Category Archives: HearingLoss

To Be Fully Satisfied

My hearing loss has been impacting my life in a big way recently, as it gradually gets worse. Over the last 2 years I went from scoring a 52% on a word discrimination test, WITH the help of my hearing aids, to just a few weeks ago scoring a 38%. What that means is… communication is HARD, and getting harder. Without hearing aids I’m almost completely deaf, and with them, the strongest available, I still only hear about 38% of what people are saying. I rely on body language, facial expressions, lip reading, and it’s a great deal of work. Some days I feel defeated and end up in tears, exhausted by the effort of trying to decipher the day’s sounds.

But some days… I sit in sweet fellowship with my God and tell him thank you. Thank you for the silence. Because He speaks in the silence, and I love to hear His voice. When all the other voices are fading around me, His whisper has become louder in my life. His words clearer. He has drawn me in closer and revealed himself to me in ways that I may never have known without the experience of my loss. My commitment to him has grown deeper because of it. My dependence on him in even the most average of moments keeps showing me clearly how faithful and good He is. He keeps showing up and showing himself strong for me.

“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to give strong support to those whose hearts are committed to him.” 2Chronicles 16:9

He truly does seek opportunity to support us when we sincerely desire the strength of his presence. He is faithfully by our side in the midst of every moment, extraordinary, difficult, or mundane. He will never leave us.

One of the hardships of hearing loss is the extreme loneliness that can be felt. Even with hundreds of people surrounding you, and so many conversations in your midst, it is normal with hearing loss to feel alone in the middle of it all. To sit in the midst of family and friends and desperately wish you could be part of their conversation, but no matter how hard you try you just can’t hear enough to figure out what is being said, can be the loneliest feeling. But God whispers loud in those moments and reminds me He is there. I pray for those who I can’t hear, and God’s peace settles over me. The prayer life that God has grown in me is one of the sweet blessings that cause me to thank him for my loss. When I start to feel alone, but turn to him, I find that his presence fully satisfies.

A precious friend recommended a wonderful book to me called He Speaks In The Silence, by Diane Comer. She shares her story of hearing loss, and how through her loss she finds greater intimacy with God. The first half of the book is her unique story, but the second half is both of ours, because it’s mostly about how God shows up, and He is good. Reading her book blessed me! Or rather, reminded me of how I’m blessed!

“The word translated as blessing in the New Testament is derived from the Greek word, makarismos, which means “to be indwelt by God through the Holy Spirit and, therefore, because of His indwelling to be fully satisfied in spite of the afflictions of life.” (Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament) To be blessed actually means to be fully satisfied. To thrive on the inside even if life is falling apart on the outside. To be so filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit within, that we are able to endure and taste the sweetness of His love even in the midst of bitter reality. Even when it hurts, even when we do not understand.” ~from He Speaks In The Silence, chapter 6.

God is good. ALL the time.

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

Counter Pressure

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She handed me this card on my way out of Bible study. I had found the courage to share with our group that night that suffering hearing loss was hard, extremely hard, but I was confident that there was purpose in it, great purpose. It’s something God has been showing me through the years. Trials press in on every one of us. Some days, some months, some years press harder than others, and in our weakest moments we may question why there must be suffering. Why does God allow this? Why must we take these hard-pressed journeys? But one thing I know; Of one truth I am absolutely certain… God is good. Always. So when this life presses in on me, I remember: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed...” (2Cor 4:8)

We are Jars of Clay.

I took an art class long ago and learned the most basic of pottery.  But I loved to watch the more gifted artists work at the potter’s wheel, forming beautiful jars of clay. The precision and devotion encouraged me. The end result amazed me. The entire process of forming each masterpiece required the master’s hand to apply pressure both from without, and from within. Without pressure on both sides, the entire jar collapsed; crushed. Imagine walking through this hard-pressed life without the Holy Spirit living inside of us. He keeps us from being crushed by the pressures of this world. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay…” (2Cor 4:7)

God’s Holy Spirit inside of us gently presses against the trials, firmly holds us up against the suffering, applies counter-pressure, and in the process forms a beautiful work of art; a vessel in His image. Suffering transforms us. Great purpose.

 

“But now, O LORD, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8pottery

We will only regret that we did not suffer more.

Shared from my heart~ Stacy

The Hog on the Fence Post, and Other Hearing-Loss Blunders

For my first Five Minute Friday post in quite some time, the word is, coincidentally,

First.

“Hello sweet thing.” They weren’t exactly strange words to hear. He was my boyfriend after all. But what was strange were the words I thought I heard…

“Hello wheat thin.” What?! Why on earth would my boyfriend call me a wheat thin?!

It was the first moment when reality sunk in…

“I am hearing impaired.”

