Friday, March 17, 2017

Knee Mercies & The Gift of Nurturing

Remember this post? The one where I talked about how much that Lamentations verse keeps coming to mind? How I pray a version of it each morning? How I discovered that "mercy" here means "womb", or "cherishing the fetus"? How the Lord is using it to remind me of His love for me, of how much He cherishes His daughter?

Well, as I sat in Providence Hospital in Waco, TX last Monday afternoon, I sort of forgot all of that. They had said it would only be about an hour long surgery. Maybe an hour and a half. So, as one hour turned into two hours and I nervously walked down the hall to check the surgery status screen to discover that my oldest son was still in the operating room, I thought that God might have forgotten me. I thought He may have also forgotten Kory and the protection and healing we'd begged Him for in the last days and weeks.

But as I walked back toward Kory's room to wait some more, I passed the nurses station. The dry erase board behind the counter caught my eye. There was the verse. Written right there for me to discover in a moment of fear.

Subtle and gentle, but loud and clear.

 Not too long after that, the nurse came to get my dad and me to meet with the doctor and talk about how the surgery went. She led us to a waiting room filled with other people and asked us to wait for the doctor there. About five minutes later she returned and told us we needed to follow her, as the surgeon had requested a private conference room for the surgery update.

Now, I knew it was just knee surgery and that nearly everyone I know has had this surgery. (Even Robert had the surgery just two months after we were married due to jumping out of our apartment complex dumpster after I accidentally threw away our marriage license and other important documents, but that's another story.) But something about the request for a private conference room had me jumping to all sorts of tragic conclusions, and I forgot the promise, and God's mercy, and even the very recent - as in 20 minutes prior - dry erase board reminder.

Well, I forgot only momentarily, I suppose. I was eventually able to remember and entrust myself and my son to a merciful God, but it took effort. It took obedience. It required a Spirit sustained surrender. I also had to tell myself that even if it was bad news, it wouldn't be evidence of a lack of God's mercy, but that His mercy would be with me all the more in those moments and tomorrow morning and every morning thereafter.
Myles and Tyler were still around for spring break and came by to check in on Kory.
Close friends and great guys.

We had a two hour drive to San Marcos post surgery. Poor kid.

We also thanked the Lord for Grandad's recliner. Kory spent the week right there.
I'm sure it all sounds very dramatic. After all, it was only a surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus. It's a pretty routine procedure these days, but fear was still this mom's first emotion. And as you can see, Kory is just fine. He's pretty stiff and sore these days, and he's still hobbling around on crutches much to his great frustration, but he's doing really well. In fact, in just a few months he'll be doing better than ever and possibly even able to hit the basketball court again, not to mention running those beloved bases.

I thank God for this great mercy on top of the mercy of speaking to me so clearly in the hospital that day. He is truly faithful.
We stayed at my dad's house near Austin, and we had visitors!
Jack (taking the pic) and Kelly (Miss Riggs!) came and brought their beloved Mr. Darcy who cheered
up the patient with his licks and snuggles. I think this was Kory's first trip outside a few days post-surgery.
(And is my hair really getting that gray? My goodness...)
 You know what else I thanked the Lord for quite a bit during those 10 days in Texas? Besides 80 degree weather, bluebonnets along my morning runs, Tex-Mex, BBQ, and Bluebell Ice Cream, that is?

I thanked Him over and over for the privilege of being able to care for my son. I've said it many times before, and I've heard other moms express the same exact sentiment. It's so heart-wrenching when your kids are sick or in pain, but it's so wonderful to be able to give them the extra nurturing they need on those days. It looks a little different when they are big kids and just this close to being truly independent, but not too much different.

They still need prayer, words of encouragement, help putting on their really tight-fitting Nike socks 😊 , favorite meals delivered to the recliner, and bowls of ice cream with a side of gluten free cookies.

Kory must have thanked me a thousand times throughout the week, but it was truly my delight and privilege. This kid graduates from college in less than two months. He's moving to Austin, getting his own apartment, and going to work for a big multinational computer technology company (Oracle) like a real grown-up. I may never get that one-on-one opportunity again.

(Did I mention that he also has the sweetest girlfriend ever? Yeah...that too.)

Those ten days with him were a gift.

I did miss some nurturing opportunities by being away that long though.  Look what happened last Saturday...
 Kayla is a fully licensed driver now, and I missed her big day. I suppose Robert missed most of her day as well, since she dropped him off at home immediately and went to babysit for several hours in the next town over before driving herself back for Shakespeare play practice for the rest of the afternoon. As relieved as I am that she can take herself to all of her babysitting, sports, social, and academic activities (and I can have many hours of my life back), I'll miss the car time and conversations it oftentimes allowed. She still gets tucked in most nights, though.

Cooper arrived in Texas to spend his spring break with Kory at Baylor. Little did any of us know at the time, it would also involve being Kory's chauffeur and post-surgery-week-two-helper. It started out pretty well with chips and queso while we waited for our table at the Grist Mill with Grandad...
Kory's first real outing nearly a week after surgery.
 ...and wasn't even too bad once we got to Waco, though our trip to Magnolia while Kory went to his first class on Monday morning was disappointing. It was only an hour long class, and there was no way were getting in to the store in that amount of time with the winding lines out front. Seems like a few other (thousands of) people had Waco, TX on their spring break bucket list.

So, we picked Kory up on campus, went to the grocery store for a bit of stocking up for the week, and then Coop and I drove to Dallas, so that I could catch my flight back to Boston.

Seems like things were a bit rocky in the chauffeuring department after I left...

And poor Coop had to continue in service to his family when he got back to Boston yesterday, since one of my suitcases stayed in Cincinnati on Monday...

Ha! I got a Snapchat soon after of Cooper with sunglasses on, his Converse high tops propped on his duffle bag, and my long lost suitcase nearby as he waited on the curb for the Thrifty shuttle to take him to his car.

I'm not sure he was quite as grateful for the gift of nurturing he got for spring break, but that's okay. He did enjoy some pick-up Baylor basketball, gluten free chocolate chip pancakes from Cafe Cappuccino, and lots of Taco Cabana, so we're calling it a vacation anyway.

I got a text message from a friend and fellow pastor's wife yesterday. (She's also the music minister at their church.) She and her husband spent last week planning the Saturday funeral of a long time and dear church staff member. She was telling me about the incredible opportunity funerals are to worship and testify to the hope we have in Christ, and sent me the list of hymns they sang - most of which she would also like sung at her funeral.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness was first on the list, and as I re-read the lyrics this morning, they seemed the perfect way to close this post about God's mercy in my life and the opportunity I had to identify with His love for His children in caring for my own last week.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see
All I have needed, Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see
All I have needed, Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, and ten thousand beside!

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see
All I have needed, Thy hand has provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We loved seeing you and are glad you arrived safely home again. I believe that Robert sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" at Granny's funeral. Remember? The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, They are new every morning, new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, O Lord. Great is Thy Faithfulness! Thank you for the reminder! Love and blue skies, K&J&Mr.Darcy