Addendum to “There’s No Way I Signed Up for This?”
We all know how good it is to have a friend who’s gone before us and managed to survive the hard thing we’re being challenged with today, someone who can give us some pointers on our present situation. Saylor is that friend for Gracie. Gracie and her mommy (my daughter) first met Saylor and her mommy at a fabric store. This was not luck. This was God. Gracie and her mom were at home when the Spirit surprisingly began to encourage Gracie’s mom to run her errand to the fabric store NOW! Wanting to wait for Dad to return home so she could go shopping solo, she argued, but the Impression didn’t let up. She and the kids were practically booted out the door, spiritually speaking. “OK!” and she buckled her two youngest in the car.
Apparently the Spirit who got them out the door was not finished with His mission. My daughter entered the store to pick up a single item. As she stood in the aisle looking over the merchandise trying to make the best purchasing decision she felt the distinct instruction to, “just grab all the possibilities and get to the front of the store. You can figure it out while you stand in line.”
Encouraging Gracie and pushing little brother in the stroller she got in the long checkout line. She assessed the wait time, as we all do. As she surveyed the groups of people ahead of her, her attention was immediately captured by a beaming smile coming from the lips of a little girl who like Gracie was also waiting in line with her mother and siblings. Besides her winning smile and precious face, it was immediately apparent to my daughter that this young lady with braces on both legs, balancing on crutches, had very little mobility in her legs. But as she moved about it was apparent that she was no newcomer to the use of her crutches.
“Ask the mom about her daughter. Find out what the little girl has,” the Spirit whispered. “No, that’s rude,” Gracie’s mom countered. The impression continued—the argument continued. Finally the little girl’s mother was called to one of the registers. “I guess I’ve missed my chance,” my daughter answered the Spirit, with a bit of relief.
But as providence would have it Gracie’s mom was called to the register right next to the one with the sweet little girl on crutches, and after completing their purchase the little girl and her family had to pass behind Gracie and her family to get out of the store. Gracie’s mommy recalls, “As she passed behind me, suddenly and without any warning, God turned me around!”
“I don’t mean to be rude,” my daughter said, “But can I ask you what your little girl has?
“Oh, of course—This is Saylor, and she has spina bifida.”
“Oh” she replied, “This is Gracie. She has spina bifida too!”
The woman immediately bent low, looked straight into Gracie’s blue eyes and said, “Gracie, do you have an owie on your back too?”
Had she really just said that? “An owie on your back?” Moments after Gracie was born she was taken from her mommy’s arms and rushed away to Primary Children’s Hospital for surgery. That’s what we have called the long scar on Gracie’s back for four years. No one but God could have put those words into this stranger’s mouth. She was the perfect stranger.
While the two mommies visited, Saylor, her sister Storie, and Gracie looked at all of the fall crafting stuff in the store, giggling and laughing like they had met in heaven and been friends forever.
My daughter and her little girl had never met anyone with Gracie’s medical problems. An hour later they all parted, both Gracie and her mom having found miraculous support for days ahead.
Gracie’s spina bifida resulted in physical problems that are not visible, but very real. Her parents were at that very time in the midst of making huge decisions about future surgeries for Grace. It just so happened that Saylor had recently undergone the very operations Gracie’s parents were researching and praying about. Until that day they had never met anyone who had real life experience with the procedures they were considering. Here was finally someone to field the thousand little questions that you forget to ask or think are too silly to ask.
For the first time in her life Gracie realized she wasn’t the only one—she wasn’t alone. There was someone who knew exactly what lay ahead, someone with even greater challenges than Gracie would ever face. And this someone was doing more than surviving—she was thriving.
The Lord wants us to have the support we need as we go through tough things. It seems that He will take us out of our way to find support or to find those who need support. The Lord was undeniably the matchmaker the day Gracie and her mom were led to the perfect strangers.
By Nannette W.
Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2013
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