That Christmas my Aunt drew my name for gag-gift giving and gave me a bag of Wheat Thins with the words “Welcome to the club” written across it. Our hearing loss is genetic, passed along from one generation to the next… gradual loss beginning in our late teens to early 20’s, and potentially continuing until complete deafness. My sister, my mom, aunts, uncles, grandpa; a whole club of us. But at least we could laugh together. They all understood, because we each had our own first moment.

My uncle’s first always gives me a good giggle: It was while driving in the car with his dad, who pointed to a passing fence line saying “look at that hog on the fence post” and my uncle thought, “Really? How would a hog even get up there? Or balance?” (Envision it friends, and giggle with me.) Until he saw the perched hawk dart back into the sky. And that was his moment of accepting reality…  “I am hearing impaired.”

20-ish years ago my grandpa was the first in our family to have the incredible blessing of receiving a cochlear implant, and he experienced the joy of hearing the birds sing again. Eventually his children received the same blessing. And now this 3rd generation of my family is beginning to experience the same emotional joy; my sister received the cochlear implant just before Christmas. For the first time in more than 20 years she is able to communicate without reading lips.

A peek into our normal:

CAN YOU READ MY LIPS? from Little Moving Pictures on Vimeo.

 

My nephew put this touching video together, which captured my sister’s first moments of sound with her implant. May it bless you with great appreciation for the simple gift of hearing.

 

File Jan 02, 7 49 04 PM from Stacy Pelzl on Vimeo.

 

God is good! All the time!

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

Why I Love My Disability

hearing aid heart


The diagnosis was a falling anchor tugging hard upon my heart as I sunk into the sea of self pity asking “why me?” and “how come?”. Genetic hearing loss. I knew it was possible, But at 17 I wasn’t fully prepared to find that my normal childhood hearing was beginning to decline. At 19 I wasn’t ready to accept that I would gradually lose my hearing just as my mom had, and her father before her. 

At 25 I finally recognized my need for hearing aids. Sitting in the stillness of his office he placed the aids in my ears and connected them to his computers. He turned them on and instantly my brain was bombarded with noise I didn’t recognize. He began making adjustments to the sound. 
“How is that?”
I wasn’t sure what to think.  I was amazed by how clear my sons little 2 year old voice sounded as he sat beside me chattering with his daddy. How much I had been missing, but could now hear so clearly. I felt the tears welling up, but there was a crackly sound that kept distracting me and I thought something was wrong. He made more adjustments, but it was still there.
“Hmmm, let me try something” he said as he walked out of the room. And a moment later the crackling ceased. 
“Is it gone?”
“Yes, what was it?” 
He walked in with a giggle. “That was the air conditioning.”

The air conditioning? How long had it been since I had heard that sound? My brain didn’t even recognize it. And the tears suddenly spilled over. I couldn’t stop my emotions as I began relearning unfamiliar sounds.

“Woosh” “What was that?”
 “A car drove by on the road outside.”
 
“Clink clink clink” “What was that?” 
“A pen dropped on the tile floor.”


More tears. Joy. Complete joy to regain what was lost. I smiled at the coos and cries of my baby boy as I set him in the carseat beside his brother. We turned on the music as we drove home and more tears spilled over when I heard the crispness of each note and the clarity of each word. It had been a long time since I was able to enjoy music. 

And God began to teach me…

“Hearing aids bring clarity to what once was just noise.”

Sitting on my sofa at 28, reading God’s Word before the boys awoke. Exodus. The receiving of the law, and the details of the tabernacle. I didn’t understand the details; The significance, the meaning, the clarity. I found it frustrating, a weight pulling me down. I kept reading through the noise until I reached a place I understood more.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut.6:5 

At 33 my full days of homeschooling demanded that I start my day in the Word of God, to keep me from breaking apart in the chaos. “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”John 14:15 How thankful I was to finally understand that I did not have to do so on my own. To those who love God, a helper is given. “I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper, that He may be with you forever.” John 14:16 

 
The Holy Spirit, my helper, my aid.
He would aid me in the hearing and understanding of God’s Word as I read in Exodus again at 35. The details of the tabernacle, the table set at the entrance of God’s very presence. “And you shall set the showbread on the table before me always.” Exodus 25:30 I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of  Psalm 23:“You prepare a table before me…”  Yes, I nod with clarity now… He prepared the table. He provided the bread.  “And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body which was given for you’…” Luke 22:19 The showbread. The bread that must always be presented at the entrance of God’s presence.” 


At 28 those words were noise, but again, God would teach me…
“The Holy Spirit will bring clarity to the voice of God.” 

The Holy Spirit; my aid to help me hear, How He continues to teach me through my hearing lossMy disability; a steady anchor in the storm. This happened so that “the works of God should be made manifest in (her)” John 9:3  (Manifest= to make clear or evident to the understanding.) Because in God’s heart of desire, our spiritual growth outweighs our physical comforts.


Oh how I love my disability!
 “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9