Monday, March 1, 2010

2 days until surgery...

Today's "Plastic Doctor" appointment was frustrating. What we thought was going to be a quick "remember us" appointment turned into this stressful sinking appointment that left me angry. The well meaning - extremely kind doctor, let us know that there was a different option to a plate to cover Jake's brain. Here we are on this 8 month journey and two days before this surgery that is for us a summit, we are given a major "change decision." So at 9 am tomorrow the doctor was going to call us and find out our decision. I won't even go into the decision because as the "Plastic and Brain Doctors" conferenced today after our appointment and we are back to our original plan. Could they not have talked a couple of weeks ago or a few minutes before our appointment?

Compared to the other 8 surgeries this one seems mild, but we are talking surgery for the brain. This is a major surgery and has potential complications and set-backs. We also need to pray that the scalp (including the skin grafted muscle flap that has been covering his brain) will be able to be stretched over the plate. This plate has been custom designed with high precision to fit perfectly in place, but if it cannot be stretched there will need to be several weeks of stretching the skin. This also would have been nice to know a few weeks or months ago.

So the prayer for Jake's surgery is for the best case scenario - plate in place covering that valuable brain. We are praying for wisdom and skill for the doctors and eyes that see beyond what they would normally see. And of course what has been our biggest prayer and deepest desire is that we would know and trust the presence of God in these moments.

Oh, and by the way, here is a subtle answer to prayer. Jake's thumb does not need anymore Xeroform (the petroleum gauze used to dress healing skin grafts). The last spot that we were watching and putting a little piece on is healed and scabbed. Jake is still wearing his splint to protect it but we are not dressing it as a wound anymore!

Our time at Vintage Faith Church yesterday was amazing. For one thing - it was just fun to be with them. Each of the three services was different in their atmosphere yet such a blessing. It was so encouraging for me to watch Jake talk more and me talk less with each service. Josh Fox was introducing the church to a worship project that we has been working on for 8 years. One of the songs came from Josh engaging in Jake's story and asked us to be there and share a bit. Anyway it was just fun to be there and celebrate while also reaching out for we each have our journeys each have our struggles.

One thing that I really appreciate about Josh is a shared heart with us of deeply desiring for people to experience healing and reflect the presence of God to those around them. In the midst of this time there were a variety of ways to worship God: singing, listening, praying, giving, writing, painting... I got to briefly meet Deanne (I hope I got that name right!). She was up front painting through all three services. In this expression of worship she transformed a dark shattered pieces into mended shining light. There subtly before my eyes was a beautiful picture of our lives as we come to Christ and seek his forgiveness, transformation, grace. It is a painting of scars, restoration, hope. Beauty of brokenness.

Far to often we think that we need to fix what is brokenness in our lives and then come to God. Get your act together before dining with the King. So hard to fathom that the opposite is true. I remember a girl in college asking me to pray for someone because her life was not lined up with God at the moment. One who knew about being shattered, Paul said, "while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom 5:8) Coming to God authentically and honestly is far more beautiful than having outward religiosity.

Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This often quoted verse was not written at a time of devotion to God but in the midst of God's people rejecting him - running away from God. Jeremiah was calling them back - calling them to repent. This is not a verse of a fortune teller but a call to repentance a call to return to the presence of God.

God calls to us in the midst of shattered moments of our lives and reminds us that we are not alone, we are not forgotten, we are not useless, He is present.

One of the blessings for me yesterday at Vintage was conversations with people following our journey. Gentle reminders that we are not alone. Also being able to talk and pray with others as they go through their own stuff - drawn into community with each other - mutually encourage each other.

Thanks for praying along with us for Jake's surgery. It is good to move forward.

Tom (daddy)

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