Struggle can sometimes initiate an out of character response. Typically forthright with the embarrassing mishaps and blunders that seem to define my everyday existence, I find that difficulties generate a guardedness that is adverse to my personality. Outgoing and historically more joyful than not, those moments that strike fear closest to my heart brings about a hasty retreat in a mind that seeks immediate refuge.
Appropriate or not, maternal instinct is to fix, to protect, to make better. Sometimes at the expense of those that know you best, innate reaction is to gather the hurting child and expend all remaining energy and effort in their direction.
There is also that inclination to withhold your burdens from others, thinking incorrectly that you can spare the pain from spreading to those you love, as though it were an illness contagious just by spoken word.
Yesterday changed that approach.
Our doctor’s appointment on Monday marked day twenty-three of the recovery process for our son, Chase. Although progress of any sort had been painfully slow, mobility function had returned to a point that Chase could stand strong and walk unassisted in a compensated gait. After a three week absence from school, we were hoping that the neurologist would allow Chase to return to school on a modified basis.
Chase woke up on the morning of his appointment experiencing symptoms similar in severity to the ones that came soon after the injury. Dizzy and confused, motor function and pain had worsened, and we were back to the beginning that I had prayed would look more like the end.
Fighting back tears and frustration, I listened as the physician told me that setbacks were to be expected. He said that the type of head trauma Chase had suffered would not follow normal protocol or ordinary estimations and healing would happen only with an element of time.
Those two words popped in my head as the doctor continued his examination.
Those two words were the only chance I had of escaping the exam room without completely falling apart in front of my hurting son.
Those two words that represent hope when one feels hopeless, comfort when one feels incapable of being comforted.
Many in our community know about Chase’s condition and have been praying for him diligently. But as I pushed my twelve year old in the wheelchair yesterday, despair heavy on my shoulders and his, I felt a desperate need for more. Prayers from everybody I know and from those I don’t. Privacy and protection suddenly seemed inadequate, and the attempt to prevent the burden to others misguided.
So while I continue to process all that has happened to our family and chronicle it in a manner that Chase can one day use, I am boldly going to ask that you continue to pray for his healing. Before you even know the whole story or the details that example the wonder of this child’s faith, I ask that you lift him up to the One who heals, the One who comforts, and the One who can keep a young man's mama from falling apart.