Grace Enough

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Last week, our seven-year-old had an accident at school. He slammed into a tree while running full-force as he was looking over his shoulder. He was deep in the throes of Ball Tag, and the real indignity of it all was that he was tagged by the ball just as he hit the tree.

The accident was terribly unnerving for many of the children on the playground; Charlie took most of the force on his forehead, and the head is very vascular. The impact threw my boy to the ground and he was immediately dazed and drenched in blood. By the time I got to the school, ten minutes later, Charlie had some color and was making jokes. But it was still scary and also a mess.

That afternoon, we spent several hours in the emergency room. This was not our first trip to the ER with one of the boys, but it was our first for such a large cut. When it was all said and done, Charlie had a severely bruised knee (X-ray showed no injury), several hearty scrapes and four stitches. Not nearly as bad as things initially seemed they would be.

Throughout this ordeal, I had a sense of calm about the situation. There was grace on it. While I had been marginally worried there would be unsuspected injuries, the doctors were quick to assess and minimize the damage.

During our time at the hospital, however, the longer we were there, the more fearful I became. While I wasn’t worried about the immediate situation, I started to fret about the reality of my life, of being a mother of boys, and specifically five boys with an incredible zest for life. Here I was dealing with one boy with one injury. How could I handle this times five over the course of X number of years?

I started to let my imagination get the better of me. I have a list of things I worry about, my little Rachel’s Top Ten of things I fear will happen to my children. Running full-force into an ancient oak tree isn’t even on the list. How, I started to wonder, could I control all the scary and bad things that could possibly happen? How could I stop them from happening? I used to think worrying would help, but now I’m not so sure.

For a brief moment, in that hospital room, I started to doubt God’s wisdom in giving me all these boys. And I was afraid – afraid of the future, of other injuries and trips to the emergency room and situations that could be worse than this. How could I handle all that, I wondered. I’m simply not strong enough.

And then I realized – I don’t have to be.

In the midst of all my fear and doubt, I somehow felt a wave of calm. God, in his infinite mercy, revealed himself. He gently reminded me of his unending love and his unfailing grace.

There wasn’t grace for any of those other situations – things which may or may not ever happen – because all I could do was deal with right now. I had to stop worrying about the future and focus on this boy and this wound. There was grace for the here and now, and that was all the grace I needed.

A few days earlier, I had been reading the book of John and found a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us. “Let not your heart be troubled,” writes John, “neither let it be afraid.” God really does desire perfect freedom and happiness in each of our lives.

When I stop worrying about the what-if’s and the could-be’s, I find there is grace and peace to walk through this moment. And that is all I could possibly need.

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Comments

  1. Granny Annie says:

    Bravo! Beautiful post.

  2. I find it quite comforting, as I pass through a 1-yr anniversary of a week of death and loss, to read this upon rising this morning – thank you. Please allow me to share an example of God’s grace, by showing you the other blog post I was led to this am:
    http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/2007/10/hold-together.html

  3. Amen.

  4. Carolyn A says:

    Beautifullyl written. And such a good reminder. Worrying is so useless. Yet I know I’m tempted by it all the time. God’s grace will suffice.

  5. Ruth Anne Adams says:

    I’ve heard people say that worry is like a rocking chair: a lot of motion, but no progress.

  6. timely, timely, timely. Thank you. 🙂

  7. How is it that you can so eloquently state such beautiful truths!! What a gift. I came to the realization at one point in my life that fear/anxieties/worries was the devil’s way of getting us to doubt God’s love and plan for our life, and ultimately to stop us from going forth with His plan for us. How foolish we can be. Thanks for such words of wisdom Rachel.

  8. I once read “Worry does not take the sting out of tomorrow, just the strength from today”.

    Also, I am often comforted by the words of Julian of Norwich: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”

    xoxo mg

  9. Thank you for the reminder. I get caught up sometimes in life and forget that God orchestrates it all, and as you so beautifully wrote gives us all the graces, all undeserved, that we need to do His will. God is bigger than all our problems. I have so much to be thankful for most especially healthy children and good husband. Thanks once again, for your inspiration.

  10. i recently wrote how, as a mother, i sometimes get overwhelmed with raising three sons. motherhood is not supposed to be easy, but in Mary I have learned that through faith and prayer (and grace!)we CAN do it!

  11. Well said. Worry does nothing but age and gray the mom. Boys will be boys and time spent on your knees is the only way to cope sometimes. I’ve stopped worrying myself and started letting them live a fun, live-and-learn kind of life.

  12. Allison Kennedy says:

    Hey, Rach. Beautiful post. I’m glad your boy is OK! … Being the Queen of Worry myself, I especially needed to read this. However, sometimes I think of worry or my troubles (or my made-up ones 🙂 as valuable IF they propel me toward God. If I get caught up in them and can’t see beyond toward Hope, that’s when I get in trouble. … But there is some value in such moments of struggle because then I cry out for help.

  13. Thank you. I needed to read these words today.

  14. Good point, Allison. Important to remember.

  15. So true – we really only have to find the strength to deal with this moment. Sometimes it is so hard to be in the present. Be happy that your boys have a zest for life – what a wonderful way to live it!

  16. patjrsmom says:

    Beautiful!

    Jane