Sunday, January 15, 2017

But, then ... Grace.

I feel like I've written about grace a million times on this old blog. Today is no exception because the concept of it blows my mind.

Grace = Unmerited Favor

Each day here seems to bring more problems and issues than resolutions and good reports.
After over a year of that, a person can get worn down ... more like beaten down.
When you live in that type of state, you feel if someone simply touches you, you just might shatter into a thousand pieces.

We've suffered a lot of loss, now going on almost two years ...
loss of health, loss of family, loss of home, loss of friends. loss of jobs, loss of finances, loss of normalcy, loss of dreams, loss of goals, loss of just a good old, plain, low-key life.
And, here I lay .... shattered again.

But, then ... grace.

When I'm shattered, lying in these pieces on the floor, not able to produce the strength to stand, struggling to breathe, heart crumbling yet again ... there is a grace that comes in.

It's not magic. It's grace.
It's a peace. That peace reminds me that God is carrying us. He won't stop carrying us.
And, each time I break, there's grace.

Grace isn't limited to a day.
God doesn't say, "Oh, sorry ... you've reached the capacity of grace that you can have today."
Some days I need more grace ... grace upon grace upon grace.
And, He freely gives it to me.

When we get another bad report, bad news, something goes wrong ... whatever the case may be, I try to take deep breaths, try to relax, listen to the doctors, but also try to drown out their voices by the voice of God, reminding me of His promises. 

Sometimes those God voices do get drowned out by the voices of others and words like "cancer" or "end-stage renal failure" or "she could die." That's when I break.

Sometimes I see my beautiful daughter, looking at herself in the mirror, cleaning her face for the day, staring, and crying at someone she doesn't recognize. Her heart breaks. She thinks she's ugly. She sees how people look at her. That's when I break even more.

When I break, His grace comes in and covers me.
I have this visual in my head of how my mom used to make the beds in the house, rolling and fluffing out this long blanket to cover it. Over and over again, the blanket would billow over the bed until it was finally perfectly covered, every inch underneath the blanket.
That's how I see grace.
God billowing this grace blanket over me, over and over again, as many times as I need it, until every inch of me is covered ... grace upon grace upon grace, whenever I need it.


There are definitely times we need more grace.
God has shown us His grace never runs out.
Even though we have been walking through the darkest time in our lives, He covers us. He goes before us. He prepares a way when we don't know how we're going to survive.

We continue this journey into a new year.
We continue to not know what's ahead.
We continue to trust.
We continue to receive grace upon grace upon grace.

The last few days have been more rough ones. The good days seem to be few and far between. However, the viruses that have been attacking La Petite Belle seem to be getting more under control. She's been suffering with quite a bit of pain from the esophagitis. It's painful to swallow. Her mouth and lips are getting somewhat better, but still hurt, with bleeding and ulcers. The stomach pain seems to have improved some. She's still not eating, but isn't requiring as much anti-nausea meds. We are SO ready for her to take a bite or sip of something besides water with her pills. The GI doctors alluded to possible bad news from the scope, once the lesions at the bottom of her stomach were biopsied. I had another one of those heart-sinking moments when they said they wanted to rule out cancer. Um what?

I felt our world crashing around us again. I couldn't even believe those words when none of our doctors had ever mentioned or suggested such a thing. Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang in the hospital room and it was one of the GI doctors, saying, after closer examination, they do believe that the lesions are a result of the viruses in her stomach. As the viruses go away, the lesions will too. 
My head was spinning.
Tears upon tears upon tears with grace upon grace upon grace.

We continue to sit tight here, waiting for these viruses to be gone. The anti-virals seem to be working. The doctors say it's usually about a 14-day course of meds. So, we wait. We continue to pray for her stomach to improve and for her to eat again. We continue to pray for her kidneys to recover and her to get stronger. We continue to pray for this hemolysis to stop so that she'll need less blood transfusions. We continue to pray for her spirit to stay strong and keep fighting. She's tired. We're tired. We're all ready for a breakthrough. 

Thank you for the tremendous amount of support and prayers you have give us over the last year and a half. I can't believe we're coming up on two years of La Petite Belle's diagnosis, still here, still fighting. It's only by God's grace that we are making it. We know that He will always take care of us, no matter how bleak things may seem. He is here.
If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com/Katieg.  All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.

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