“Please God. Please let us hear good news today. This appointment crept up on me too fast. I really need good news here.”
That was my conversation with God on our way to the appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon last week. 6 months flew by and it was time for an X-ray to assess the progression of Reese’s Scoliosis.
Three years ago Reese was diagnosed with a 22 Degree curve in her spine. This is common in kids who have low tone, who don’t sit up, and in girls with Aicardi Syndrome. The problem is, once it starts to curve, the body grows in that direction and can cause problems with breathing and just about everything else. Three years ago, our doctor told me there was nothing we could do to correct the curve. We would get her a body jacket to slow down the progression, but once we reached a 50 degree curve, we would have to operate to fuse the spine. This is no small surgery. Complications can be life threatening and the pain of recovery…well I can’t even talk about it.
So I began to pray and I asked friends and family to pray for her spine to straighten. If there was nothing I could do to help her, I knew it was all up to God. Every six months we check it with an X-ray. Last August, I anticipated good news as the result of our prayers. I was pretty devastated when the curve measured 23 degrees. It wasn’t much of a progression, but it was moving in the wrong direction.
I recently finished reading “The Circle Maker: Praying Circles around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears” by Mark Batterson. I typed out 5 pages of quotes from this book. It spoke to me on a heart, gut, mind, spirit level because I have so many big dreams and great fears regarding Reese. The very first quote I recorded, and possibly one of my favorites was this:
“Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life.”
It has become clear to me that Prayer is God’s theme for my year. Everywhere I go, everything I read…prayer. I know God is teaching me to pray big and believe big, especially regarding Reese's health.
So back to the car ride. I’m praying with intensity. I’m remembering what Mark Batterson said about “Praying Through”.
Bear with me…this paragraph is long but it meant so much to me:
“Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit circling [in prayer]. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. Our generation desperately needs to rediscover the difference between praying for and praying through…praying through is all about consistency. It’s circling Jericho so many times it makes you dizzy. Like the story Jesus told about the persistent widow who drove the judge crazy with her relentless requests, praying through won’t take no for an answer. Circle makers know that it’s always too soon to quit praying because you never know when the wall is about to fall. You are always only one prayer away from a miracle.
Praying through is all about intensity…it’s more than words; it’s gut-wrenching groans and heartbreaking tears. Praying through doesn’t just bend God’s ear; it touches the heart of your heavenly Father.”
Thanks for reading that.
So back to the car…”God, I’m praying through for a miracle. Last time I was disappointed, but I believe you are bigger than Scoliosis. I know you can fix this with one word, Jesus. Please straighten her spine.” Although we have been praying for this for years, that car ride felt like the final few seconds before the buzzer. I was jamming in lots of prayer with lots of intensity before we pulled into the parking lot.
We got the X-ray and headed to the room. The Physician's Assistant came in and asked, “Was Reese laying down the last time we did an X-ray?” I replied no. “We did it the same way, sitting up with me holding her beneath the arms.”
I was worried…why the questions about last time? Please, just tell me…what is going on?
“Well…,” she started. “Reese’s spine is straight.”
The doctor came in to confirm, “Her spine is so straight I could not measure any curve.” He was speechless.
I was speechless…except to tell them that my only explanation was that we had been praying--a lot.
They left the room and I burst into tears, threw my hands in the air to praise my BIG GOD…then the orthopedist walked in and that was embarrassing.:)
This was a hard one for me to write. For two reasons.
First, this is a biggie. It is so sacred and special, and I fear that my words won’t do it justice. It’s like this really special thing between Jesus and me. He and I know how special it is and I don’t want to cheapen it with my insufficient words.
And the second reason is, we have lots of Aicardi friends whose daughters have suffered through this surgery and who are suffering right now. I know how it feels to hear about others’ answered prayers and think, “What about my daughter? I prayed too.” So I am really sensitive to that. I love you and I’m praying for you.
I have to share this for two reasons. To bring glory and honor to My Big, Powerful, Loving, Caring God--His name is Jesus-- and He is also my best friend. And also…I need to share this to encourage YOU to pray through for your miracle. God is still doing miracles, and I get to tell you, Reese is one of them.