It’s early morning. I’m watching my baby, now a seventeen year old young man, sleep. He is in the recliner in our living room. His Lion King covered pillow on his chest. His Spongebob pillow on the floor. Comforter wrapped all around him. Similar to how he sleeps in his bed. I know because, like most moms I know, I watch him sleep at night now and then. Still. I do the same with My Girl. The Big Boy sleeps in the dark dungeon. Without a flash light, I wouldn’t be able to see him in his room. Which would defeat the purpose. I watch them sleep and I pray over them. I give thanks for them. I dream big, grown-up dreams for them. I pray for their future spouses. I pray for the children that they, one day, will stand over and watch sleep.
My baby had shoulder surgery yesterday morning. I haven’t slept for days in
worry anticipation. His surgeon was uber pleased. “Couldn’t be a better case scenario for the tear,” he said. Bone actually tore away with the labrum and was still firmly attached to the ligament. The anchors would be knitting bone to bone which will regrow together. “We can rebuild him. We have the technology. Better. Stronger. Faster.” *name that tv show from the 70’s*
Yesterday, his father and I spent the day sitting in the living room with him. I caught My Man staring at our youngest child. Watching him. As he slept. Who knew that dads did this also? I didn’t. But I wasn’t surprised. My Man was anxious this week also. We haven’t talked about it. Maybe we should have. We will today, I have decided. The worry. The anxiety. The fear. There. I put it in a word. Fear.
When My Girl had her knee surgery several years ago, we were anxious. But not fearful. I worried. But I worried about her recovery. Not her dying during the surgery. When a family loses a child, no matter the cause of death, a new word is introduced into uncertain situations. Fear. I have countered that word with increased prayer and praise. I have been successful, keeping the fear at bay. Until this week. It possessed me. Smothered me. Held onto me like stink on a skunk. Nothing I did would make it release its grip.
Until we watched as they wheeled him through the double doors. Our last glimpse of him, the blue surgical cap covered head. The doors swung shut and I felt complete peace. I stepped back over the line to my side. Where I belonged. The side that prays instead of worries. The side that praises and extols the joy of the Lord instead of paces with anxiety. The side where the only real control I have is in my response to God’s true and complete control.
You see, I had stepped over that fine line. I had stepped from my side, trust to the other side, worry; from my side, faith, to the other side, fear. I couldn’t control anything on the other side; God’s side. Was He disappointed in me? Did He shake His mighty head slightly and exclaim, “there she goes again. Has she not learned anything?” As Brett disappeared behind the gaping stainless steel doors, I imagine Him saying, “watch this…I’m going to build her trust and her faith even higher,” as He filled my very soul with the peace that only comes from Him. There’s no other explanation for it. One moment I was shaking with fear; the next moment I was a drift on an ocean of calm and peace that flooded my very being.
As we sat in the waiting room, the employees only door would swing open and a nurse or surgeon would peer out looking for a family member. Each time that door swung open my heart jumped with anticipation to see my baby; not fear of bad news.
I like to think I am firmly planted on my side of the line now. Certain in knowing my God is in control, just as He was the night He brought our Andy B’s home. I love the HCSB version of Isaiah 41:10:
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
The last line…I will hold on to you…He held on to Andy that night. He holds on to us today.
Love you guys.