And now you know the rest of the story

“Any praises or prayer requests for the week?”

My Sunday School class starts every session with those words and the time we spend sharing the highs and lows is my favorite part of class. I don’t usually have a prayer request.  I’m not a huge sharer EVEN THOUGH I BLAB ABOUT MY LIFE ON THE INTERNET but this week I had something that I felt needed all the extra prayers it could get.  In the brightest, lightest, cheeriest voice I could fake, I mentioned that Travis had a doctor’s appointment this week with the orthopedic surgeon and we would appreciate prayers for clarity as we seek to figure out the best solution to some problems he’s been having with his gait.

As I was speaking, I could feel my throat start to tighten and heard a slight waver and so I waved my hand dramatically and tossed off a little joke that they could also pray for me because I was a psycho mom who tended to get emotional about every little thing that happens to their kid and we all laughed and the class moved on.

What my friends didn’t know and what I’m telling them today from the safety of a quiet room in my house where tears can flow is that we’ve reached a point in Travis’ physical development where walking has become so difficult and his gait so forceful, awkward and unnatural that his physical therapist at school believes he now is at risk of blowing out his knees or worse, pulling his hip out of socket. It’s so bad that last week she called me to say that she could no longer in good conscience recommend that he be on his feet at all and she asked that he stop walking altogether.

And I said, “Forever?”

And she said, “I think we’ve reached that point.”

Insert two days of crying here until Craig came home from his business trip and walked me off the ledge by basically telling me to take one day at a time and that we’ve been here before and we’re not going to know anything until we see the surgeon and even if T has the surgery we aren’t going to know the outcome until we’ve gone through the whole process that will take months so there’s no sense in getting worked up about it now.  

And how anyone can be so rational and reasonable and level-headed when there are things to get all good and hysterically dramatic over I will never understand.

But I thank God that He gave me one of those people because I’d otherwise be a hot mess.

Or at least a bigger one than I already am.

So Wednesday we’ll go and see a surgeon and expect with great certainty to hear that our son needs a surgery with an undetermined outcome. I would be lying to you if I said that I’m approaching this appointment with excitement and a joyful heart.  I’m not.  My heart is breaking for a twelve-year old boy and I have prayed “Lord Jesus, come!” so that he could have a new body and would be able to RUN AND RUN AND RUN and chase his brothers and do cannonballs into the pool.  I have prayed that our story would be like that of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda and that a word from the Savior would be all that T needs to effortlessly put one foot in front of the other.  I have begged in prayer.  Begged to the point of gasping breath and flowing tears that God would work miraculously in the physical healing of my child.

I don’t think this will be our story.

And I’m slowly being dragged toward being okay with that.

Because as we’ve done surgeries and therapies and meetings and medicines and all have fallen short of the hoped for outcome, God is shaping our hearts in acceptance that our story will not be about the little boy who ditched his walker and ran and did cartwheels in the grass.

It will, instead, be about Him.

His faithfulness.

His tenderness.

His merciful love.

His daily, equipping strength.

His patience.

His gift that comes packaged in pain but reveals itself to be beautiful and holy and transforming and healing and, yes, perfect.

His plan.

And that’s what I’m holding to today, and tomorrow, and Wednesday, and next week, and this summer when we’ll most likely be spending a lot of time in a hospital or on a couch or in a therapy office.  I’m holding on to Truth and doing my best to take captive the emotion that wants to derail what I know that I know that I know.

God is good.

He loves Travis more than I do.

He loves me more than I can fathom.

That, my friends, is a beautiful story, and we’re about to enter the next chapter.

Have a nice day.


A special PS to my friends and family who talk to me on the phone or who see me in real life every day:

I am a little emotional these days but I am fine.  I’m doing what I can to find joy and keep my spirits up.  So I may call you and ask for a new recipe or to meet you for lunch (do not let me order the loaded cheese fries) or I may drop by your house and talk about knitting or Downton Abbey or whether I should let my bangs grow out.

Please know that in that minute you are ministering to me.

But I’m weird and even though I talk about stuff on the Internet I may not want to talk about it in person because it emotionally exhausts me so please don’t ask about it and let’s all live in that happy place of fluff and stuff called Denial unless I burst into tears and cry my guts out.  And then just listen and tell me it’s going to be okay and to put on my big girl panties and point me back to the faithfulness of the God we serve.

Because it’s all going to be okay.


26 responses to “And now you know the rest of the story

  1. Sue – I love you and your story is a beautiful one of God’s grace in the midst of our messy, hard lives. My prayers are with you for His strength, endurance, and your will to choose His perspective, not your own. We have a great God and one who truly does love us and care about every situation in our lives. Keep looking up!

  2. Love you. Love you. Love you.

  3. CPQ, I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who can explain my emotional caverns with surprising depth and detail on the internet…and then can’t get a word out edgewise when I’m actually in front of real people. Know that you are being lifted up in prayer by a fellow vocal blogger/mute prayer requester 🙂

  4. My prayers are with you. Sending you much love—-Jackie Madon

  5. Oh, girl. If we were neighbors, I’d come on over, grab you for some shopping and some sort of food adventure and we’d chat about your bangs and my hatred for exercise, and I’d ask you how on earth does it feel to have a massage every day?. Then I’d make some of snarky joke about something inappropriate and by that you’d know that I am secretly saying that I love you, am so proud of you, and that I am praying for you and Trav and for miracles. And then we’d order dessert.

