The Prayer of Jabez

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2016 was off to a pretty good start.  Last week, I got word that I passed the difficult Comprehensive Exams in October. This week, my Dean asked me if I wanted to join the team to teach Sped online in the summer.  Of course, I said yes and thank you.  Thank you for thinking of me.  Thank you for the vote of confidence.  I told her that I was half expecting her to do a Steve Harvey and say, “you know I made a mistake; I read the wrong name and you didn’t pass!”

Anyway, Dean and I met yesterday and among the many things that she shared was the Prayer of Jabez.  She said that prior to opening a school 14 years ago, she kept seeing the prayer everywhere but didn’t understand what it meant.  I said I wasn’t familiar with it.  Dean said that the name Jabez means pain.  She said that because of this prayer, they built a school which didn’t have an identity at first.  She said it started with just three students and became a Sped school along the way.  “Maybe we can help lessen the pain of others.” As I listened to her, I couldn’t help but think of my own pain and how it has led me to Sped.

This morning, I Googled the prayer which is based on an Old Testament passage:

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”  Jabez cried out to god of Israel saying, “Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory!  Let your hand be with me, and keep me from the evil one. ” And God granted his request.

Incidentally, my thesis advicer rejected my draft research proposal on autism – and for good reason.  She wanted me to do a paper that’s never been done.  “This of it as your contribution to the research community.  There are just too many papers on autism.”

I think I purposely veered away from orhan diseases because it will all be too painful to go back to what happened to us in 2006-2007.  I didn’t tell my adviser that I’m involved in a group lobbying for expanded Philhealth coverage for oprhan diseases.  That just this year, I’ve been trying to raise funds with an organization abroad to help find a cure for Fanconi Anemia. That if I win the lotto, I will use my energy to making sure that the government establishes a Philippine marrow registry.  Maybe my adviser is right. A paper on orphan diseases needs to be done and I need to do it because I know it.

I have been trying to grasp God’s plan for me. I am actually reluctant and sometimes afraid to enlarge my territory.  I do not ask God for anything anymore, having been denied in the past when I prayed for my child’s healing. I just get by with a thank you, God. This year, maybe I’ll say, bring it on, God.  Let me do this because I promise to do it well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to connect the dots sooner than later.

*written in January 2016


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