Saturday, April 4, 2009

By Your Side

I ended my last blog with the news that my daughter was going to need a biopsy. Back in February all of this came about when my children went to a routine dental visit. My biggest concern was that they not have cavities. By the time the dentist was done talking to my husband and I, I almost wished they had had cavities! In a nutshell all three children would need to see a specialist for one reason or another. Our greatest concern, however, was for our 11 year old daughter, Caitlin. We were told that a root on one of her baby teeth had just completely disappeared and roots just don’t disappear. Suddenly we were hearing the words biopsy, tumor, possibly malignant but most likely benign and I honestly felt like my head was spinning. I think the grace of God was immediately dispensed in that moment because when we came back into the waiting room where our three children were, I was able to hold myself together.

I did all my crying on the inside. My stomach felt weak, my chest was tight and I couldn’t believe that a routine dental visit could turn into such a nightmare. However, it didn’t take long before God’s peace began to settle into me. So to make a long story short, my daughter had her biopsy done this past Tuesday. The source of what “ate up” her roots was taken out and according to the oral surgeon, it looked “pretty benign.” We will not have final results for another 3 to 5 days. I can say that for 98% of the time, I have felt nothing but peace and trust. This is not based on anything other than my faith in God. The doctor’s pre-diagnosis of it looking “pretty benign” is nice but it doesn’t dictate what I believe. I believe the report of the Lord and that is what I stand on!

I would like to say that in every circumstance in my life, I have handled things this way—I have not. I take no credit for the way I am handling this. I give all the glory to God. In fact, I have begun to think that God has some greater purposes in all of this that have absolutely nothing to do with me. So often when difficult circumstances come into our lives, our first thought is about ME. How it is going to affect ME. How I feel. What am I going to do? What about ME? Even with our children, they can be going through something and somehow we still make it about us!

Our children are like extensions of ourselves, so often we internalize things so deeply. We make their problems our problems, their difficulties our own. But there are times in their lives when we need to just step back and let God do the work. They have their own salvation to work out and we have to be careful that we are not stepping on God’s toes.

In the beginning my husband and I made the decision to not tell our daughter about the reason she was seeing an oral surgeon. We simply said that they needed to take a look at one of her teeth. We didn’t want to needlessly worry her. I felt good about the decision we had made. On Tuesday when she went in to have the procedure done, well, let’s just say she put up a good fight before it was finally able to be done. What could have been a 5 minute procedure took nearly an hour! When it was done and over with, and she was still carrying on about the trauma of what had been done to her, I felt in my spirit that she needed to know. She needed to understand there was a genuine reason for having this procedure done. I then proceeded, on our way home from the procedure, to tell her exactly what was going on. Her response was wonderful. She seemed okay with it. She became more understanding about the need to have it done. I thought, “This is great, she is handling this so well!”

Well the next day things changed. She suddenly came to me crying. She was sobbing and saying, “I don’t want to have cancer.” Immediately regret filled my heart. “I shouldn’t have told her,” I said to myself. But God spoke into my heart that it was the right thing to do and I had to let Him work. Have you ever felt that? That you had to let God do a work even though you wanted to intervene? So often we try to intervene in God’s plans, stop a situation, solve a problem, or create another way when God has His own plan. It is hard to step out of the way. But that is exactly what He was asking me to do. Is there something in your life that God is telling you to step aside? Let Him do the work?

When my daughter couldn’t stop crying, I called up my best friend. Her daughter and mine are best friends. I knew that her daughter truly cares about Caitlin and would be there for her. I explained to my best friend what was going on and asked if she could have her daughter call mine. A few minutes later she did. When my daughter hung up the phone, she had stopped crying. She came to me and told me how Hayley (that’s her best friend) had reminded Caitlin (my daughter) of all the times God had healed her when she was younger (she has been through a lot in her life) and that God wasn’t going to let her have cancer. She then prayed with my daughter. Later that night at church I talked to my best friend about their conversation and she felt that this situation could be used in her daughter’s life as well. She was being used as an encourager but also for her to see evidence of God working.

Here we are, just a few days later, still waiting for final results and I can see the Lord still working. Suddenly a song has become the source of strength for my daughter. This is the first time I have seen her held onto a promise in such a way. There are many songs that really impact me and give me hope. Now God has given her a song. It’s by Tenth Avenue North and it’s called “By Your Side.” I end with the lyrics…may they be an encouragement to you:

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and My side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Chorus – 2x

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go

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