...it passes the time, but doesn't get you anywhere!
Michael will be three in July, but the second day of his life and the message I received from above that day is still fresh on my mind. Particularly after today...
July 28, 2012 was the day after Michael was born. One of my dearest friends had driven from Charlotte to stay with me at night at the hospital so I wouldn't kill my husband. (last time I contemplated how to do it quietly while he was covered up, curled up and snoring while I was lying in the bed, couldn't get up because I had just had a c-section and still had my cath and the baby was screaming and not latching). Jennifer and my sister had agreed to take turns so Mike could be at home and Mary Emma could spend the night at home. We figured it would be safer for him that way. Without our family and friends we would not be where we are.
Now...back to the original story! I woke up that morning with a bit of sadness because it was my grandmother's birthday, but she had spent the last few of her birthdays in heaven. I was also worried. As I looked over at Jennifer snuggling with Michael in the recliner (which she did most of the night both nights she was there) I thought to myself, what are we going to do, how will we tell people, what will people say, is it my fault, will he be able to have children, what about Mary Emma, what about my nieces and nephews, is something else going on besides what we can see right now, is there surgery for his hands and feet, oh no...my baby is going to have surgery, will i have to stop working/teaching, can he go to daycare, will he be able to learn. That sounds like a lot but it seemed as if it all flashed through my head in a matter of seconds. I was fine in the moment. I loved this little boy beyond anything, but fear and worry of what lied ahead was what scared me the most. I had no thoughts about why me, why my child, both Mike and I were at peace with whatever this was from the first moment we saw him. Jennifer knew me well enough to know I was worried, but she also knew if I wanted to talk about it I would. She didn't try to make me feel better, she didn't try to say the 'right' thing she was just there. I could see the look of fear in everyone's eyes when they came to see us at the hospital. Fear for what was ahead and fear for how to take care of Mike and I and especially Mary Emma. It hadn't been long that I had told Jennifer about the daily devotion from the Upper Room from the previous day and then it happened...I opened the one for July 28, 2012. Here is the scripture for that day. God was at work in my life again.
6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
6:27 And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
6:28 And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin,
6:29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith?
6:31 Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?'
6:32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
6:33 But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
6:34 "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today.
6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
God had a plan for our family and I had to simply trust Him and trust that he would guide us in the coming days, weeks, months and years. I cannot add a single hour of my life by worrying and neither can you. Do I worry? ABSOLUTELY!!! But, when I do I immediately remind myself of this scripture. I even turn to it in the Bible when i'm really worried and read the scripture around it. I was reminded not to worry about tomorrow again today.
Today we had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. Michael had another procedure (more info in tomorrow's post about his surgeries). I spent the last several days filled with anxiety because Michael was getting his second mitten cast removed and probably a splint. The surgeon was also going to let us know what the current treatment plan was. Michael has also been having some 'meltdowns' (I hate that word but it is the best description), particularly in public settings. I was anxious about getting the cast off...what if he were to injure the ligament reconstruction, what if the surgery wasn't successful, what if he gets sand in it at daycare, are we going to have another surgery soon, what about work...and on and on and on. I read this scripture over and over, but the worry kept creeping in. Well, shame on me for not trusting God's plan.
We walked into the doctor's office and Michael worked his puzzle like a big boy. We went back to get his cast off and I asked for a private room since the cast room reminds him of pre-op. We sat and waited and watched Veggie Tales--his favorite. The guy came in to remove the cast. Michael has never fussed when they were removing any of his casts so I didn't expect that to go poorly, but I was so scared of what was under that cast. Then he unwrapped it. I took a deep breath and looked over. Was I really seeing what I thought I was seeing? Michael's index finger on his right hand had been lying toward the thumb since they were released at 5 months old. This surgeon reconstructed the ligament hoping it would 'pull' the finger back in the right direction. His adorable little finger was, of course, still bent at a 90 degree angle (hopefully addressing this in a future surgery), but it was pointing in the right direction. It wasn't lying to the side. His index, ring and pinky fingers were all parallel to each other. I was moved to tears. I was speechless. I never thought I would see this. The fellow came in and I was still in tears and he hugged me and he was thrilled with how the everything looked. A good bit later the surgeon walked in and he was also very happy with how everything looked. He talked again about how the ligament has to remarry the bone and the joint should remain stable for this. He said that since Michael was so young and active (aka Evil Knievel) that he wanted to recast him for three weeks. I almost jumped out of the chair. I worried for nothing. All my fears were addressed and it was a wonderful day. Not to mention that when the surgeon came in Michael said 'Hey" and patted the stool and told him to sit down. Michael is understandably fearful of anyone in a white coat but he and both his surgeons have had a connection since they met. He offered him a scooby snack and hugged him bye. Then I go to the cast shop and he sits there like a champ. He is finally at the age that he knows he might as well just sit there. We picked a purple cast because that's was a special request from Memma (Mary Emma). Then we go out and I go to check out. First the guy tells me that there are no appointments for when we are supposed to return and he also doesn't think we can see the person for the brace that day. He could have left it at that but instead he gets up and goes to talk specifically to the therapist we need to see, then he makes a couple of phone calls and less that 10 minutes later we have a 1 and 2pm appointment for our return visit in a few weeks. I know he thought I was crazy thanking him approximately 90 times but he made my day so much brighter being able to leaving knowing that return appointments were taken care of.
We can spend so much time worrying that we miss what is around us. I am so guilty of that. I think it might be genetic; my mom and sister do an awful lot of worrying too! What do you worry about? Let's all say this verse as a prayer in the morning. "So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today." When you read this take a moment and spend a quiet moment with God. You don't have to speak for he already knows what is weighing on your heart. Our God is a big God and nothing is too big for Him. Telling him what is weighing on you can sometimes be enough to remind you that you are not alone. Next time you are faced with the need to 'say the right thing' to someone who is going through something instead just 'be there'. If you feel the need to say something ask them if you can pray for and with them. Don't worry about what you will say as you pray...God will give you the words. If you are a music person, which I am, look up the song Blessings by Laura Story (I think that's right). A dear friend of mine, Lisa, introduced me to this song and it has gotten me through many a tough night or day. It's on my emergency cd. That's a story for another day. Tomorrow I will explain Michael's condition and tell you about his surgeries.