Do It Scared, Part 2

starfish studs

Not these, but pretty, no?

I wrote about Ruby getting her ears pierced awhile back. She did it, praise God, but it did hurt and she was scared. Things progressed swimmingly after that, until she took the studs out after 6 weeks’ time. I scoured my old earrings. Found some I never wore, cleaned them and passed them on to the girl. She wore them…and her right ear piercing got infected.

The ear hole turned red. Pus oozed from the sore. This happened during a short sleepover, while she was away. When she returned, I applied hot water to it. I salved it with hydrogen peroxide. I grabbed the small sparkly stud and tried to reinsert it into Ruby’s angry puncture.

“Ow! Ow!” Ruby winced as she squirmed away from the tiny hot poker of death.

I tried to save the hole, but by the time I got to it, it was too far gone. We let it close up. Ruby was devastated. She felt like she failed. I held her and told her she didn’t fail. We just overestimated how quickly her body would adapt to the new holes.

“We took our best shot,” I said to her. “We went 6 weeks instead of 8. Next time, we’ll do better.”

See, sometimes, stuff just happens. No blame necessary. You take your best shot and you miss.

She wiped her tears and went to bed. The left ear remained intact. Every day, we checked on the right ear’s progress. It got less red until only a small dot remained on her lobe.

After all this time, turns out a local store offered piercing service. We didn’t have to drive all the way to Olympia to fix this. Huzzah!

We tackled the situation this past Saturday.

“Mom, I’m not even scared this time,” Ruby said from the backseat as we drove the short distance.


Once we got the sales associate’s attention – someone we knew slightly from past church attendance – he found the exact same studs Ruby already sported. Providence! Ruby sat on the pull-out stool built into the jewelry counter. She shivered.

“You don’t have to be afraid of me, Ruby,” said the clerk who remembered us. “I won’t hurt you.”

I tried to explain that she wasn’t afraid of him, only the pain. Each of us cajoled her in turn. Nothing doing.

“Mom, can we get Zac’s soda first?”

I nodded. We excused ourselves from the patient associate and walked over to the soda area.

“What can I do to help you?” I asked. Enough coaxing. I wanted to know.

“Nothing,” she said.

Fair enough.

As we walked and talked, I had another thought.

“You’re overthinking this,” I said. “It’s better to just do it and not think about it too much. Otherwise, you focus on how much it hurts, right?

Ruby nodded, brown eyes wide.

I informed her that we would purchase Zac’s soda (with his money) and then sit back down for round 2. If she shrank away at all from the piercing, we were done. Homeward bound. Finito. We wandered back to jewelry.

“Hi, Ruby,” the kind clerk greeted her.

Ruby sat down, ramrod straight. She didn’t move. He pierced her ear fast. Tears leaked out of her eyes. He offered no medicine to soothe her, but gave us the small “after” kit. We collected our packages and left.

Ruby wiped her eyes.

“Does it hurt?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, trying to mask her pain.

I told her I was proud of her – again – for facing her fear. I’m proud of her persistence, despite the pain and frustration.

“And look how God took care of you,  matching your other stud and everything. The clerk also gave you the extra stud, should something happen. It’s like God knew things would go south and prepared ahead of time to take care of you.” . The clerk even made the second hole level with the first, something the first hole hadn’t been. Win!

I’m so grateful for how God graciously covers our mistakes and our poor choices. His kindness towards us has no limit. He loves us so much! We can’t comprehend it all. He cares even in the little things.

What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin?  But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. – Matthew 10:29-31





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