Continued from here.
God taught me years ago that whenever I am tempted to focus on my own pain, I need to bless someone else. So, one of my prayers leading up to my son’s surgery was to show me who to bless in that hospital. As a parent of a child undergoing major surgery, I would be in the unique position of being able to offer support to someone in the same position who might not have the same support that I do.
While my friend and I chatted in the waiting room after my son was wheeled off to surgery, I noticed a woman and her teenage daughter in the waiting room. Several families were in the waiting room, and there was nothing that made this woman stand out other than that I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit leading me to notice her. She left the waiting room a while after my son went back for surgery, but I suspected that I would see her again.
Sure enough, I was eating alone in the hospital’s cafeteria the next day, and she happened to sit at a table nearby. I introduced myself and mentioned that I saw her in the waiting room the day before. Guess what? Not only did her daughter just have the same surgery as my son, but they had the same doctor! The doctor does two of these surgeries in a day – she was the morning surgery, and my son was the afternoon one.
Unlike my son, who had been in treatment with this doctor for a couple of years (he slept in a back brace for a couple of years to try to prevent the need for surgery), this family had just met the surgeon. Their daughter’s scoliosis was so advanced by the time the surgeon saw her that she was scheduled for surgery immediately. And because of this rush, this family did not have the same pre-operation appointments that we did.
This mother had been told very little about the recovery process or initial limitations after leaving the hospital and possible issues when returning to school. I was able to share copies of the information I had been provided by the same doctor and pass along to her the same information that had just been provided to me at the pre-op appointment.
While we both had our hands full with our own children, we did cross paths several times and offered one another emotional support. And then our follow up appointments were scheduled back-to-back three weeks later, so we got to see each other again and give each other a big hug.
I love how God can use us, even when we are in pain ourselves, to bless others. Only He can make something like that work!
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace holding out her hand and saying, “Bless you.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]