Continued from here.
Before learning that my son would be having major surgery in mid-July 2016, I committed to leading a Summer Bible study at my church. Of course, everyone would have understood if I had stepped down, but I felt like God’s timing was not a coincidence. My church was offering Priscilla Shirer’s latest study, Armor of God, and enrollment was surprisingly high. A typical summer Bible study at my church attracts 12-18 participants. That study had close to 30 enrollments! I did not want to turn away that level of interest in growing closer to God, but I wouldn’t be able to lead such a large group on my own.
Five ladies volunteered to help lead the small groups (two co-leaders per small group). One offered to cover my “large group” responsibilities (such as playing the DVD) for any session I needed to miss during my son’s surgery and recovery. And everyone offered to pray for my family. My tiny family of three was not alone in the weeks leading up to my son’s surgery – we had a whole “army” of prayer warriors interceding for us regularly.
The week before my son’s surgery, the ladies in the summer Bible study as well as the members of my Sunday School class filled my trunk with snacks, cards, books, and other items to get us through the day of surgery and the time in the hospital. One friend sat with me in the waiting room for four hours to offer emotional support while my son was in surgery. And then more presents came while we were at the hospital – everything from Amazon gifts cards to puzzles and games. We ran out of room for taping “get well” cards on the walls of my son’s hospital room. Several people drove two-hours round trip to visit with my son and me in the hospital. (I stayed in the room with my son the entire time.)
When my son was released from the hospital, even more care packages came our way – balloons, more cards, foods, gift cards … even a “get well” poster for people to sign when they visited my son at home. When my son had no appetite and would only eat smoothies from a juice shop across town, our freezer filled out with hand-deliveries, and we still haven’t used all of the gift cards for the juice shop that we accumulated.
And you know what? I felt every prayer … every single one of them. I truly don’t know how people without a church family get through life experiences such as major surgery because there were moments in which the only thing keeping me standing was the prayers of my Christian brothers and sisters. I will never forget the generosity of the many people who became God’s hands and feet during the hardest weeks of our lives. We were truly blessed.
[Graphic: Photograph of cards taped to the wall of Grace’s son’s hospital room. Courtesy Grace Daniels.]