- Friend to Friend
- While walking into the opening session of a marriage conference that we had been looking forward to, his cellphone rang. He answered the call and we took our seats. As the emcee kicked off the weekend with gracious greetings, my husband, Brad, leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Preston fell on a rock at camp and is on his way to urgent care to get stitches in his chin.” He took my hand and whispered again, knowing from my expression that I was alarmed, “It’s just a few stitches. He’ll be okay, honey.”
- My stomach flip-flopped. We locked eyes and shared pain – both wounded in the heart for our firstborn son. This was not the way we had imagined that our weekend away would begin. As the session began, my momma-bear instincts kicked in and my mind reeled. Though he was a hundred miles away and though he’s a man-cub teenager, I ached to be by Preston’s side while the doctor stitched up his chin. I am always by his side when he gets hurt. Yet, there was comfort in knowing that this was “just a few stitches.”
- As that first session came to a close in prayer, Brad’s cell phone invaded the quiet. He leapt up and left the room swiftly to get an update on Preston. Right behind him, I asked repeatedly, “What are they saying? Is everything okay?”
- “He said that Preston broke his jaw,” Brad said with a tone of disbelief. Again he said, “The x-rays showed that he broke his jaw. I can’t believe this. They need us to come get him and take him to Charlotte. He might need surgery.”
- Gripped by his words, I struggled to think clearly, “A broken jaw? Surgery? It was just supposed to be a few stitches! Well – it’s probably just a small fracture. I really hate that I’m not with him right now…” Bags were packed quickly and by the time darkness fell on North Carolina, Charlotte was on the horizon.
- The next several hours were a blur of doctors, x-rays, CAT scans and surgery plans. Bad went to worse as we learned that Preston didn’t just break his jaw… he broke his jaw in three places, and, as the doctor phrased it, “he pretty much broke his jaw as bad as you can break a jaw.” Nice.
- Surgery began and the wait was on… and on… and on. The heart-distance between the operating room and the waiting room was a thousand miles. It killed me to not hold his hand and stroke his hair while his jaw was reconstructed for seven and a half hours.
- In the wee hours of the morning, surgery was complete and Preston was wheeled to his room. Brad and I rushed to his side as they brought him to his room and though he was heavily sedated, I reached for his hand and assured him, “Preston! I’m right here! I’m right by your side. I will stay here beside you. I know you’re in pain, buddy, but you’re going to heal well now. I’m right here and I love you.” His eyes flickered open for a split second to let Brad and I know that he heard our love then he drifted back to post-surgical sleep.
- Several times an hour the nurses came in to check his vitals. I hadn’t slept in nearly a day and was thoroughly exhausted, but each time a nurse entered the room I leapt to his side and whispered to my wounded child, “I’m right here, Preston! I’m right here. You’re not alone.”
- After the third or fourth time of reassuring Preston of my presence, I lay back down and whispered to God, “Lord, please heal my son! Please heal him.” And in the still of the night, in the quietness of my bleeding momma-heart, my soul sensed Him whispering right back to me, “I’m right here, Gwen! I’m right here. For him. For you. You’re not alone.”
Michelle - me has to add this: I have been in situations where I have felt so totally hopeless and felt like I did not deserve God's right hand . . that was a lie from the Enemy. WE all deserve HIS love and HIS healing and HE will -- but you must TRUST HIM.
Michelle - Me has to add this: I remember back in June of 2010. The hurt in my family was quite fresh. As a family we traveled to Lousiana for HP's soccer tourney. It was going to be a trip for the 3 of us. HP, TP and I but, as God worked on my heart, I knew that Brendan wanted to come and should be there. As hard as it was to 'act' as a family for that week, for each hurt and for each happiness -- God was RIGHT there. HE sustained us all. HIS word was comfort. It was one of the most difficult weeks I have ever experienced but it had to be. It had to be, because God was doing a work. Trust HIM to know that the hard part is hard . . but it can be overcome if you will allow God to really work on you and change what needs to be changed. I look back now -- I have an 'experience' to illustrate how HIS love does heal. How HE can be our right hand and HOW HE does come close to the broken hearted. So if you are reading this right now and thinking . . . .just know, DON'T give up. Fight for your family, Fight against the Enemy and know that HE knows every tear and HE catches every tear and holds them. HE knows.
Michelle - me has to add this: HIS word does bring life and it does comfort. Try it. Just try it.
Thank you Lord.