January 25, 2005
Encouragement for Today
"My Daughter, His Child"
By Angela Pisel, Proverbs 31 Certified Writer
"And even the very hairs of your head are numbered." Matthew 10:30 (NIV)
I knew Gracie would probably lose her hair, and I told myself it did not matter. I told my husband and my family it did not matter. We would be okay when that happened, as long as she got better. I guess I just failed to explain it to my heart.
Just a few weeks after my precious, curly, blonde - headed daughter turned three, she started chemotherapy. The doctors told us she would need six months of chemo to help her fight a rare form of cancer that had developed in her left eye. My mind raced wildly out of control when her doctors spoke those horribly devastating words. How could this be happening? How could this be happening to her? "Please take this from Gracie," I pleaded with God. "Give it to me. Please do not make her go through this. She is too little. How can we explain chemotherapy to her so she will not be scared? How can we let her know that the awful treatments she will have to go through are supposed to make her better? How can we show her that even though daddy and I would die for her, we cannot take this horrible disease away from her?
Impossible to avoid, Gracie's hair began to fall out exactly two weeks to the day after chemo treatment number one. The bewildered and scared expression on her helpless little face spoke volumes, as she handed me a fist filled with long blonde curls. "Look mommy, my hair is coming out," Gracie cried in horror. As I turned and looked at her innocent, tiny body, I silently screamed a prayer for strength and wisdom. "Please show me how to respond, Lord. Please show me what to say. I do not know how to comfort her. Father, I cannot do this without you."
Immediately, after I uttered those silent pleas, an amazing calmness came over me. Gently, our Creator reminded me of Matthew 10:30. "My love and care for Gracie is so complete that even the very hairs on her head are numbered."
I held Gracie in my arms as we sat together on the bathroom floor and I lovingly brushed my little girl's hair. With every stroke, more and more of her hair began to fall out while I explained God's faithful and unfailing love for her. I reassured her that nothing surprises God, and He knows everything that is happening to her. We talked about how he loves us so much that no matter what kind of pain we are going through, He is right there with us, holding us - just as I was holding her. As I spoke, God reminded me that He loves Gracie perfectly, completely and that He feels the pain of His children.
Now, three years later, I remember the same beautiful verse as I put six-year-old Gracie's hair in pigtails. We again talk about God's love and His perfect plan for her life.
My prayer for today:
Father, we thank you for holding us so closely when we suffer. Thank you for caring for us so completely that every single trial we endure is vitally important to you. Please help us to keep our focus on you, our omnipotent Creator, during times of difficulty. Amen.
Take a few moments to think about a time when the future seemed uncertain. Try to remember an instance when you had no control over a frightening situation. Whose arms did you run into for comfort?
Do I trust God completely with my children? Do I trust Him fully, enough to surrender to His perfect will for their life. Do I truly believe God will carry them through even the most difficult life circumstances?
"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you." Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart." Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)
Where is God When Bad Things Happen (tape set) by Mary Southerland
For Those Who Hurt (tape set) by Mary Southerland
Proverbs 31 Magazine
Originally published Tuesday, 25 January 2005.