It Could Always Be Worse

I think about that…it could always be worse. Surely somebody is worse off than me. Worse off than Lauren. She’s having her 5th wrist surgery in 3.5 years, and her 7th surgery since birth (tonsillectomy and cranial surgery). She talked it over with the surgeon just now and he will be using a cadaver tendon for the wrist reconstruction. But it COULD be worse. Her surgeon says there’s really only one more wrist surgery left in his arsenal if this wrist reconstruction doesn’t work. She COULD be having her wrist bones surgically fused at 17 years old. But she’s not, and hopefully it won’t come to that.

But does my God who cares enough to clothe the lily of the fields and who numbers the stars and the grains of sand and who never forgets the sparrow actually rank our trials linearly? If so, God help me! Where am I on that line of deserving grace and provision?

I’m probably more likely to be closer to the bottom of the ladder than the top. And who am I to call out boldly for comfort and blessing and provision and healing for my daughter when David and the martyrs and Christ Himself suffered so greatly? Surely I am worse off then they were.

I am thankful that it’s not as bad as it could be. But if my gratitude is contingent on my ranking not slipping below the poor soul who is barely holding on to a wobbly rung one step lower than me, then what am I believing about my God of abundance? John 10:10b, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” His word doesn’t say that He wants us to be scrambling away from the pit of scarcity where blessings are few and far between, and where there will not be enough for us all. His word says there is more blessings than enough for all of us to benefit from our Father who owns the cattle on 1,000 hills, Psalm 50:10.

The Mauk girls have given God abundant ways to show off His abundant love, protection, and provision. He counts the hairs on our heads, just as He planned Grace’s hairs to grow when she was bald from trichotillomania a few years ago, Luke 12:7. He is the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety nine to go after the one who is missing, just as He searched for Emily when she ran away from home last month, Luke 15:3-7. He carves our names in the palms of His hands and He knits us together in our mothers’ wombs, just as He has orchestrated every cut and every stitch from Lauren’s surgeries time and time and time and time and time and time and THIS TIME again, Isaiah 49:16 and Psalm 139:13-14.

I believe in God’s abundance, including abundant healing. I count on it. But today is another surgery, and today is where the rubber hits the road. Today I’m in the waiting room again, and today Lauren is under anesthesia again. I’d be lying if I said I’m all smiles and giggles. Oh I’ve got peace that passes all understanding. I don’t doubt that Lauren made the right decision or that her surgeon and the whole surgical team is well prepared and qualified. And what a blessing to see a familiar face this morning. I know Lauren’s anesthesiologist. But there will be pain meds and casts and another pin in her wrist (maybe, Lauren won’t be sad if there’s no pin) and physical therapy and stretching and strengthening and short tempers and well wishes and good vibes and prayers and fingers crossed (though not on Lauren’s left hand) and trust and patience. And part of believing in God’s abundance is knowing that He fully knows this hurts again and He makes plenty of room to hold us in this pain again. And He knows we fear that this surgery won’t work, all the while we trust that it will work. And I know that God’s perfect love casts out fear. And I trust that God isn’t holding it against me when I say that I’m tired of watching My Lovely suffer. How long Lord will this long suffering last?

I was reminded 2 weekends ago how important it is to talk about the hard stuff. I tend to shove the painful things in a box and wrap it all up in the pretty ribbons of faith and gratitude and grace and mercy. I know what’s inside the box. I put it there on purpose, but I’d rather look at the pretty ribbons. Today this momma is feeling the painful stuff, knowing that Lauren is really gonna be feeling it when she wakes up. I need to remember that God is abundant enough to handle the pain inside the box. But take heart Momma. God made the pretty ribbons.

Lauren planned her Halloween costume early to accommodate surgery. Her costume…hydrocodone. She knows she won’t be feeling well enough to go out. She just wants a photo-op. Ok Millennial!

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