Grieving Over Grapes

excerpt from the family’s CaringBridge Journal—written May 7, 2012

Last night, Andrew and I had to work on McCall’s diet plan once again. After meeting with a nutritionist and reading through some literature and research, we are removing more foods as we are in this waiting period before we decide on his treatment. The specific foods that we removed last night are: grapes, raisins, honey, refined sugar, pork, sausage, beef, potatoes, and caffeine. I feel like I should revise my earlier post on his diet, because that has now changed!

One thing that has been hard for me is McCall’s questions at each meal. It breaks me down by the end of the day to constantly talk about these things with a four year old. My mind works overtime to communicate things to him in a way he will understand and in a way that won’t discourage his spirit. So, Andrew and I decided we needed to sit down with him and have another family session where we discussed his food and prayed for him. I’m a huge believer in encouragement, so we started out the conversation explaining how proud we are of how he handles everything he is going through. We then explained why other foods were being removed. His response? “Ok…maybe when I grow up I can have it. Or maybe when they fix me.” Not, “why?” or “that’s not fair!” He trusted us, and he accepted what we said. The faith of a child is amazing and something to emulate. Ironically, right before this moment, I asked God, “Why, God? This isn’t fair!”

We wanted to leave the conversation with hope, so we told McCall that we know this is hard, but that we believe God will heal his body and his pain and make him feel better. And McCall said, “Yeah because God can do anything, AND he’s stronger than daddy!”

We then prayed. As Andrew prayed over McCall’s small body, I watched him. His eyes were clinched tightly as if he were holding on and his hands were pressed firmly together as he listened. It was a beautiful picture of concentration and trust and belief and love. He was still before the Lord listening to his daddy, his hero, lift him up in a heartfelt plea for his body. What an amazing opportunity we get each day to see God so clearly.

McCall went to bed, and I just needed to be. I grieve at the end of each day, as I am emotionally drained. Each day is tough as I bear the burden of my child. McCall was fine with his new dietary restrictions, but not me. I needed to grieve over grapes.

It makes me wonder about God once again. We go through periods in our lives where things don’t seem fair or right. We have rejection, job loss, death, addiction, a failed marriage, a failed friendship, disappointment, disease. We throw our fists up and wonder what God is doing because it sure doesn’t feel good like He promises us it is. And then I think about our situation, and I see God’s parenting in a new light. We are doing what’s best for McCall, though he may not understand. If we let McCall eat whatever he wanted and we never treated his disease, his quality of life would not be healthy. We are entering into a long process of food trials and tests and triumphs and failures, but we believe the end result is either healing or a diet that will definitely work for his body. Our lives work the same way. God uses our trials, our hard times, our failures, though sometimes long and frustrating, to bring healing and purpose in our lives. We don’t know the outcome of this journey, like many of you don’t know the outcome of the journey you are on. Maybe your life feels unbearable. But I know that God knows the outcome, and he wants us to trust. For God is a parent. Even more than Andrew and I want the best for McCall and we want healing for McCall, God is our perfect father, and He wants the best for us and healing for us. Will you join me in trusting that our Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things, the Author and Perfector of our souls, knows what is best for us?

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