“If we do surgery now, we will have to remove Grace’s spleen, part of her lower intestine, more of her stomach, part of her liver, part of her colon…” and my heart starts beating out of control, a buzzing sound fills my head and I’m trying to listen to what the doctor is saying. She is telling me something important, vital information about my daughter. “Focus!” Her lips are moving so I know she is still speaking but my world has stopped. Darkness gathers. I force myself up and kneel in front of Grace’s x-rays on the monitor and say, “Show me. I want to see with my eyes where it is. Walk me through this.”
Every step of Grace’s journey was fraught with challenge. Not a fluid mass but a 10lb tumor, we re-group. Terrible reaction to one of the chemos after the first round, we re-group. Can not go home for treatment, we re-group. Tires are stolen, we re-group. After six rounds of chemo and two months off chemo, tumors have quadrupled in size, we re-group. Surgery is not an option, we re-group. If the next round of chemo works, we will have six months at most together, we re-group. Grace decides not to take chemo, she has six to eight weeks left, we re-group. She is gone in four, we re-group….without her.
“What else could we, should we have done?” My mind wanders these dark corners time to time. “Did we do everything? What did we not think of?” But, from the very beginning there was purpose in our hearts of one direction. The three of us together held onto the anchor of, “No regret!” Every decision was made from a place of peace, rest and agreement. “Father, what should we do? What are Your thoughts? Show us your way.” So when the dark thoughts come now, there are only Light and Brilliance to fill those dark, murky corners. Thankfully, there is no wondering to cause wandering. From beginning to end on this journey, Grace lived with ‘no regret’ as her foundation. She lived in only peace and victory. The revelation of “No regret”, transformed my life. It is an experience that I will not only cherish but choose to build upon. The first step of ‘no regret’ is faith. There can never be regret when you have acted upon faith. Faith is the first step to pleasing God. Regret can not abide in a heart that chooses to please God above all else and follow after Him. We lived our faith out loud. In spite of the doctors reports and the unbelief of others, we boldly held on to Him and His word to us, “Live, little Girl, LIVE!” We never doubted nor kept our mouths shut at any opportunity to proclaim His power and love.
Our Grace died. And I have no answer for that. I am not trying to come up with one. What I wanted and prayed for desperately never came to pass. I feel like a fool. What I thought I heard from my Father was not meant to be. That door now has closed and there is no going back and changing anything. And what would I change? Eric and I would change absolutely nothing. We three lived in one mindset in unison. “Don’t hold anything back! Do what is in your heart to do! And do it with all your might.” Don’t let the thoughts of others cause you to live in the shallow places of your heart or faith. Live your life and faith out loud. I don’t want one opportunity to slip by that would result in regret. Sometimes in life, most of the time in life, I have learned we do not get ‘do-overs’. So, do it right the first time, in that moment. You know the moment…when your heart is beckoning you to go deeper, love more or give it all. Give all of your heart, your faith and action to see beauty here on this Earth. In that moment, choose to live well; choose to live with “No Regret!”