Friday, June 8, 2012

Fibular Hemimelia -A Year Later ... tiny toes, cute pictures!

Because the "Tiny toes, cute pictures" blog title gets the most views, I thought I'd shamelessly use it again! On a different note, I did promise an "after" to the "Fibular Hemimelia Before" blog a while back and since June 7th marked one year "after" surgery, I feel that an update on Ethan's progress is certainly needed, especially given his new flat-top!

The pictures below are of Ethan's legs today. As you can see, the scars are healing. All scars heal ... some just take longer than others.

His legs are now pretty close to equal in length. Obviously, his left leg is made pretty differently. His knee lacks an ACL and PCL and his valgus (knocked knees) is still significant. He has another surgery on June 26 to move the 8 Plate from the femur to the tibia to correct the valgus. But I think his leg is just beautiful! His smiling little sister thinks so too!

Reflecting on a difficult year has its difficulties, too. I prayed specifically before writing this blog and simply asked Jesus, "What would you have me tell them?" What would you have me tell the ones who are facing a difficult year, the ones who feel beyond overwhelmed, the ones who cannot seem to make it past the "unfairness" of it all.

"Do you want me to recount your provision for us in Baltimore?" I smile in remembrance of the time we spent there --basement time. "Do you want me to tell them how we started nightly devotions in that basement --mini-revivals I'd go as far as to say. Do they need to hear that we are still revived?"

"Should I prepare them," I asked, "for the difficulty in watching someone you love hurt in a way that you can't take away. Or should I lead them to see the grace in ALL things?"

"Lord Jesus," I prayed, "Should I write about how I swore I'd never take walking for granted EVER again --that I promised to thank you EVERY day for the simplicity of bending a knee if he could just bend his again --and that I failed in that promise?"

My questions continued throughout the past week, and I heard a Christian radio guest make a remarkable comment just yesterday. She said that we teach others best when we are enduring difficulty --in our brokenness others can see Jesus in us. And I wonder, "Did God teach you through my difficulty? Was God able to use me, such a worthless jar of clay, to somehow showcase His Glory?"

"Of all the lessons, Lord, what do they need to hear?"

And then, He told me.

It really wasn't the answer I was looking for. I was kinda hoping for a long list ... kind of a year in review. Reminders of the little first grade girl and her prayer shawl, Emily's dinner prayers that have begun with "Lord, help my brother, Ethan" every day since last year (even today), the way in which I was able to share the blog, and therefore my faith, with my high school students and still meet a VA State SOL.

Instead, He simply said, "Tell them I love them."

And I can't type those words without crying so hard that I can't see the screen. "Tell them that I love them."

Did you need to hear that today --because I did. I need to know that even in my sinfulness, in my selfishness, He Loves Me.

He loves you in your difficulty. He loves you as you worry and you cry. He loves you as you question and rage against unfairness. He loves you as you yield to His will.

One of my favorite scriptures about our Savior is found in Luke 13:34 where He cries over Jerusalem: "-O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!"

He wants to gather you to Him. He wants to heal your hurt. He weeps with you in your trial. He will bring purpose from your pain.