I was ten years old and my sister was five when Momma came home from the hospital without the baby brother we had waited so long to see. Neither of us could understand it, but, finally, after three weeks of additional waiting, he was coming home. He was the tiniest baby I’d ever seen. He was such a miniature that we made him a bed in a small dresser drawer. Bathing him wore him out to the point that we could only bathe him every other day, sometimes every third day. He was supposed to eat two ounces every two hours. Eating tired his little body out so much that it took him at least forty-five minutes to drink the required amount. By the time he finished a feeding it was almost time to start over.
One night shortly after Tommy came home, Momma woke me up about ten o’clock. She handed me this tiny bundle of humanity and said, “Please feed him for me. I’m so tired I just can’t do it.” With that she went back to bed and left Tommy and I in the living room. He and I stepped into the unknown and took hold of it that night. Momma caring for him during the day while I was at school and me caring for him at night quickly became our “normal” routine.
At first, I was scared I was going to break him. I didn’t really know what to do with him but my maternal instinct soon kicked in and we became the best of friends. I talked to him softly while he ate, all the while gently tapping his feet to keep him awake and interested in eating. He was such a good baby, very forgiving of my fumbling attempts at changing him and tucking him into his makeshift bed for a short nap before it was time for the next feeding.
All these many years later, we are holding hands and stepping into the unknown again. Tommy has been disabled by a degenerative spine disease for about fourteen years. Over those years, he’s had numerous surgeries and is constantly in pain, even with a pain medication pump implanted in his abdomen. Recently his spine has degenerated even further and he is now in need of a specialist in the field of spinal surgery. Miraculously, he was able to get an appointment with a leader in the field.
Tommy’s wife and I will be leaving tomorrow (Tuesday, April 3rd) to make our way to Bethesda, Maryland where we will pick Tommy up at the airport on Wednesday. His appointment is Thursday at 11:00am. As unlikely as it may seem to the rest of the world, we are hoping against all odds that this doctor will see Tommy on Thursday, formulate a treatment plan, and operate early the next week. We don’t want Tommy to have to make that trip again in his fragile condition.
Often when I am faced with the unknown, I am reminded of Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” (KJV) At times, I even paraphrase it to suit my situation: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, or lay here in this MRI machine wondering if the results will be life-changing, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” It gives me comfort and a joy-filled spirit knowing God has gone before me to prepare the way, and He loves me enough to walk the path with me, hand in hand.
This week as we traverse highways we’ve never traveled before; visit towns we never imagined we might go to; and meet with medical professionals we’ve never encountered before, it gives me great joy to know that we don’t have to be afraid. We are under the protection of a loving God who is guiding every step of this journey into the unknown.
Have you ever been thrust into the unknown? What gave you courage to make the journey? Please leave a comment and share your experience with my readers.
Praying your day will be “joy-full”-