We parents pray for our children, many times not knowing what to ask for more than protection, for God to work The miracle of salvation and transform broken jars of clay into lighthouses for His glory.
I must admit that I am a poor mother when it comes to praying for my own children. I do pray for them--for their hearts, their health, their future spouses...but never as much as I should, and never as much as I do when they are injured, sick, hurting, gone astray.
This second week of December has been one for praying instead of writing in this space, not praying for my own children but for others' precious gifts from God.
This past Wednesday, my friends' one year old daughter in North Carolina underwent surgery for craniosynostosis, a condition where the bones of her skull fuse together due to inadequate growth space in the womb. Little Ivi Grace's skull was surgically taken apart and reassembled, a path her music minister father never thought God would ask him to walk in faith.
On the same day, a ten year old daughter (Abbie) of an old high school friend underwent surgery to remove kidney stones caused by her struggle with continued medical issues. The doctors inserted stents in both kidneys in an attempt to alleviate blockages.
Wednesday night with reports of success coming back from both girls, one of my former students sent out a request for prayer. On November 15, his third child was born 2 1/2 months too soon. On Thursday of this week, baby Camden underwent surgery for excess fluid on the brain. Hydrocephalus. Big name for such a small boy.
Since Tuesday, my mind has been filled with no words for this blog. God has, instead, filled my mind with reminders to pray, pray, pray for the ones whom I promised to pray for.
And so I did, not knowing I would be the one next reaching out for others' prayers.
On Tuesday morning, Emerson fell off his bike, knocked his head hard against the concrete. By the time my mother came over to watch the children while I cleaned house, I was scared; it was the biggest goose egg I'd ever seen. I held an ice pack to his head for half an hour, then passed him off to his Grand Mama for some more TLC.
I watched him vigilantly through the night. I dusted and prayed. I folded clothes and prayed. I slept and prayed.
Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with no problems. Even his small "concrete burn" scabs were drying up. By Thursday afternoon, though, his face suddenly started swelling until his left eye was almond shaped like a little Asian child.A rushed trip to After Hours, a cool X ray sticker, and a grape sucker later, two doctors both agreed that his X rays showed what looked like a chip on his maxillary. "Not a nose bone. A bone in the sinuses." Un hunh.
That meant a drive into town to the E.R. for a C.T. scan--too many acronyms and words I didn't know (maxillary?) for a confused, scared "what do I do?" mother.
As Emerson and I sat in radiology while Grand daddy sat in the E.R. waiting room, I held my little boy tighter than I have since the last time I was scared of losing him--when he had pneumonia this past February. I held him tighter than the time before that when he tumbled off sister's bed, spilling a pool of blood from a head cut so deep that I could see the bone of his skull through the skin.
My parents and husband and his parents were already praying. I was praying. Still, I texted the only number I had in the phone for a church friend.
Please. Pray. Tell our pastor. Don't come. Just pray.
Five hours from the time I ran out of the house without my coat, the CT scan came back negative. No brain swelling. No chip. No broken bones. Nothing.
Did the first two doctors make a mistake? Did God heal the chip? My mom thinks the first is more likely...but until I reach the other side, there will always be that lingering "maybe" for this woman who believes in God's continued miracles in the mundane.
Adrenaline rush now flushed from my system, all I wanted to do was cry and thank God. Hand in hand, my son and I exited the E.R. into the 36 degree weather. He was mine for a little longer.
Unlike my son, Abbie, Camden, and Ivi Grace have a long road of recovery ahead of them. Even though this may be your busiest time of the year, drop to your knees and say a prayer for each of these children. Bring their names to our Father in heaven, the Creator and Sustainer of all life.
You never know when that one extra prayer may overflow God's blessings down and change a life.
Photo: Emerson riding his bike on a better day. All three children have been banned from bike riding until Christmas brings them the dragon / kitty bicycle helmets hidden in my closet. (When Santa asked my son today what he wanted for Christmas, Emerson stated very clearly, "A helmet." Maybe he's learned his lesson.)