A day full of fruitful phone calls resulted in us being all set for the surgery to close Abbie’s tracheostomy stoma and move her G-tube button to a new site. She will be going to the OR at 2:30 pm next Wednesday, Feb. 18. I found it interesting that, this being Abbie’s third surgery in four month, she had one on 10/20, 12/19, and now 2/18…I told Ray, “I sure hope nothing happens on 4/17..because obviously we have a little pattern going!” It seems the Recovery Room has a revolving door with Abbie’s name on it. Rest assured, next week I am ripping it out and burning it!
Each part of the procedure should take about an hour. I know we’ll be spending at least one night in the hospital, but am unsure of the plan after that. Abbie was thrilled when we told her that she won’t have a hole in her throat any more, but was apparently hoping that stoma-closure was the Tooth Fairy’s side job, because she was extremely upset to hear that this involved another surgery. I tried to reassure her that this time she won’t be waking up with huge casts, and that the pain won’t be anywhere near hip surgery or broken femurs. Little consolation to a pretty traumatized little girl. Please pray for her to be physically AND emotionally ready for this.
I am not sure how to feel, either. Life, particularly fun things like swimming and going to the beach, will be so much easier without an open stoma. I was so excited to get everything coordinated, but now that the process is complete I find myself in tears with that now too-familiar knot of fear and foreboding in my stomach.
Two things (well, actually one in two different packages) save me.
The first is that Abbie and I have been taking morning walks to the beach. The beauty astounds me afresh each time we visit.
These are some pictures from my phone this morning, all taken from one spot:
Aside from getting some perspective on just how huge God is, being at the beach reveals other lessons as well. Like how the morning sun always glints across the water to land right at our feet. As we walk down the beach it follows us like a spotlight, as if we are the only visitors, the only ones worthy of its attention. I’m sure every person on the beach feels that same way — as somehow the sun manages to focus on each of us individually. God is like that. Just because another is basking in the glow of His love, or resting in the calm of His protection, does not mean that His eye is off us for one second. We are each the star of the show.
The waves on the shore are small and calm, as bigger waves hit breaks a little ways off the shore. I love hearing the distinct sound of both, and realized I am so grateful that God speaks to us in both tones of voice. When we are young, new in faith, weak, despairing or weary, He is gentle, allowing His love and lessons to lap at the edges of our hearts until we absorb them.
When we are ready, He calls us out to the deep – to the spray blowing from crests of waves as they fight their way down to the sea again, creating the roar that never ceases. I am so glad that He is both gentle and wild, and that these qualities exist on a continuum. Those little lapping waves lead my eye, and my heart, right out to their fierce brethren. I can wade or I can dive in, but either way I find Him.
Abbie loves the beach as much as I do, and the morning light is precious time for us to be together in the unquiet silence.
The second saving grace is just once again finding God in His Word. My favorite teacher, Beth Moore, is taking me on another adventure — “Believing God” — boy, is this appropriate timing for this study! One thing that’s hit home again is the utter effectiveness of praying God’s words right back to Him. So, if you know any scripture that you think would apply to Abbie in the next week or two, may I be so bold as to ask you to pray it over her?
We went to therapy today for the first time since she broke her legs. It went well, and she stood beautifully. It’s just hard knowing we are going to have another hurdle before she can really zoom. I am hopeful, though, that once her belly and throat are comfortable, it will be even easier for her.
I feel sometimes lately that we are constantly asking for prayer. As I typed that with a sense of regret, I realized, “We ALL need constant prayer!!” So, I just want to remind you that Abbie does love to pray for people, so please email any requests you may have for us to firstname.lastname@example.org, and then let us know how things turn out. Almost as much as praying, Abbie loves to hear ” the rest of the story.”
As this Valentine’s Day approaches, please remember, it doesn’t matter if you are married or not, engaged or not, in love with another person or not — there is Someone who is madly in love with you. Trust me, He meets me at the beach every morning.