A week ago, Aaron had stomach pains and bam, within 24 hours, he was recovering in the hospital from appendix surgery. Although we have been silly and jovial about his speedy recovery, please do not take this as a lack of appre- ciation. I’m a 14 hours’ drive away from my boy. He’s never had surgery and I wasn’t there when that changed. Not known for my calm and demure nature, I was shockingly peaceful although he was in Chicago and I in North Carolina. The Lord used many people to stand in the gap. I have to acknowledge the sweet details God did not overlook.
1. Wisdom – It’s still surprising that my middle OS thought it was worth going to the hospital for abdominal pains. Aaron consulted with his RA, the Hubs and a few buddies and went to the hospital in the middle of the night. With this quick thinking, perhaps Aaron was spared a burst appendix.
2. Family – near and far my family rallied around Aaron. My sister, aunt and uncle came to visit him in the hospital. When my family said they would be happy to help if Aaron ever needed anything, they meant it. My cousin’s family reached out to my boy too. This allowed me as a mama to feel connected despite being so far away. You wouldn’t have known Aaron had surgery a few hours previously, upon their visit, my aunt felt a party-like atmosphere in his room. A sense of celebration filled the air!
3. Humor – Since he was a toddler, I’ve always considered Aaron to be my human tv. He entertains me immensely. This time, however, my ministry-minded OS needed distraction. According to my boy, there were times in the Emergency Room where shrieks of laughter emanated from his room. Most people who go to the ER aren’t particularly jocular, Aaron’s friends made appendicitis kinda sorta fun.
4. Testimony – The doctors asked perfunctory questions about Aaron’s personal life. “How much alcohol do you drink on an average week?” they inquired. Aaron’s reply, “I don’t.” They persisted because Aaron’s buddy chuckled at the question. “No seriously, how much do you drink?” the doctor wondered. My middle OS then replied, “I go to Bible college.” The doctor quickly retorted, “That doesn’t have anything to do with the question.” Aaron’s answer was steady and honest. He doesn’t drink. We are NOT perfect people but I delight in times when my family’s testimony is consistent and true.
5. Scripture – Aaron’s friends wrote Scripture verses on the nurses’ orders on the white board. They prayed for and over him and claimed God’s Word as truth. I pray the staff felt the Lord’s presence in his room.
6. Sacrifice – One of Aaron’s friend had just returned from her precious grandma’s funeral. She went right away to the hospital. Another suffered a horrible family tragedy and still wanted to come see Aaron. Incredible and selfless. They were not only concerned about Aaron but about me! I was deeply touched by everyone’s thoughtfulness. His friends were willing to do anything. ANYTHING. Two stayed overnight and helped him in very personal ways. I was in almost constant communication with them and I never had to initiate any conversation.
7. Face time – with my boy, his friends, his doctor, the surgeon. If your college student has an appendectomy, make sure you have an iPhone.
8. Kale and prunes – After surgery, I informed the doctor that Aaron needed kale. They don’t have kale on stand-by at Northwestern Memorial Hospital but I appreciated that the doctors were pro-kale. We also learned that Aaron actually likes prune juice. He appreciated the flavor in addition to its “medicinal” qualities. Huh…
9. Sweetness – I was leaving my own doctor appointment when Aaron’s physician called me to tell me the surgery was successful. “Will you see him in the recovery room?” I inquired. “Yes, I will.” “As soon as you see him, can you tell Aaron that I love him very much?” There was a smile in the doctor’s voice as he answered, “I’ll be happy to do that.” The surgeon not only cared for Aaron physically but emotionally. A lady in the lobby overheard my conversation and asked me how my boy was doing. Kindness abounded near and far. Aaron recalled the surgeon giving him my message. Love.
10. School – Imagine entire classrooms of college students praying for your child. Imagine a professor beginning a lecture offering up prayers for your kid. That was our experience at Moody Bible Institute. Appendectomies stink but having legions of caring people nearby is cheerful medicine.
As far as I’m concerned, I already have my Christmas gifts. They came to me in the unexpected and most blessed ways.