I am a classic firstborn.
I’m feeling the pull today.
My Dad is having surgery in Lubbock TX.
He has suffered with arthritic back pain for many years and we are all SO thankful that there is a surgery that can relieve his pain.
We have every confidence and hope that this procedure will bless him and alleviate the chronic distress that he has endured well.
So it is a GOOD thing.
Here’s the deal.
There is paperwork. And insurance. And pre-op. And post-op.
There is the moment when you can kiss him before he is wheeled into surgery.
There are the hours he is under anesthesia.
And the moments waiting for him to wake up.
The tricky business of pain meds.
There is sitting in a waiting room, WAITING.
There are Diet Cokes to buy. And there is coffee to be poured.
There are hours with my Mom and my Sister.
There are hilarious (seriously: My Dad. On drugs?!?!) stories to witness.
There is relief to share. Relief that feels so good in the wake of concern.
There is travel home.
And (HAVE MERCY!!!) there are weeks to keep my Daddy sitting still and at rest.
My Family stuff.
This is just the Surgery List.
We carry the Other Lists too.
Birthdays, holidays, graduations, job losses, difficult diagnosis, everyday pains and victories.
In all of those scenarios, I am still the firstborn.
But I live very far away.
This wrenching never goes away. The desire to be completely present in two separate places.
And while we all understand this. We accept it and cope.
I am learning that saying it, means something.
Feeling it all the way to expression carries vulnerability and honesty.
I Wish. I Was. There.
My amazing family is SO capable.
They are so well-supported.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9a
We, the Moneys and the Cashes, have found.
In separation. And missing out.
In goodbyes. And sacrifice that hurts.
In days and in weeks.
In regular. And in extreme.
Counting on that today. Leaning on His Power. Perfect. In all our weakness.
Psalm 16--A Prayer for My Family
“Keep Dad safe, my God,
for in you we take refuge.
We say to the LORD, “YOU are our LORD;
Apart from you we have NO GOOD THING.
I say of the holy people--my Dad, my Mom, my Sister and all her Procter family, every friend and family member who is praying, hugging and providing good things for my dear ones—I say of these holy people:
“They are the NOBLE ONES in whom is all my delight!”
When I run after other gods (worry, anxiety, self-reliance) I will suffer more and more.
I will NOT offer the lifeblood of my time and thought and focus to such gods or even take up their names on my lips.
LORD you alone are our portion and our cup;
You make our lot SECURE.
Our boundary lines (in Texas and Oregon and Uganda) have fallen in pleasant places;
Surely we have a DELIGHTFUL inheritance.
I will praise the LORD who counsels all of us;
Even in the night, in hospital beds and guestrooms and waiting rooms, instruct our hearts.
Lock our eyes on YOU LORD. Always.
With you holding our hand, we will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
Let Dad’s recovering body rest (and heal) completely secure!
Because you will never abandon us! You stand guard, blocking decay in your faithful ones.
Continue to reveal to all of us the life-giving way;
Fill my Dad, my Mom, my Sister, our family, and our attending friends with JOY in your very obvious PRESENCE,
Overwhelming them today, not just with strength to cope, but with PLEASURES offered from your generous and loving right hand.”
Because of Jesus and in His Name—
Let it be so.