Saturday, November 28, 2020
Preparing for Battle - Surgery Number....12?
Here we are again. Preparing for another surgery. I feel like a bad parent because I honestly can't tell you exactly what surgery number this is. But to be honest, I've never been good at remembering insignificant details or things that don't really have to be remembered anyways. It's like my brain only has so much capacity to hold stuff, so the things that I don't have to remember just get pushed out. Only the really necessary stuff gets to stay. lol! So, I plan to go back and count exactly what number surgery this is, but for today, I'm just going to say that we are somewhere between surgery number 10 and 12, I think. The surgery will be December 3rd at our local children's hospital. Christian will be having eight baby teeth removed to make room for his adult teeth to come in. Some of his molars, specifically, a six year molar that we need to have erupted for his expanders, that should have come in by now still are not in because his baby teeth are not getting out of the way. So, his dentist, working along side his plastic surgeon, has agreed that it's time to intervene and help that baby tooth get out of the way. I asked them why we were going to go ahead and take out eight teeth, because that's a lot of teeth to lose at once. The dentist explained to me that we didn't absolutely have to remove them all, but we might as well since they will need to come out in the next year or so anyway; and if they don't come out on their own, Christian would have to go back under for another procedure. So we are just going to take care of them all now. She also assured me that four of those eight baby teeth that are being removed are already very loose, so it shouldn't feel like much more than a baby tooth falling out. She also said that the other four have very shallow roots and so while eight teeth is a lot to remove at once, it won't be extremely extensive in this case, or anything like having an adult tooth removed which would have deep roots. I remember having my wisdom teeth removed about 3 or 4 years ago, (see, another detail that I can't remember for sure because at the end of the day, I haven't needed to know exactly how long ago it was) and I was in quite a bit of pain for about a week after. I also got dry socket, so that didn't help. The worst part for me was that I couldn't eat, and when I can't eat, I get hangry. Thankfully for Christian, he has his feeding tube and won't have to suffer through a week of eating only broth and purees! I can still make sure he gets his full nutrition even if he can't chew or swallow confortably! So, there are so very huge benefits to his feeding tube since he has to have so much surgery to his mouth. So, the surgery is outpatient and expected to only last about an hour. It's supposed to start at 7:30am, although I'm sure it won't because things like that never go right on time because of all the things that have to happen first and come together, however, I do expect that it will start early and that we will be home after lunch sometime. No one is allowed to go with me, so I'm nervous about going alone. I hate going alone. I hate being at the hospital by myself for surgery. I've been a million times for appointments for Christian by myself, but for surgery, I've always had someone with me. Because of COVID, they are restricting this to just one parent with the child, so I will be going alone. Not having anyone there to lean on just leaves me to myself, and I don't like being inside my own head alone when I'm stressed or anxious. I have been pretty stressed about this surgery. I think a lot the reason for that is because the last surgery was just really hard for all of us; but every time Christian has a surgery, God gives me a scripture to lean on, and I was given some scripture today that I have repeated and mediatated on all day. It's really helped me, encouraged me, and given me strength that I desperately needed. So, I wanted to share it with you. Psalm 144:1 and 2: "Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold, and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me." The challenges that I have faced over the last 10 years have been more challenging that I could probably ever convey in words. It has been painful beyond what I thought I could ever withstand. I have faced fear in a way that I never wanted to do. I have stood in the face of fear with my whole body shaking, my voice cracking, yet I stood because God was with me. I have walked a path that I never would have chosen for myself. But God knew that He could lead me through it, so He sent me. He has seen my capacity and He has pushed me, molded me, strengthened me, and refined me, even when I have refused or pushed back against Him or didn't believe in myself or Him enough to believe I could make it through. I have said to God many times, "I can't do this." Somehow, God always sees me through. God called me to much bigger things than I knew I was capable of, and thank God that He didn't let me settle for the small things I would have settled for. He chose for me a life that I did not believe I had the capacity to live into, because He knew that through Him, I could and that His plans for me were better than my plans. God has seen my weakness and fraility, my pride, my sin, every shortcoming I have (and there are a lot of them), and He knew that my weaknesses were not so insufficient that He couldn't work through them. I am so thankful that He proved me wrong. Each time I face something that terrifies me and sends me to my knees, like watching Christian go through another surgery, God is training my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Of course, not a physical battle, because we don't wrestle with flesh and blood, but against prinsipalities, powers and the rulers of the darkness. The spiritual battles I have faced have been more than I could ever bear on my own. I am not inheriently strong or fearless or capable. But the God I serve is. God has been faithful, and with each battle I face, my faith in God grows because I witness first hand, literal miracles. While the battles are certainly difficult and exhausting, I have the privilege of seeing and experiencing things that have changed my life. What was intended against me for evil, God meant for good. God took something painful and difficult, and used it for my good, and while I"m still in the middle of this battle, I constantly see God's hand at work, in my life and in the lives of my family. Christian is a living miracle and I get a front row seat to his life every day. Sometimes the weight of what I carry weighs me down, but God is always faithful to remind me of the truth. Today He reminded me of the truth that He is for me, not against me, and that he is my Rock, my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, and my sheild. I was reminded that while I am afraid, God is with me and He is training me for battle so that I can withstand what this fallen world throws at me. So, I just wanted to write this tonight because I have felt encouraged and energized today to face this battle that is coming, and to encourage anyone who is reading it. God is not forsaking you in your difficulties. He isn't ignoring you or turning His back on you. God hears you. He knows your full capacity, even when you don't, and He will help you to live into it, and while He does, He will teach you how to rely on Him and trust in His strength. While the challenges we face are not easy, God is with us, strengthening us, training our hands for war. So, lift your head, Warrior. You are training for battle.