“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 merciful love.
His daily, equipping strength.
His gift that comes packaged in pain but reveals itself to be beautiful and holy and transforming and healing and, yes, perfect.
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.