The Best and Worst of Times

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…last week, I mean—not the French Revolution.ID-10083939

We rejoiced on Wednesday when our identical twin granddaughters were delivered safely.  Just under 4 pounds each, they are tiny-but-healthy little miracles; fearfully and wonderfully made by the hand of the Lord in spite of dire warnings of high risk for many months.  Their mother had been hospitalized for 6 weeks before their birth so they could be monitored 24/7.

The next evening my phone rang, the caller ID indicating that it was their other grandmother.  Expecting a baby update I quickly answered, only to hear the words that no mom ever wants to hear, “Your son needs our prayers.”  Feeling as if my heart had just dropped into my stomach; I listened as his mother-in-law told me how, just after holding his daughters for the first time, Kevin was visiting in his wife’s hospital room when he experienced sudden severe pain as well as numbness and loss of function on one side.  He had been rushed down to the emergency room where they were trying to find out what was wrong.  Two CT scans later, in the wee hours of the morning, I finally got a call from my son and his voice was the most welcome sound one could imagine.  They still didn’t know what was wrong but would do an MRI in the morning.  It was finally determined that my 32-year-old son had suffered a stroke as a result of a 2-week-old neck injury that had seemed to be healing—while he was now able to move, he couldn’t walk or use his right hand.

How could this be!!!  This young man may be the father of a 3-year-old boy and two preemie girls, but he’s still my baby—and my baby was hurting and there was not a thing I could do about it except pray, especially from 450 miles away.  And pray I did; upset and pretty-much begging God for the health of my son.  But then that still small voice of the Lord began to speak to me, “Didn’t you give Kevin to me?  Didn’t you promise to trust me to take care of him?”  And memories of another day started flooding back.

Kevin had gone off to college and, looking for something to fill my empty nest, I had joined the Sweet Adelines and begun singing barbershop.  One evening, 5 of us had gathered in my living room to prepare for an upcoming quartet competition—tenor, lead, baritone (me), and bass singers along with a vocal coach; working on our up-tune, a selection that was fun but also complicated as we endeavored to blend our voices into a performance that would be word-perfect, note-perfect and would have great choreography.  As The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam’ struggled to make it out of the station that was my living room, the Lord apparently decided it was a good time to talk to me, and the battle in my mind began to rage as the rehearsal continued—my friends oblivious to my torment.

He whispered, “Give me Kevin.”

“What?  Not now Lord.  Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Give me Kevin.”

“Lord, I have to concentrate.  Can’t we talk later?”

“Give me Kevin.”

On and on for what seemed like forever but was probably just a matter of minutes; Him repeating over and over the same request and me arguing.  But finally I’d had enough and I got honest, “But God, what if I let you have him and something happens to him?  What if I really give him to you and you take his life?  How can I trust you with my son?”

“Give me Kevin.”

“Aren’t you going to answer me?  Is that all you can say?”

“Give me Kevin.”

Finally I really couldn’t take it any longer and I gave in and prayed the hardest prayer of my life, “OK Lord, I give you my son.  Even if you take his life, I choose to trust you with him.  Kevin is yours.”

And almost before I could complete the thought I heard, “I already gave my Son—you don’t have to give up yours.”

My life was instantly changed and I went from being one of those mothers who worries about every issue in her child’s life to one who never worried—it was nothing short of miraculous.  A couple of years later, Kevin was leaving our home to head back to school one evening and as he started out the gate I almost slipped back into that old pattern of, “Be careful honey, and call me as soon as you get there.”  But before the words were out of my mouth I was drawn up short with a reminder, “He’s mine!”  About 15 minutes later Kevin called from his car, “Mom!  I just missed the biggest accident ever!!!  By seconds, mom—cars were sliding all over the freeway and one rolled over and over.”

I haven’t worried since, but now—a stroke!!!  And again, that gentle reminded of to whom my son really belongs and as I repented for picking up worry and fear, it quickly departed; replaced by peace and faith in my God who holds not only me but my son in His capable hands.

Now, just four days later, my son is at home with his wife and son as they eagerly await the homecoming of the girls in about a week.  He needs a cane to walk and will require a lot of rest and physical therapy to regain his balance and fine motor skills, but a 100% recovery is anticipated.  And the silver lining is that I now get to go earlier and stay longer to help out as the twins come home.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalm 136:1-4