It’s been 27 years since they took him from my arms and walked away. I remember watching his huge eyes over the nurse’s shoulder as she took him back to the O.R. that morning. She was tickling him and that beautiful belly laugh echoed its way back to us as the double doors closed behind them.
He was our happy, crazy-haired boy. Been that way since the day he was born. Cowlicks everywhere, and always, always happy.
Thankfully, he had no idea what was coming that day. Thankfully, none of us did.
This was the day our 11-month old baby boy was going to have his third major surgery in 3 months. That mass in his neck – it kept coming back. They just could not make it stop coming back.
This time was going to be different, they said. More specialists involved. New plan – more complicated, more extensive – but no worries. This one was finally going to fix everything. Finally.
They settled us out in the waiting room. It was so sadly familiar to us now. This time, though, it was filled with people who loved us. They knew our story. They knew how scared we were. They knew how tired we had become. These beautiful people came to help lift him high, and to hold us up. Literally.
The phone rang. They were ready to get started, they said. Our happy boy was doing just fine and they’d call when it was over in a few hours. So we settled in to wait, confident that everything was being fixed. Finally.
About fifteen minutes later, the door opened. A worried-looking nurse came out. The doctors needed to see us. In the back. Right now. Just us.
There was a problem. Surgery was stopped. Aborted. Canceled. Malignant Hyperthermia. Very rare. Never heard of it. Not breathing. Dantrolene given. Only antidote. ICU.
Nothing was fixed. Not a thing. And now our beautiful happy boy was definitely not fine.
He laid there so still amongst the beeps and tubes. No matter what they did to him … he just laid there. No smiles, no laughs. Just stillness. He seemed so different … not our happy boy … even his crazy hair had gone flat.
Late that night I paced. But he laid there. He still just laid there.
I cried. I got angry. How could this happen? What about that great plan this time? How could it have failed? And why was God stopping us from finally fixing this?
As I watched him lay there I just grew angrier. In fact, so much angrier that I took the whole mess – all the awful months of trying to fix things, all the exhaustion, all the disruption of our happy life – and I wadded it all up in a giant ball and I threw it at Him.
I threw everything straight at God. As hard as I could.
Then I climbed up into that crib. I didn’t care what anybody said. He must be scared. He was just a baby. I curled up with my baby boy. Even with all those tubes and wires. I just held him. Still he just laid there.
But not alone now.
I fell into a tense sleep. Much later, I felt a shift. Something moved. I looked down and twinkling eyes were looking up at me. He was smiling and said, “Hey!” That was his favorite word. Then he laughed. He thought this was funny.
Mommy was in his crib with him.
We finally went home. He was better, but still nothing was fixed. We still had things to face, and these new complications did nothing to help, but for right now, it was fine. He was fine. Everything was just fine.
When I look back now, I can see that – no matter what great plan we thought we had in place that day, we had been seriously underestimating our God. His plan for that day had not really been about finally fixing Drew like we had thought.
That day had also been about finally fixing ME.
In my anger, I had hurled everything at God with all the venom I had ever possessed. Yet somehow … SOMEHOW … He didn’t see my ugly in all of that.
Instead, through His eyes of perfect love, He saw past the anger and saw a scared little girl at the end of her rope. He saw my weakness laid bare. He saw my surrender.
He saw that I was finally, finally surrendered.
So instead of giving me the punishment my attitude deserved that night, He opened His arms to me. He saved me from my sins and set me on the path of mercy. He forgave my rudeness. He understood. He softened my edges. He loved me through my weakness. He transformed my heart and turned my eyes to Him.
And He also healed our sweet son who has grown more precious with each passing day. He’s now strong & healthy, married to a beautiful woman, and filling this world with incredible music – all to the glory of the God who was merciful enough to not only save Drew that night – but He also saved me then, as well.
So, yes … my walk with Jesus began lying in a hospital crib, tangled up in tubes and wires, wrapped around my beautiful baby boy – finally trusting GOD to fix things. And He did. In HIS way, in HIS time. And it was perfect. Of course. Praise be.
Thanks for growing with me. ❤
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)