The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

Unrealized Grace

Boy oh boy did I get smacked upside the head today.  But first the back story.

Just over three years ago, my son got very, very sick.  He ended up with a purple rash on his feet.  After consulting the terror-inducing Google, I panicked and got him into the doctor as soon as I could.  The doctor looked at the rash and said she needed to have other doctors come in and look at it.  That really doesn’t make a mom feel good.

After they looked at the rash with way too concerned looks on their faces, they all left.  I followed them out and cornered the doctor we had come to see.  I told her that my mom had cancer, had just been given 3 – 6 months to live and I was in a very bad place.  I needed to know what was going on with Austin and to please not keep anything from me.

When she returned, she told us that she was ordering several blood tests.  She added that she was unsure what the rash was indicating but it could be anything from mono to cancer.  She said she would put a rush on the tests and we should know by the end of the business day.

This would be where I passed out.

Seriously?  I just told her about my mom and she felt the need to scare the living crap out of us?  I could NOT believe she said that in front of my son before any tests had been run.  In the lab waiting room I assured Austin all would be well.  The lady who took the blood knew something big was being researched and was very kind.  I have never seen such big vials for blood in my life.

I tried to play it cool.  But once we got home I lost it.  Phone calls were made to the husband and the best friend.  They were both very sweet but nothing could make me feel better.

Around 4:30 I could take it no more and called the doctor.  They passed me right through to her (when does that happen?) and as soon as she talked to me I could hear the smile in her voice.  All was well.  She had just talked to the hematologist  and was almost 100% sure that Austin just had a very nasty virus.  He just needed a follow-up, much less scary, blood test at the end of the week (those turned out just fine, too).

I have spent the last 3 years mad at the doctor.  I almost filed a complaint with the clinic.  I felt she didn’t need to guess about everything under the sun in front of us.  I would have preferred her to give me the results of the tests.  So, yeah, I’ve been very mature about it and been pretty much outraged at her.

I’ve noticed something over the past three years.  I’ve had friends and heard of people who have had very scary blood tests taken.  All of them included the possibility of cancer.  It didn’t hit me until today that never ONE TIME have I heard of anyone getting the test results back the same day.  Most have been made to wait a couple of days or longer.

So basically what this woman did was move heaven and earth for me.  She knew I was in a bad place and did everything she could to get the answers ASAP.  She was actually a saint instead of the villain I’ve made her out to be.  I had a heaping helping of grace given to me and I didn’t realize it.  At least now I will make sure I never forget.  {And, wow, am I glad I didn’t file a complaint.}

By the way, my biggest concern about the whole cancer discussion was that she did it in front of Austin.  I didn’t want him worried over nothing.  To this day he says he doesn’t even remember her saying that.  Nor does he remember me telling him in the waiting room of the lab not to worry about cancer.  I thought he’d be traumatized and he wasn’t even aware.

Maybe that’s a lesson I need to remember when I’m tempted to over-mother.

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If I could only say one thing for the rest of my life

This, this is what I would say.  Christ makes a difference.  He’s not a formula to keep us from all pain and discomfort.  He’s not a guarantee that our kids will turn out “right.”  He’s not a Santa in the sky that will make everything the way we want it if we just pray harder.


We have a family very close to us going through a horribly difficult time.  It’s as bad as it gets and I’m not overstating anything.  Their situation has been ongoing for years.  It was out of their control – not a result of bad decisions.  There has been little relief from the pain, and no relief from the effects of trauma for one family member.

In the counselor’s office they are told that rarely if ever a family goes through this and is not ravaged by substance abuse, trouble with the law and every other bad thing you can think of.

Yet in the midst of unspeakable pain and trauma, there is stability.  There is health.  There is a community they have become a part of eagerly waiting to embrace and support them.

There is no substance abuse.

There is no violence.

There is no bad company that corrupts good character.

How does this happen?  How can a world that is waiting to devour an aching, war torn soul with disastrous non-solutions not get a foothold?

I believe it is because of this: when they could have easily blamed God for all their problems, they instead focused on Him as their hope to endure their circumstances.

I don’t have a logical explanation for awful or unfair because I’m not the one writing the story (taken from “One Thousand Gifts,” Ann Voskamp).  But I do know what I’ve seen.  That in the midst of every thing, there is hope.

A long road of healing gaping wounds awaits this family, but it is not without hope.  A non-religious counselor recently told them, “Maybe it’s because of your faith.”  I am convinced it is.

The faith-hope of a relentless mother fighting for her children.

The faith-hope of friends.

The faith-hope of a Comforter.

The faith-hope of focus.

Christ in me, Christ in me, the hope of glory.  Amen and amen.


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