Recently my nine-year-old son began to lose a small patch of hair on his head. At first, I wasn’t overly concerned. Perplexed, but not really concerned. After confirming that he and his sister hadn’t been experimenting with a razor or scissors, we made a trip to our doctor where we learned that Matt has alopecia areata (AA). AA is a mysterious “disease” where a person loses his or her hair. The degree of severity is vast, ranging from being confined to a singular patch on the head to total loss of hair over the entire body. Fortunately, AA isn’t due to poor health nor is it life threatening. It seems as though the worst part of the disease is the psychological effect it has on the individual losing hair. It has been 2 months since Matt’s initial diagnosis and the patch I initially noticed has now grown to about 5 square inches, and at least 12 other patches have developed. His case appears to be one that is not of the ‘lesser degree’.
Years ago– before coming to a mature relationship with Christ– I would have flipped out and worried constantly about my little boy. Thoughts such as, “Why is this happening? Did he do something to cause this? Did Ido something to cause this? What if kids begin to mock him? What will people think about me as a mother for allowing it to happen?” would have plagued me. I not only would have tormented myself with unending questions, but I am sure I’d have had countless sleepless nights and many a “drink” to calm me down. BUT because God entered into my life and has radically transformed it, that is not my response today. I now have such freedom in knowing that I can cast all my cares and fears on God (1st Peter 5:7), which has allowed me to keep calm in the midst of this situation, and to truly experience peace in knowing that everything is going to be ok because God is in control, regardless of the severity of his condition. I know it isn’t in my power to control the situation; I can’t heal Matt. But I can choose how I will respond to the situation: whether I will spend useless, destructive time worrying and fretting over something I can’t control, or whether I will put my confidence in God, Who is in control and Who knows what’s best for Matt and loves him the most!
As I have ‘cast my fears on God’— turned them all over to His most capable and loving hands, He has reminded me that He is the Creator of all things. He not only created my precious little boy, but He also created me and gave me the gift of being his mother. God entrusted me with the responsibility and privilege of raising Matt, and although Matt’s bout with AA was a surprise to me, it is no surprise to Him. I am confident that God will guide my husband and me, grant us His wisdom, and give us everything we need to come alongside Matt and to encourage him through this situation. Most of all, I know that we are not going through this situation alone; God is present with us every step of the way and He will not forsake us. As I realized these truths, it was as if The Lord gave me a big, warm hug!
My faith in Christ grows daily as He constantly reveals Himself to me through scripture and prayer, and through the awareness of His abiding presence with me (Isaiah 41:10). It has been His strength at work in me that has carried me through many times of uncertainty in the past. He has always been faithful to give me the peace I desperately need; I have no doubt that he will continue to be faithful and to deliver me from any fears that may arise in the future about Matt’s condition. Of course I would love to say I could pray this whole thing away, but that isn’t always how it works. God has a plan for our sweet boy and this disease is apparently part of it. I believe that God is able to work ALL things–which includes Matt’s disease–for Matt’s good and for the glory of God (Romans 8:28). Whatever may happen in the future regarding his condition, I will continue to trust our Heavenly Father and to seek His guidance and peace, resting in His love, His faithfulness, and His goodness.
Written by guest blogger Gina Ermiger