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Letting Down My Guard

We are home.



The make-up on my face, the self-sufficiency on my shoulders, the girding of my abdomen in anticipation of a blow... I allow all of it to fall to the floor as I sink into my hips, and breathe shallow. It feels like the uphill climb is over. And we have made it without dropping anything on the way. We have dragged our daughter up the hill, with all her faculties in tact. We have arrived at the top with our health, our marriage, and our children. We are not done, but the worst is over. And I sense Richard is strong, so I lean heavily into him.


But in my ungirding of my protective anticipation and self-sufficiency, I unwittingly let down the guard to my mind. The swelling on Kiara’s temple and above her right ear that was masking the deformity is starting to subside. There is a hint of the decompression to come where the bone is absent.


She has surprised us with her return to normalcy after this last surgery. We had heard there was a possibility of accelerated neurological advancement after the skull was replaced, and we are certainly seeing it.



I actually feel like Kiara is back. The child we were missing is home! She is planning brothers’ birthday parties, helping around the house, and filling the space she left. We were right to wait and long for her return. We were right to #keephopealive as we longed for God to come through for us.


But in my tiredness, with my mind left unguarded, deep regret creeps up on me at the price she’s paid. She was just a passenger in my car. I should have stopped for longer. I could have waited for another gap. I could have... it was just an accident, it was just a mistake. But it was my mistake. And she has paid dearly. It could have cost her her life. It could have cost her her functionality. It could have cost her her mobility. It has not. But it might still cost her her ‘normal’ form. Could have, should have, would have...


Like a child who has fiddled with a piece of string and managed to knot it into an indecipherable mess in minutes, I offer my jumbled thoughts back up to God, and ask him to sort through them and find truth. And like a parent who knows the quickest way to solve the problem, God cuts through all my thoughts and questions with a single stroke. A cover-all answer. Repentance.


No, not the pacification that a friend might have offered. Not the endless fidgeting and relooking at the knot from every angle to see if it can be undone. He slices through the middle of it and it falls into pieces. Pieces that don’t need to find their places back in my mind. They are discarded.


“I made a mistake, God,” I say. “I’m sorry. Please fix it. Please don’t make her pay.”


And haven’t we all made mistakes as parents? Some through anger or negligence, some simply in unintentional error. We’ve all made mistakes that our children have to pay for.


I climb in to bed last night, and forget to get up this morning. My husband, in his strength, gets the day going without me. And I love him so very much, because he understands day-after-the-race blues, but he also doesn’t dilute my repentance with cheap platitudes. He makes me coffee and leaves me in bed to do business with God.


My mind is open and exposed. I listen to the audible word of God and it washes over me like an antiseptic balm. As I have watched the doctor bathe Kiara’s head wound countless times, squeezing the pink liquid from his soaked gauze, as it runs down her cheeks like anointing oil and she squeezes tight her eyes from the sting, my mind now stings as it is cleansed. Repentance has exposed it, now truth disinfects it.


And in the remarkable mercy of God, in the too-good-to-be-true good news of the gospel, he promises to pay for my mistakes. Not just what my error in judgement has done to Kiara, but what my countless shortcomings have done to my children. He promises that by my repentance, he is able to pay the price. My children do not have to be punished for my mistakes.


And I believe. I believe that he will knit together Kiara’s skull, and that he will cover over any deformity or weakness. I believe that he is willing and able to fix what I have broken. By faith, even this is possible.

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Jennifer Loris
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Mar 28, 2019

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shellyn.hutson
shellyn.hutson
Feb 25, 2019

Amen. We all want to protect our children, sometimes from ourselves, and when things go wrong, when they are unhappy, or behaving badly, we often feel wholly responsible. I feel my child's life and happiness is in MY hands, but this weekend God reminded me it is in HIS, and His hands are so much bigger than mine. Pain and loss are things that bring us closer to God, and although it breaks my heart to see my child, any child, suffer, and I want to beg Him to take it all away and make it better, He tells me that He will use that suffering, those challenges, for good.

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When Our Lord chooses to work with us on repentance as He did in me too on the mum front, it is just as you describe, He slices through our resistance our pain, and then He reminds us exactly who we are to him and then drenched in his love he will walk so closely that every word we choose of engagement will be responded too. Thank you for being a daughter of God and honouring his word, that takes much strength and courage, when your emotional pain is great, I pray that as His peace rests in your heart like the stars that settle in the night sky you will become free from this pain.I pray to that Kiar…

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Amazing Grace how sweet the sound.....what a powerful blog! Thank you for sharing. Every single mother is with you in their own story xxx sending much love and prayers xxxx

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Jacquie Bate
Jacquie Bate
Feb 22, 2019

Oh the silly mistakes we make! We misjudge the gaps in traffic. We don't realise how fast the other vehicle is travelling, or how long it takes for a little car to cross an intersection on a hill. Like giving birth, the memory of the pain fades away and we know only that yes, it did hurt, but we can't really say how much :) ... And He says its OK, He'll still take care of us. He'll catch us when we jump without measuring the distance between the rocks.

Take care of yourself, Jacs.

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