A Letter Before Your Surgery

For each of our children I keep a journal, started when I first found out I was pregnant. They'll get these someday when they're grown, to know the thoughts of their mother through their milestones and mishaps, broken bones and bruises. Today I write a letter to our oldest daughter and share it. In respect for her privacy I have left out the elaboration of medical details, but enough so that you can all keep informed and, faithfully, in prayer:  DSC_0229

Dear Daughter,

Your fourth birthday shimmered on the horizon as March neared it's end - your golden birthday was almost here. Just like all of your classmates you couldn't wait to join the four year old club. Unfortunately, days before your birthday, we had to schedule (in moderate concern) a doctors appointment. You were having some abnormal bleeding, among other symptoms.

Your pediatrician, not too concerned, offered some at home remedies and treatments. However, when weeks led to months and the issues still remained, she referred us to a specialist. Your dad and I were thankful for a cancelation that same day and drove over. Skipped nap time. Rushed lunch. Exchanged glances, because words were too fragile to balance in a car full of little pictures with big ears. The specialists conclusion: an abnormal growth. Surgery is needed. And so it was scheduled for the 25th in the afternoon.

My mind could go a million miles and a hundred places in the blink of an eye. WebMD's scares have nothing on the worries of a mother. But neither have the fears of our hearts anything on the might of our God.

A gift from a friend was scripture:

As a mother comforts her child,     so will I comfort you;

                                  Isaiah 66:13

I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry. It just all seems so...unnecessary. Not the surgery, but the problem to begin with. Your body is so young, how can it already have issue? What is it's cause? What does this mean? As of now, I don't have answers. I share space with the unknown.

I will say that now, more than any other season of my life, I feel called to the necessity and importance of prayer. And so I pray for you. Many people pray for you. And it struck me the other day: when I cry out to God about you, my oldest daughter, I still call you my baby. At nap time I crawled into your bed and curled myself around you. You don't know to be scarred, so I can't comfort your fears. I must be strong for you, and so I hold you close to me and breathe in the smell of your hair that smells like summer and sheets and also, thankfully also, the baby I snuggled four years ago.

There are many things to be noticed when you prepare for the unexpected: the strength of our family, the care of our friends, the resiliency of a heart that knows Jesus, and this time the light I see in you. The word undimmed comes to mind. You play hospital and ask questions and march forward, ready to approach what comes without waver. You smile and laugh, and my heart hurts a little. How beautiful your sweetness. How endearing your light.

If I could take your place in a heartbeat I would.  But instead, here's the plan (you always like to know the plan): Tonight you get to stay up late, so that tomorrow when you fast in preparation for surgery, you can sleep in extra long. I'll fast with you. And on Wednesday we'll go to the hospital; you, Daddy, and I. We're here for you, and beyond that, your community is here for you.

With all of my love and more,