  6. Amen and Amen, sweet friend.

    I love you. And though i can do nothing to take away the fear of the unknown, we serve a God who can… I’m praying for you all.


  7. Thank you for this post. I have more to say about that, but now I’m all verklempt and the words won’t come. So I’ll leave it at that: thank you.

    I’m praying.

  8. I wish we lived closer – we could compare stories! As the mother of a 23 year old with cerebral palsy, (and I know I have talked to you about him before), we realized at about the same age that Travis is that walking was not going to be in his future. And it was a hard pill to swallow but it was better to be realistic and understand what we were faced with than to have unrealistic hopes. This decision came after a trip to Poland for a month of intensive therapy and a hip relocation surgery/30 days in an A-frame body cast. The hip surgery was successful but the surgeries to correct the internal rotation of his right leg never produced lasting results so we agreed not to subject him to another procedure unless his life was literally at risk. And to accept that he will always use a wheelchair, will always need assistance, will not walk, or run or do a number of things kids should do. As soon as we accepted it, (and he accepted it long before us!) we were able to move forward and do the very best we could to make him comfortable, happy, well-adjusted, and treated no differently than anyone else. Not that I suspect Travis is treatly any differently than his brothers, but he has limitations and you will be able to accept them, work with them, and help him achieve as much independence as possible. I am not a big believer in prayer, especially when asking God to “fix” things but I do believe that he only gives us as much as we can handle. Wishing you the peace to realize that you and Travis can handle what God has blessed you with…and without.

  9. Cleopatra was a queen, let’s hear it for denial. And thank God for the internet.

  10. I’m praying for all of you this week!!

  11. I love you, Sus. And I am always available for lunch, coffee, shopping, dessert, lighthearted talk, checkered high-waisted pants perusing at the good wills, spontaneous tears, or whatever the day might call for. And know that I am praying for you. PS, I like to hide in the safe recesses of the Internets as well…if only it was that easy IRL.

  12. Michelle Kinder

    You are one fierce goddess suz! Love you!

  13. Isn’t it amazing, that through our sadness for our children, God gives us the ability to move through those feelings and come out the other end a much stronger, more able to cope, person. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can be more than conquerors – and at the end of it all, there will be no more pain and suffering – a hope we are longing for together. Blessings!

  14. Many prayers for you and your family. You’re lucky you have a husband who can rationalize. I’m more like you — always thinking the worst.

  15. 1. Prayers
    2. Hugs
    3. Prayers
    4. Tears
    5. Prayers
    6. Repeat
    And I really mean it. Love you, praying for you, weeping with you and wishing I could see you in real life so I could hug you and talk about long weekend getaways and that sort of thing.

  16. Adding my prayers too (and being thankful that my boss isn’t watching me read this with tears in my eyes :)).

  17. Love and hugs. Praying for you, sis!

  18. Thank God for big girl panties!! Oh, and His love and faithfulness of course. I love your humor in the midst of life. It is often a comfort to me. My prayers will be for strength and courage administered through LOTS of distractions with your fun loving friends who hold you so dear.

  19. Oh, Sus. Praying that Jesus will wrap His arms around you and hold on tight. Travis is blessed to have you for his mom.

  20. Lydia Stevenson

    Love, Prayers, and Hugs. I will tell you a little story that I haven’t shared with anyone. This summer our daughter with epilepsy is to be weaned off one of her meds. Everyone seems excited except me. Last time we tried her seizures came back with such a vengeance. She struggled for over six months with horrible side effects, sleepy lathargic she was a different person. Right now she is happy, doing well in school. I don’t want to go back “there” to that place. Yet, if this works she eventually could be off meds. My mommy heart does not want to take any chances. I like the here and now. But, there may something better for her. I pray as you make mommy decisions this week, that He will wrap His arms around you too.

  21. I will be praying for you and your Travis.

  22. When I first started to read this post this morning…. When I was griping about being tired and sore and not wanting to go to work….I couldn’t finish reading because I was crying for you as a mom, as well as for him.

    Thank you. For correcting my perspective. And for sharing so much of your self. You are an inspiration. And I hope and pray for all of you.

  23. Praying for y’all! Travis’ smile melts me. He is a special boy and I look forward to spending Sunday mornings with him next year. (((HUGS))))

  24. I love you, Sus. And I’ve only met Travis once, but he is such joy. Know that the Lord SO loves you and WILL sustain you and Travis and he WILL make all things new. Travis WILL walk without hindrance. It’s just a matter of time. Jesus will hold you all up until then. And maybe work unexpectedly in the meantime, too. Either way, we’ll pray for strong legs and strong hearts. Did you hear about surgery yet?

    Again, I love you.

    And on a lighter note, I just got swing bangs. Wowzers, do I look different.

  25. oh sweet friend. I just read this, and I am in tears because I know how hard it is to not know what lies ahead for your son. And I SO appreciated your love and encouragement during those dark nights with Caden, so know that I am on my knees for your sweet boy and for your sweet mommy heart. I love you (also, I TOTALLY understand the whole writing-about-it-on-the-internet-but-not-talking-about-it-in-real-life – ditto for me).

  26. “It will, instead, be about Him” . . . oh yes, my friend. it most certainly will. it most certainly already IS. his is a glory-filled story “so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (john 9:3).
    rejoicing w/ you that no hip surgery is req’d, but will be praying you all through the knee surgery & recovery.
    i’m honored to be a part of your family’s beautiful story up close & personal. and i love you, girl!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s