“So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.” Joshua 24:13
Location: Philadelphia, USA
Action: surgery for our little boy Vince on both his arms
Characters: family, doctors, nurses, airplane pilot, flight attendants, drivers, families and their friends raising children with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a Christian congregation, family and friends
We are sitting in the room that is created for relatives waiting for their loved ones in surgery. A lot of things are crossing my mind, but one thing really makes me think: how can I be so calm when my son is being operated on by two doctors? I’m not sweating, I don’t feel like crying, and I am not bugging my husband about why we came here in the first place. I simply AM, and God’s peace encompasses me. There is a thick book on the table: The Holy Bible. I open it to see what my Creator will tell me today. 2 Chronicles 17 – the story of King Jehoshaphat. Oh, Lord, You
love me so much, that out of the few Bible stories I know, You have chosen the one that is dearest to my heart! The glory of King Jehoshaphat was imbedded in the fact that he only acted based to God’s Word and lived according to it. He destroyed the idols, he sent teachers to spread God’s Word across his entire empire. God then blessed him in
such a way that no one dared to attack him. Indeed, his enemies even brought him gifts.
What kind of parallel is there between the lives of a king and a mother? The thirst for God’s Word! In my kingdom I have received so many attacks from every direction in my life that there was a point when I gave up, and I knew I couldn’t do anything from my own strength. It is still that way today! As we set out for our journey to Philadelphia and get into the airplane, I give everything up to God. At that point I cannot pack an extra tank for the suction machine, I cannot be sure if the oxygen concentrator will start, etc. I just sit on the plane, as if I was resting in God’s caring palms. I accept the good and the bad, because I know God’s hands are the ones that are carrying me.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Did you know that if you sit in God’s hands, then God’s Love overflows? That it pampers you? That it spills over? That it is without limits?
Here are a few items from an endless list which gives undeniable evidence about the fact that He is the one who provides. It is not me who is a clever, prudent and caring mother:
• Vince was allowed into the cockpit during our flight
• the three of us had five open seats, so Vince could stretch out
• we didn’t need extra oxygen during the 9-hour flight
• we only spent one day in the hospital after the surgery (Shriners Hospital for Children – Philadelphia, PA)
• two doctors operated on Vince at the same time, so they could make the most of it with one anesthesia
• the surgery and the hospital stay were completely free
• three years ago we Skyped with a family who has three kids, two with AMC. They only live a half an hour away from the hospital, so they came to visit us
• our apartment where we stayed didn’t have any chairs, so this family brought us two, plus Vince got a board game from them
• they invited us for dinner, and because they were away for the holidays, they even organized for us to spend Christmas Eve with their friends
• in just a day they organized a consultation for us at the Department of Orthopedics they have been attending for 20 years (Nemours Children’s Hospital – Wilmington, DE)
• the hospital where we had the surgery (80% of the children recuperating here have AMC) got us in touch with a speech therapist, an orthopedic doctor, a conductor, and an orthotic brace maker
The list is truly endless, and I haven’t even mentioned too many details. You may think this is only a platitude, so I will tell you another blessing: my mom modified all of Vince’s shirts, sweatshirts, and his coat too, so he could get dressed with his casts on. My dad peels 6 lbs. of walnuts with a lot of love, so we could give them to the doctors and nurses! Believe me, my list is endless! Just like everyone else’s!
One of my friends said to me: I wish I could always feel that God guides me! Unfortunately feelings sometimes mislead us… Do you think perhaps that I always feel God’s caring love? Not at all! When we arrived, one day before the surgery, we slept in 59 °F in our hats, fully dressed, because the apartment we rented had been remodeled two months before, and no one had used the heating before us. We received a spare heater, but as soon as we plugged it in, we got blacked out, because we use a high power breathing support machine and a humidifier while Vince sleeps. I was worried, I was angry, but then I thought about John 9: this is all happening, so God’s glory can manifest. Vince didn’t catch a cold! We were gone from home for a month, and nothing happened to Vince. With a tracheostomy tube, traveling in the winter, this has a very little chance!
I’m a human being with crazy thought, but also a person who calms her mind with divine thoughts. Our crazy thoughts bring us to madness, to death, but God’s thought bring us to life! To a life where there is infinite care and Love!
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” John 11: 25-26