It all started here.
That's how long it took God to answer our prayer for Grace.
It took at least 5 appts. of just trying to SIT in the chair. Some days we would get one leg on there. Some days we were able to get one or two x rays. But God spoke to my heart on the very first day of this journey..."don't take the easy way out".
I wanted to for a moment but then I thought that's how I have always tried to do things, protect myself from harm and pain, avoid situations, put things off...not face anything. So I decided that I would go along the narrow path that God wanted me on in order to bring fruit to my life that I desperately need. I need self control. I need peace. I need peace in the midst of the storm.
So here were our options. Either we keep trying or we go to the hospital and have her sedated and do it that way. And I just knew that it would benefit Grace in the long run to take her by the hand and say I will walk through this with you baby...I'm not going anywhere. When you need to stop, Ill stop. And when your ready...ill be there.
So I made sure that her cavities were not getting larger every time and I made sure to keep them real clean and do whatever I could to help her while I was praying and waiting on the Lord... and it worked because God sustained her and they didn't get any bigger or cause any damage. Grace is just like her mama, she clenches and grinds in her sleep causing deep grooves where the cavities form. The grow rapidly in those cracks and if you have been following along in my journey here you know that I suffer with the same stuff. Abscesses, cavities and just issues. I realize that there is nothing I can do but pray since we only do this at night which leads me to believe the only one who can deliver us from this unrest is Jesus himself. There is just simply nothing I can do, which is the greatest gift to me. I love that I can not pursue peace...I must pursue Jesus, who is the giver of peace....
I also had to explain to Grace that sometimes these things happen and they aren't our fault. We both take really good care of our teeth, she brushes after she eats every time and we use all the right stuff. We floss, we rinse we do our part and still...and I caught her one day getting angry at herself and I just had to tell her that its not her fault. And then I felt God speaking that to me since almost 7 thousand dollars later I still blame myself and live in shame and pain thinking my stuff is my fault to. I even once felt like my issues were punishment for sin and God just threw that right out the window one day while I was speaking life over my own daughter. I just desperately needed to receive it for myself and it was wrapped up as a beautiful gift for someone else ;)
So I just waited all those months and days...until I thought she was ready and this week after we came home from our trip I felt the holy spirit say its time. And while I know that there are some benefits to speaking to grace about being brave I knew that it was more important to me and to her in the long run to focus on Jesus more. Not on her own ability. I said things to her the past year like I know your scared Grace and that's okay. Sometimes its scary to do things we haven't done before or we aren't sure of but there is one thing I know for sure....when you call upon Jesus he will answer you. He will come sit with you and protect you from any bad feelings you have...HE will make you brave.
So we started to read in her devotional bibles about stories where people in the bible had to be brave and she really related to David and Goliath and Daniel and the Lions. And I just knew that she knew she couldn't do this by herself. it was an opportunity to show her that we really cant do anything apart from God.
So last night she woke up at 330 and threw up. And I thought, oh great. We pumped up the dentist so much and I put so much focus on it and now we cant even go? Well it turned out that it was just nerves because she never did it again. I slept with her and prayed all sickness out of her body and she didn't throw up again. And when she woke up she said she had a nightmare...and then I realized that it was going to work today. I got a wave of assurance and hope like I had never felt before and I felt like God was telling me that Satan works like that. He will try to thwart Gods plans but it doesn't work. I realized that when you are closest to your breakthroughs in life, Satan does whatever he can to stop you, discourage you and ruin it. But I stayed hopeful.
We all gathered around Grace and I said a simple prayer for her to be brave and call on Jesus when she was scared and we thanked God that we have dentists and health care to help us when we are sick. And in that moment I really felt grateful that my real healer is Jesus because everything in this world is a mess. We cant really count on anything here. I sang her her favorite worship songs in the car and held her hand almost the whole way. We got there and she walked right back, got in the chair and did it.
She did it.
I was in tears, and they all understood because they have all been with us from the beginning. All the screaming and foaming of the mouth and running and anger and panic and fear and unrest. Okay she didn't really foam at the mouth but seriously we came close. I cant describe really the torture she put us through but each time I made a choice not to let it defeat me. I walked out of there every time realizing that the only thing that would work was prayer.
And I desperately want my kids to understand that.
I want their first reaction to problems to be prayer and worship. I want them to learn how to be peaceful when storms hit. I want them to not have promise in themselves or lean so heavily on their own abilities because they will fail themselves constantly. I want them to not just see mommy and daddy taking them to church on Sundays...I want the gospel to be real and alive to their open hearts.
I want Jesus to be real. Because he is.
So I guess this is how the gospel has just ruined every single parenting thought or idea I have ever had. And now I can see how taking the hard long road is so much more worth it. Its so worth it. If I would have taken her to the hospital 576 days ago, the problem would have been gone, but the real issue would not have gone away. And because of this in our lives, I have learned really what it means when James says to count it all joy. I have never really been afraid of trial since I recommitted my life back to Jesus because I really see how God works all things for my good. I feel like this seemingly small situation has grown much faith in our family. It has grown a greater trust and faith in God that he loves us and he will take care of us.
So here is the wisdom I have gained in these 576 days...
God is on time. He works on his time and we can be confident that when we don't see progress, he is still working on our behalf.
The narrow path, the lonely narrow path, is designed for our good. He wont let us be on the path any longer than we need to, but not a moment too short either.
Each thing thrown in our lives that causes us to be uncomfortable or in pain is always for our good. God makes it that way. Its not designed for that purpose all the time but God wont waste a moment of it.
There is a power in prayer that I can not describe. It really works.
We cant, and I never want to do anything separate from God.
He loves us.
He loves you.