Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Incredible Courage

...Be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.   Joshua 1:9

Over the course of three months, I have watched my daughter transform from a teenage girl with typical teenage concerns to a young woman battling illness with grace and maturity far beyond her thirteen years.  I have been by her side through lumbar punctures, blood transfusions, and chemotherapy treatments.  I have held her hand and comforted her through nausea, fever, and even fear and anxiety that accompanied three ER visits.  Through it all, I have discovered she is quite possibly the most courageous person I have ever known.

Today was no exception.  Three months of intense chemotherapy have taken their toll on my daughter's beautiful hair.  Because it would be a while before it would grow back, Paige has been adamant about keeping as much as she could for as long as she could.  She came to the conclusion this week that it was time to let the last few strands go.  She was ready to move forward.

We called upon a trusted friend to help us in this endeavor--there was nobody else Paige would let near her head. :)  Missy made sure Paige was comfortable--in case she was experiencing any sensitivity on her scalp--and got to work.  A few minutes--and lots of tears--later, it was done.  That last bit of what we called "chemo hair" was gone, and Paige's head was now as soft and fuzzy as the day she was born.

I held her hand the whole time, trying to reassure her she is still totally and completely beautiful.  That this is temporary.  That her hair will one day return.  And then I was silent--which is probably what she needed the most at that point.  Just a few weeks ago, she 'warned' me that once the hair was gone, she would need to cry and be upset for a bit, so I am giving her that time.  She's more than earned it.

My daughter's beauty is not defined by the clothes she wears or the hairs on her head.  It comes from within--and her heart, strength, and courage shine through as a glorious testimony to God's amazing grace.

Your beauty should not come from outward should be that of your inner self...   
1 Peter 3: 3-4

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