting for, I present to you an amazing song by an equally amazing girl, Zoe Noell's, Just Believe:

Enjoy the song and in Zoe's words, "Keep your faith and hold your head up high and JUST BELIEVE."


  1. Sue--that was terrific! I'm going to link to your blog and post the youtube link as well (with your permission). The song mirrors the last paragraph in my latest post. Zoe is amazing!

  2. Wow!! Thank you for sharing this. It is beautiful. Doesn't it make you so very hopeful for our future? In the hands of these awesome kids? Fabulous!