Amputation. Mother. God.

While watching her being rolled away into the operating room, I caught one last glimpse of the foot we tried to so painfully save for months.

AMPUTATION. I learned to spell this eerie word in 2nd grade. Everything I know about it was in connection with wars, accidents, trauma, and terrorism.

As the wheels of her metal bed squeaked across the cold hospital tiles, I was transported back in time to when I was a child and would cry about my fat legs, ugly when compared to others. She would always tell me, “Your legs are beautiful, because the Bible says, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news and proclaim peace…”

She was a missionary who trekked through the thick jungles of the northern Philippines, a teacher and Bible translator who hiked high mountains just to teach, a pastor’s wife who walked side by side my father until his death, and an enthusiastic traveler who raised us to explore beyond the oceans. I never imagined that this terrifying word would enter our lives and forever latch itself into another word that I so dearly love. MOTHER.

In a few hours, she will come back to her room, one body part less. I cry at the thought that when she looks down later and sees that empty space, will she still see beauty in one foot? Or will it be a constant reminder of her excruciating pain, forever stuck in one place, living with dialysis treatments, broken bones, and never-ending complications?

In these moments of pain and darkness, we cling to only one word. GOD.

“My precious child, I love you and will never leave you – never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

There are so many things I do not understand. I have a hard time connecting these 3 words together. AMPUTATION. MOTHER. GOD.

But I believe that God is too wise to be mistaken, too good to be unkind. So when I can’t trace his hands, I will still choose to trust his heart. For with both feet or 1 foot or no feet at all, there will still be that one set of footprints in the sand.

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