Shock & Awe
A few days ago, I sat waiting once again for one of my children to undergo another surgery that was a direct result of injuries sustained in the bus crash that often feels like the albatross around my neck. We have been doctoring for four of those years while she has dealt with debilitating migraines, out of control sinus issues, and difficulty breathing during sports. Knowing she has allergies, we sincerely thought allergies and asthma were the cause of all of this. Our allergist thought differently, and started doing some pretty extensive detective work. Searching through her past medical records and knowing that no allergen treatment had been effective, he ordered more scans and sent us to an ENT. I never once suspected what we were told the day we met with him.
Looking at this old CT scan, I don’t see anything amiss.
The radiologist report says the most recent one is good too, but three days after it was taken she had a major sinus infection.
Well, I don’t know that I agree with that report. See this . . . she has a deviated septum and these turbinates are completely engulfed in swollen tissues. It is no wonder you cannot breathe out of your nose! Did some sort of trauma happen to you when you were younger?
It was at that precise moment when I felt as if someone punched me in the gut. Shock!
As the room was swirling with sinking thoughts, I tried to hold it together to hear the doctor’s suggestions and plans.
How could we have not known that she couldn’t breathe? Shock!
How did we not know that she was injured there too? Shock!
When is this ever going to end? Shock!
The prayers began.
Ultimately, the decision was hers to make. The doctors believed having the surgery would increase her chances of chasing her dream – to play college basketball. Her only stipulation was the surgery could not interfere with this year’s basketball season! She was exhausted with living this way.
Bracing ourselves for another post-surgical patient in our home, we cleared our calendars, finished up projects, and generally tied up loose ends. In a household as busy as ours, preparations, lots of them, must be made when you need a parent at home at all times for seven days of recuperation.
As S-day approached, slowly, like a leaking pipe, fear began to ooze from my thoughts. There are very few friends with whom I choose to share this vulnerability. Despite my recent costume attire, I do not, even for one second, believe that I am Wonder Woman, impervious to fear and doubt. Being afraid for my children is a pastime that I would love to retire. Fear started to creep in, choking me, and I reached out looking for a lifeline.
God answered my prayers by calming my fears, and throughout the day, his reminders just kept billowing in.
Early in the morning:
Text from me:
Fear is consuming me. I just wish you lived closer.
Text from my friend:
What time is surgery? We’ve been praying.
I will be there.
What? This cannot be! I wish I could put into words the gift that my friend gave. Let’s just say, her willingness to come from miles away, leave her children at home, and spend a day worried about me, more than my girl, was a priceless treasure. Awe!
Lunch at school:
Out of the blue, a fellow teacher and wonderful Christian woman shared a story with me about how God holds those who are in the darkest moments tightly to him. Tears streamed down my face in the cafeteria as I heard words, literally breathed from God. Awe!
An e-mail from the church secretary (and dear friend) alerted me that our pastor (and also dear friend) needed the time of the surgery. He, too, would be coming to spend the time (which ended up being a day) with us at the surgical center. His steadfast friendship since the day of the bus crash has amazed us. Awe!
Later in the evening:
After I shared on Facebook my prayer request for the surgery, e-mails, messages, and posts came pouring in. These were not your average messages either. They were heartfelt promises of prayer, practical suggestions from those who had also similar procedures done, and offers to help in any way we needed it. Humbly awed!
Clothed in those prayers, I slept peacefully – which I don’t normally do. Awe!
Walking into the surgical center:
In a way only God could orchestrate, he placed two mommas (along with my pastor and friend) at the same surgical center, the same day, with the same doctor. A little girl who my big girl mentors was having surgery immediately before her. Honestly, what are the odds? During her dark moments of waiting, she buoyed me by giving me the biggest hug of encouragement. Just another reminder my teacher friend was right!
God does hold tightly those he loves – especially when they need it the most.
Like a small child on Christmas morning, I will never lose a sense of wonder of how he provides everything that I need, even when my light is dimmed by fear, doubt and worry.
So thankful that my God is bigger than all of life’s shocks and fills my soul with awe!
Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5 (NIV)