I posted tonight on FB that Merrick is now pain-free. Relatively speaking. He is still in a half body cast for 26 more days, but who is counting?
I'm thanking God for the success of the surgery!
Today was a much better day. I started off by sitting the kids down to pray (which even in a Christ-proclaiming household is not ALWAYS the way we start off the day) Then I showed Merrick a video about Nick Vujicic. He was amazed by what one man with NO legs, and NO arms could do.
Part of Nick's testimony really resonated in my heart. In part he said:
There are some things in life that are out of our control. Things that we can't change but can choose to live with. Life is interesting...life is a journey. It's all about taking one step at a time. That's the only way to get to the other side, one step at a time. You can't take more than one step. Some steps may be bigger than others, but you still take them one at at time.
He went on to describe a place of crying out to God:
""Lord I'm in an impossible situation...I can't do this!... To which God responds, "Yeah, you're right, you can't! You can't do this on your own! But trust in ME, I will never leave you" And the greatest lie that we're believing right now is that we HAVE TO do this on our own. Our God is a personal God, we can talk to Him and pray to Him. We can rely on Him for He said: My grace is sufficient for you, for my Strength is made perfect in your Weakness."
How true. If I must be made weak for Christ to be glorified then so be it. If Merrick must go through this for God's strength to be known then Amen. Who am I to try to rework what God can use for good?
So today I thought I'd try to get Merrick in the car. He had stopped feeling pain when I moved him, and I figured we should have a trial run, even if we had no where to go. So we wheeled down our beautiful ramp and I set the wheelchair next to the van and recline the middle seat. Then I concentrated really hard. I had to do a spin manuever to get him in....and quickly since we're talking close to 100 lbs of boy + cast here.
The move went off without a hitch and we just smiled at each other as we realized how cool this was. We'd be able to GO places like this. I reached in to move him back to the chair and we both started giggling. Now Merrick not only looks like a Lopez, but he laughs like me too :)
So we just stood there.....laughing....giddy at this triumph. I actually had to balance him on my knee while I caught my breathe. Then we both tried to suck in those giggles so I could get him safely to the wheelchair. But it all felt so good. That's our God, a God of great mercy. He knows when I need to recharge with a laugh.
Later today out neighbor friends stopped by hoping to play. They chatted with Merrick but soon took off to play a game of hide and go seek. Merrick asked to be taken outside. How could I say no? So I padded outside in my slippers (thankfully I was fully dressed otherwise!) and I wheeled that boy all over our court as we held a neighborhood game of hide-and-go-seek. The little girls would count and the boys would hide. I would position Merrick, make sure his brake was on and then move far away from their 'spot' so I wouldn't be the giveaway. Merrick was so funny, he would pull his head inside his shirt like a turtle. You know, because if he couldn't see them, then they would miss his ginormous wheelchair as well! Good times.
Our day ended with a visit from some dear friends who held a HUGE Get Well banner, a bag of video games, a Starbuck's for me, and a LOT of love. The special part was the attention their one son gave to Merrick. Everyone knows about my heartache so they are 'prepping' their kids before they come over. Poor kids, nothing worse than coaching by mom ;) But normally this boy would rather be alone....playing outside with a couple of dogs or something. He's more content being 'to himself.' But wouldn't you know that he surprised his mom and me by sticking by Merrick's side to chat for quite some time....long after his siblings had said hello. It was a display of kindness and compassion that brought more tears to my eyes.
So for those of you that continue to pray.....those prayers are still being answered. And just like we ALL knew....Merrick is going to be JUST fine.
By the grace of God.