The ride will be quiet, with tired eyes staring out a foggy window and hands clutching tight a soft blanket. She will likely break the silence with the same question she always asks when our days begin in the car before dawn--
Which doctor will I see today, mommy?
I will stare at those trusting brown eyes in the back seat.
Lots of them, hon, I will say quietly. Today is the day that God could heal your body.
We will walk -- or carry, rather -- our four year old through the revolving hospital doors and follow the signs to the bustling surgery center. Unlike our sleepy neighborhood, a hospital never rests.
We will help her slip into one of those too-big, off-the-shoulder hospital gowns with the useless tie in the back, and she will snuggle close while we wait for instructions.
She is scared. But she is brave.
She doesn't know what will happen, but she knows that mommy and daddy love her and desire her best. For better or worse -- she trusts us.
And trust gives her the courage to walk into the unknown.
What she doesn't know is that mommy and daddy are scared too.
She doesn't need it. There's no guarantee it will work. Many doctors have discouraged it. But we chose it anyway.
It wasn't the obvious choice. It's just what seems best.
How do you decide to subject your child to pain if you don't even know that it will help?
When do you ask a child to follow your leading when you aren't even certain where to go yourself?
We may not be unshakably certain of surgery, but we are sure of one thing:
We long for something greater for her. And love always compels us to look beyond who someone is, and hope for what they could become.
And so we do what seems best. And even if our decision is faulty, even if our worst doubts or fears come true, we have this bedrock of hope:
While we were children, our parents did what best to them. But God is doing what best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.
(Hebrews 12:10 MSG)
Our "best" for our children is based on limited knowledge and mixed motives. But God's best is rooted in sovereign power, in infinite wisdom, in perfect love. God always --always -- does what is best. So although we are scared, or doubting, or second-guessing our choices, we too can be brave. We too can trust.
And trust gives us the courage to parent through the unknown.
Our faithful Father will always use every decision -- every circumstance -- for the eternal good of His children.