Howdy, friends. I’m writing from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Surgery Center. Logan, my beautiful, brave 8 year old is having surgery to correct a birth defect called hypospadias. The opening to his urethra is in the middle instead of the top. I won’t give any more details, because I really don’t want to use keywords that might bring weirdos over here, but you can google it if you’re curious.
Good news is that Hayden had the same surgery when he was a baby and came out of it with no problems or issues. Logan was scheduled for the same surgery 3 times before his first birthday and each time we had to cancel. When a baby is premature, even if there are no lasting respiratory issues, anesthesiologists will only move forward with any surgery if there is no congestion. Each time the surgery was schedule, he had a touch of a runny nose so the surgery was a no-go.
So here we are… since we missed the window of immobility when he was little, we decided we would let him decide when he wanted the surgery. The past several months he has begun to notice that he is different than his brother, so we talked about it and met with the pediatric urologist and here we are.
And ya’ll, HE IS SO BRAVE. I am absolutely astounded with how easy the discussions have gone. These talks aren’t exactly easy given the subject matter. We were completely transparent and candid with him which I think helped tremendously.
And this morning? He has blown me away. We prayed and talked with Jesus and Mama Mary, asking for their help and protection. Even though he had to be nervous, he was absolutely charming with his shy little smiles and fist bumps for the doctors. Not a single tear was shed. He walked right off with that nurse chatting about Legos. My heart is bursting with love and pride for this kid.
I’ve been a nervous wreck yet calm at the same time. It’s funny how that works. I attribute these conflicting feelings to the beauty of my faith. I know nothing is a guarantee, yet I know that if complications arise that the Lord, our family and our community will carry us through. Just like they did before.
One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome when returning to the Catholic Church 5 years ago was fear. Fear of the unknown. But mostly, fear of suffering. See, at the time, I was a huge blog reader and so many of the Christian blogs I read talked a lot about tragedy. Cancer, accidents and suffering were a regular occurrence. I was petrified that by coming back to the Catholic Church, I was opening myself up the possibility of crazy suffering. All of these things seem to happen to amazing people of faith. I couldn’t imagine dealing with the kinds of suffering these people were undergoing.
Obviously, I got over that because here I am 5 years later, a faithful Catholic, wholly devoted to God and the Church. My understanding of suffering has changed and I certainly don’t pretend to understand the how’s and the why’s. I don’t understand why bad things happen to good people.
There are many unjust situations, but we know that God is suffering with us, experiencing them at our side. He does not abandon us. ~Pope Francis
What I do know and what I do see is the unabashed good that can come from suffering. That is what I choose to focus on. The glory that is given to God by people who are suffering unimaginable things stops my heart at times and brings grateful happy tears to my eyes for such a strong witness to the love of Christ.
1. Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same attitude (for whoever suffers in the flesh has broken with sin)
2. so as not to spend what remains of one’s life in the flesh on human desires, but on the will of God. ~1 Peter 4:1-2
In fact, it was the suffering and faith of a young mother facing a devastating and ultimately fatal cancer diagnosis that brought me home to the Church. Had it not been for Robin, Livvie, Michael and Joshua would not be here right now. My husband may never have been baptized or confirmed. I truly cannot imagine what our lives would be like had Robin not used her suffering to glorify God. It takes my breath away. One of my deepest prayers is that if I ever encounter deep soul-shattering suffering that I handle it with grace. That I can turn to Him and cling to Him during my pain.
The niggle of fear and anxiety that I feel this morning led to my thoughts on this heavy yet important topic. It is 9:40 and so far so good, he has been in for about an hour. Any and all prayers are appreciated and if any of you are doing a rosary today, can I ask for a decade for my sweet Logi and his healing?