I’ve been walking around with a subtle overwhelmed feeling that comes into sharp focus and monumental proportions as I sit down to write.
I’ll just start with last Wednesday. I had recently heard about healing service being held near our home, led by Pastor Dean. He prayed over Abbie in the ICU, although I didn’t meet him until a year later. As I listened to the details, I knew we were supposed to go, and I planned our day around it.
What is it about best-laid plans? Ours began to unravel as the nurse scheduled for 8 was not here at 9. As I suspected, she’d gotten into a car accident and was at the hospital. I had planned in time for me to get Abbie ready, and time to get myself ready, but not time to do both simultaneously. At 12:30, already 90 minutes late I loaded Abbie in the van and thought, “If these people are really all about prayer and healing, then they will know that we are right on time.”
As I was bustling around and then driving to the church, I began singing, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart; enter His courts with praise…” over and over again. I didn’t know why…short memory and lack of singing skills come to mind…but soon I would laugh at how completely God nodded “yes” to my being right on time.
We arrived at the church to find people scattered through the sanctuary praying and listening to some beautiful music. Abbie and I just sat at the back and caught our breath. A couple minutes passed before Pastor Dean emerged from an office at the back of the church. He strode to the microphone at the front, and simply said, “I was back there praying for a long time, just waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. He gave me one verse over and over…Psalm 100:4 — Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart, enter his courts with praise.” I think I surprised the meditative people in there with my gasp and laugh.
I took Abbie to the front to be prayed for by a small group of people. My eyes locked with one woman’s and we both grinned at the same time. She was an OT who worked with Abbie in the ICU, and was the first staff member to come by, off-shift, pull the curtain and say, “Can I pray over your daughter with you?” What a sweet reunion as she marveled at Abbie’s growth and change. The prayers for her were powerful and yet tender. I was so thankful! Then, a small Japanese grandpa looked at me with the kindest eyes and said, “I think we need to pray for Abbie’s mom, too!” At light-speed I consented and was bathed in the overwhelming love and presence of God. Whew!
We didn’t have a nurse scheduled for Thursday, but since Wednesday had fallen through, the agency found a new nurse at the last minute, “But,” they said, “She can’t lift Abbie.” Oh, brother…why send someone that can’t lift? The answer to THAT one came within 5 minute’s of Star’s arrival. I realized I knew her from seeing her at the hospital with Caleb, and had noticed that it seemed like she had had a trach at some point. I asked her about this and she said, “Yes, and a G-tube too.” Four years earlier she’d spent 2 months on a ventilator, fighting a blood infection secondary to lupus. Her right hip had been affected, which is why her lifting was limited. I walked into the room later to find Abbie and Star painting, coloring, and making a Father’s Day Card. I told her how glad I was to see this, and Star replied, “I know what it is to be in bed and be totally bored.” She also could tell me what is was like to be suctioned, if a G-tube is uncomfortable, and how hard therapy can be sometimes. What a tremendous gift of insight and empathy she has, and how tremendously blessed we were by her sharing it with us! BTW…the Father’s Day Card was the hit of the day. All the tools in the world couldn’t compare to a paper card painted by Abbie. Look for it on Ray’s office wall!
And last, but not least and not the most recent: last Monday we cut almost a foot of hair from Abbie’s mane. The week prior I had been combing her hair and noticed that it is coming in very light at the roots in the front. Strange, but it took me back in time to her babyfine, blonde hair that framed her rascal face. As I was brushing it I felt God say, “When this color is hers again, she will be yours again.” My first instinct was to shave her head and proclaim, “Done!” My second instinct was to hide the clippers. But, I did begin to consider cutting her hair.
The next day Maria came to work with Abbie, and one of the first things she said was, “All this hair is really weighing her down, and pulling it up so tightly all the time is not good for her. Have you thought about cutting it?” Well, as a matter of fact…
So, I had Tirzah, the woman who cuts my hair, come to the house. Abbie was a CHAMP and sat still for 20 minutes. Although it seems like she grew up about three years in those twenty minutes, I am tickled with how it turned out. What I wouldn’t give for curls like hers!
So, the boys are all healed from our bee misadventures, Abbie is looking like a sassy big girl, and the summer sun is shining while the Morning Star lights each and every moment. God bless!