Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Trooper

Our Little Trooper-

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

During August, while playing at the Cress’ house, Nate was called to the truck. He came running at full canter down a slope in the yard toward his daddy’s awaiting arms. Unfortunately, his legs got ahead of him and he slipped on the grass. His body turned sideways and his downhill leg went out from under him, while the up-hill leg pronated inward and rotated. The effect was a loud, sickening “pop” that resulted in all the parents present to run to his aid. Later after some late night x-rays we found out that he had a double break with a spiral fracture of the left femur. The on-call ER doctor splinted his leg and told us the orthopedist would be there to see him first thing in the morning. Since I was weeks away from delivering and having contractions, Jeff stayed the night with Nate while I returned home with Leif for a few hours of sleep.

As I lay awake in the wee hours of that night, I replayed the incident trying to figure out how it all could have turned out differently. I also agonized over the initial prognosis. Even though my body needed the rest, my mind couldn’t escape the pain I had left my little boy enduring. Every time he would drift off to sleep those first few nights he would jerk awake and shriek in pain due to his muscles twitching as they relaxed.

Nate was placed in a hip-spica cast, which runs the length of the broken leg, to the knee on the opposite leg, up to the middle of the chest and held together by a 1 inch dowel across his thighs. He was in the cast for six weeks. Three and half weeks into his casting I delivered our third Kathryn via c-section. Thankfully, both of our moms came from Texas to help for nearly a month. If they hadn’t come to Alaska, I might have been committed to the loony bin.

On the night he first figured out how to "scoot"...

Three weeks “post-cast” Nate and I walked out to the storage cabin behind our house to retrieve some toys. Nate had been walking about ten days and was still a little shaky. He clung tightly to my hand as we painstakingly traversed the uneven, muddy ground. Normally, our trek would have taken about ten minutes; this day it took a little under an hour. As we slowly walked I admired the Alaskan fall beauty that surrounded us and tried not to cry over my son’s struggle. His broken leg had healed nearly a half inch shorter and I wondered if his severe limp would ever go away. My mind worried ahead to possible future athletic disappointments, lifelong physical pain, and social stigma. As if he was reading my mind, Nate said, “Momma, I want to run.”

“Okay, let’s give it a try…” I replied uncertainly.

“Not yet, not today…I can’t…but I will run, momma. I will,” he emphatically stated as he trudged ever so slowly onward.

His “declaration of overcoming” hit me squarely between the eyes. No matter the outcome of his accident, God was already training his heart and mine.

The passage in John 4 encourages us to be aware of false prophesies, but can also stand as a reminder to be aware of Satan’s schemes. He wants nothing more than for God’s children to worry about tomorrow and to doubt the power of Him who resides in us. Satan and his workers are also seeking to make us forget that God has already overcome our greatest problem (death) and through him WE are OVERCOMERS as well. God is bigger than any problem we might face in this world, even the gut-wrenching, heart-rending pain of seeing your child suffer. In fact, he understands better than anyone.

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