Vaneetha and I chat about her childhood with polio, the loss of her son Paul, the way God held her through the grief, God’s sovereignty, caring for two adolescent daughters alone, lament, and seeing God’s glory.
4:52 Vaneetha’s website is Dance in the Rain, which is very descriptive of her life. She shares her story with us, beginning with her polio diagnosis
Born in India to Christian parents
Diagnosed with polio
Moved to England and received 1st surgery at age 2
Moved to Canada
Spent the majority her time living in the Shriner’s hospital
8:43 Vaneetha shares about her suffering theology after experiencing polio. Then, she continues to share about multiple miscarriages and the loss of her 2 month old son, Paul.
“I remember hanging up the phone and begging God. Just begging Him. I will do anything if You would save my son.”
“That day and I would say for a week after, through the funeral, God just carried me. I had this sense that God was there even though I felt so devastated. There was the supernatural sense that God was with me.”
EP.36: Treva Kuyper | Hope and Healing After Unexpected Loss
14:09 Vaneetha shares how her relationship with Jesus changed in the months and years after the loss of Paul
“I remember being in the car and saying, ‘Okay God, I can’t pull away from You. Show me Your listening. Draw near to me.’ I put myself out there in a way I had been afraid to. I felt in some ways, how can I trust You God when I begged You to do something and You didn’t? I felt that I really opened my heart up to God when I asked that question….The next few moments, honestly Amber, were the most amazing moments of my life, even today. The sense of God filled my car…There was this joy and it wasn’t in anything but God.”
“It was the marker in my life that no matter what, God said, ‘I will give you this joy that you can’t explain, but it is rooted in Me and no one can take this from you’.”
Markers or Joshua Stones: Joshua 4
17:38 Years later Vaneetha was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome and her husband had an affair and left her to care for their 2 daughters alone. Vaneetha answers this question: As one blow after another came, did you cling to God, did you question him, did you shake your fists at Him, all of the above?
“I had to pare down life to the bare minimum.”
“I believe God is sovereign, so God could have stopped that. I felt so much like, ‘Why? Why are you doing this?’ It was the most personal of everything that had happened [her husband’s affair].”
“I was crumbling. I remember yelling at God, crying to God, begging God, all of those things. I remember one night…saying, ‘God, help me. What are You doing? I can’t do this.’ I read John 11, the raising of Lazarus and reading the words if you believe you will see the glory of God. I remember crying out to God, ‘I believe, help my unbelief. I want to see Your glory.’ It was another time God said, ‘I am going to hold you. You can not see what I am doing right now. You just can’t see it, but I am doing something that you need to trust’.
Christa Wells, a friend of Vaneetha’s wrote a song about Paul titled Held, which ended up being sung by Natalie Grant.
” ‘Two months is too little, but they let him go. They had no sudden healing’….I see how God used that in that crushing time in my life. The words of that song, ‘This is what it means to be HELD, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell you’d be HELD.’ That is the story of my life. The sacred has been torn from my life over and over and over and yet God has HELD me. Remembering that song, remembering what God did through that song and through my life really gave me the courage to say, Okay, I am going to put a stake in the ground and trust You in the midst of this and trust that You love me even though I don’t feel loved.”
25:49 Vaneetha talks to the person who may be struggling with the belief that a good God wouldn’t allow all of this to happen.
SHOW NOTES continued
Follow Vaneetha on IG, FB and Dance In The Rain
Follow Grace Enough Podcast on IG and FB