For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Easiest Hard Road

As a few people know, WonderBoy has been in the process of preparing to get braces. He had to have some reconstruction done, which required total sedation after failed attempts with a local. Then he had to have two baby teeth removed by an oral surgeon, which turned into a two trip ordeal when the first one ended in a major anxiety attack. At the helm of this trek is our orthodontist, Dr. Copenhaver. He was WonderGirl's orthodontist, too, but it wasn't such a big deal with her. In fact, she is about as easy as they get. WonderBoy, not so much.

When we went in for an initial consult, WonderBoy honestly ended up in a fetal position on the floor from the overwhelming possibilities of "intense" treatment. It was bad, and truthfully, I wasn't sure if Dr. Copenhaver would really want to work with him. As I mentioned before, Dr. C. tends to be a strong presence, blunt. Okay. Truth is, he is a lot like me. I tend to be the type who says, "This has to be done, so do it," and not think about it and not really dwell on any emotions about it. Until WonderBoy, I don't think I realized how much some people really struggle with anxiety over change, especially sensory input change. I wasn't sure how Dr. C would handle it either.

I told you last week that he pulled me into a private office so we could talk about the options for treatment so WonderBoy didn't hear, how compassionate and kind he was. Today, I think I may have fallen in love with the man.

First of all, WonderBoy did not get the full braces. He only got them on the bottom. When I asked about that, Dr. C said the top is easier and will be in place faster, so we can give WonderBoy time to adjust to just the bottom before we do anything else. In fact, his whole approach is to make the smallest changes possible to create the least anxiety possible. He has already thought this through and developed the three year plan and worked in the modifications. He has upped the pain killers as well as added some anxiety meds for treatment days. What can't be avoided, he is helping him get through.

When I told him I blogged about him last week, I told him I mentioned how kind and compassionate he was, and he looked me in the eye and said, "I'm focused on your son. I love challenging cases, and I am going to get him through this as easily for him as I can."

It's a hard road, but I'm going to give you the easiest hard road I can.

On the way home, I was kind of chiding myself for being anxious about this because where was my faith knowing God would take care of us? But then I realized. My anxiety isn't because I think God won't take care of us. It isn't that I think He won't be with us. It's because I know that His being with me means sometimes He is with me on hard roads, and sometimes that roads are self-inflicted, but sometimes, they are God chosen.

In Psalm 23, we are told, "You lead me in paths of righteousness for your name sake." That is a fabulous picture. Righteous paths. The good ones. The ones that make sense. The ones that look like a kind King put you on them, but that isn't really it. "Righteous paths" are the right paths, the chosen by God paths.

Right on it's heels we read, "Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." In other words, sometimes the right path that brings glory to God's name is the hard path. It's the path that looks hell, the one that might kill you, physically, emotionally, mentally.

The psalmist doesn't say he will fear no evil because that path is somehow easier when we are close to God or somehow we are impervious to the possibilities of death. He says, "I will fear no evil for your rod and your staff comfort me." A rod is a defensive weapon that beats back the enemy, and the staff is the long stick with a hook that pulls us back into place.

I won't fear evil because I know you are protecting me and guiding me, and even when you take me on the hard road, you'll make it as easy as possible, and you are with me on it, making sure I can get through it, adjusting for my personal abilities that you created in me, covering my weaknesses.

At some point, we are all going down a hard road. People tend to be angry about the hard roads. They tend to think they aren't fair, that they don't deserve them, that God isn't doing His job. In that vortex of anger, hurt, and accusation, we become blind to everything else. WonderBoy is pretty upset about getting the braces. Even after the visit, he was miserable because really, no one wants braces. They may want the outcome but the braces? No. But despite hating the braces, on the way home he told me how much he appreciated Dr. C working to make it as easy as possible and giving him extra help to get through. He was grateful, and you know the weird thing about gratitude, it brings peace with it...even when it is a hard road.

May you see God leading you.
May you see His compassion and kindess.
May you see the people He sends to lift you up.
May you be grateful for all He does.
May you be blessed with the easiest hard road.


  1. Oh Jerri... It's been a long time since I commented, but I've been reading. :) You're blogging about my life, here! I'm currently going through treatment for breast cancer. This wasn't in my plan for the year... or any other year, actually! But here I am. Yesterday I reached the mid-point of my chemo treatment, so I'm feeling pretty yuck. On my side of the world, it's spring. I'm a gardener, and everything is budding and blossoming and quickening with life, and normally I'd be planting seeds and in the thick of it. This year is different. This year, I'm the seed that has been planted. Most of the things that bring joy to my life and are my identity, have been stripped off my life, and I'm down to the bare essentials. But God says to me: Peace, be still. It's a hard road, to be sure. And I'm not enjoying very much of it. But I'm seeing little glimpses of the love and tenderness of God along the way, particularly in the love and care I and my family are receiving from our community. Yes, it's the valley of the shadow of death... but I will fear no evil, for Your rod and staff comfort me. Donna C from NZ

  2. Oh, Donna! I have been wondering about you. My heart...I am speechless. I am so sorry, and yet, even as I type that, I know the other side of the crucible, but I am sorry this is your crucible.

    Beautiful friend, how can I encourage and uplift you? Do you still have my email? If so, can you send me your snail mail address?