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Sep 20, 2023

“We’ve done everything possible to save this leg; all that’s left is amputation—when you’re ready, we’ll have that conversation.”

Those words came from Gracie’s surgeon, following numerous operations to save her right leg that

was crushed and disfigured in her 1983 car accident. Everyone in Gracie’s life, including me, had an opinion about this—and Gracie understandably struggled mightily during this time. At twenty-five, with a toddler, the decision weighed heavily on her young heart.

Setting an appointment with our pastor, Bob, she limped into his office on her mangled right foot. As she sat quietly in his study, he stated, “Gracie, this room is off-limits to every other voice telling you what to do. My job is to help quieten the noise so you can hear your heart and God’s leading.”

Gracie pondered for more than an hour while Pastor Bob sat at his desk—no words passed between them. Finally, Gracie looked up with tear-filled eyes and said, “I’m terrified of doing this,” she whispered.

Gaining strength, she continued, “But I can’t live this way any longer—it’s got to come off.”

Nodding somberly, he assured Gracie he’d be with her through the ordeal—and he kept his word.

Sometimes the greatest gift we can give to others struggling with heartbreaking decisions is to clear the room, quieten the noise, and sit with them. Most know what needs to be done but need a quiet place to process the fear and heartache while assured they’re not alone.

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;

bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave

to your God to order and provide; in ev’ry

change he faithful will remain. Be still, my

soul; your best, your heav’nly friend through

thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

—“Be Still, My Soul,”

Katharina von Schlegel