It was a big word for a little guy: assuage. I’d never heard it before and didn’t realize God was preparing me for one of the greatest battles of my life. One little word to help carry me through a cancer diagnosis and mastectomy. Never given to dreams of significance, I awoke one morning with profound wonder having dreamed our baby’s first word was assuage. Now most children follow the “mamma or dadda” stage with words like “ball or plane,” but in my dream the word was assuage. Because he hadn’t yet verbalized the simplest of words, something inside made me pay attention.
After a little investigation, I discovered that assuage meant to alleviate grief. That gave me something to ponder and write in my journal, and it even provided a good laugh imagining one so young blurting out something so impressive. But seeing it in the Bible a few weeks later stopped me in my tracks, The moving of my lips should assuage your grief. (Job 16:5 KJV). The word literally jumped off the page and caused me to wonder at what it all meant. I didn’t understand until I was sent home to recuperate from surgery a few months later.
Extremely thankful that God had restored me to health and let me live, I believed the cancer experience would somehow be for my benefit. But I admit it was one of the most difficult battles of my life. With a good prognosis, I should have quickly bounced back to normal but I battled fear and depression. Everything I saw reminded me that breast cancer was the leading cause of death in women and I feared its return. I could have easily resorted to resentment and self-pity had the Lord not used my toddler to ease my sorrow. Did this have anything to do with my dream?
Full of love and affection for his mommy, he kept me going when my flesh wanted to wallow in self-pity. In the darkest moments of discouragement, when tears would flow down my cheeks, he’d wrap his little arms around me and wipe away my tears with his tiny little hands. Though he didn’t understand why his mommy was crying, he’d comfort me with little hugs and soft kisses from his lips on my face. His cheery disposition changed my outlook on life. How could it not when his little hands would cup my face and pull it close to his just to see him make a funny face. It was then I realized he was the tool God used to assuage my grief and keep me going.
A child long awaited..a dream of significance. A dreaded diagnosis..a good prognosis. A battle with fear and depression…a little assuaging. My child spoke volumes of healing to my soul without ever uttering a word. The kisses of his lips and the motions they made for his funny faces assuaged my grief and restored joy to my soul. How wonderful God is to provide everything we need in life. What do you need right now? Look at your child…that little one just might be God’s provision.