Front Row Tickets
I have always had a passion for traveling and seeing the world. As soon as I was old enough to drive and go out on my own, I have been “keeping the roads hot.” From driving to the next big town to go shopping to making road trips to the beach with friends to literally traveling the globe in hopes of soaking up as much of God’s creation as possible, traveling has always been a priority. Any time I return from a trip, I create a scrapbook with all of our pictures and the information that I learned in hopes of preserving those memories. I point out things in our photos and try to communicate to others about our experiences. But I always come up lacking. I think about my trip to New Zealand specifically. There is just no way to put into words the amazing experience I had there. The vast beauty and the clean, still air made me feel like I was wrapped in a blanket of peace. I came back from there telling everyone that they must go experience it. I went as far as to say that if it meant selling a vehicle and driving something much less expensive in order to pay for the trip that it would absolutely be worth the sacrifice.
Our journey with the Lord and with Jian is the same. So often, I pause and try to wrap my head around everything that we have experienced. Just like getting on a plane and traveling across the globe, there have certainly been some aspects that have been uncomfortable and challenging. But the blessings have far outweighed any discomfort and sacrifices. Being brought to this point and seeing and feeling the handiwork of God first hand is nothing I can put into words.
The plan going into surgery was this: Do whatever has to be done to give her the best chance for more independent mobility and get it all done while we are here and while she is already under the anesthesia. The main concern of course was the malalignment of her hips, but the doctor also planned to do a secondary procedure at her left knee. As is also often the case with extensive traveling, things don’t always go exactly as planned and often take longer than expected. The surgeon worked on her left hip all day long. She required a soft tissue release, a couple of muscle transfers and a triple osteotomy with hardware placement. (In other words, they cut the tight muscles, took the muscles that already worked and “rewired” them into more useful muscles for walking, and made 3 cuts in her bones to get everything straight and lined up.) Pretty major. Not to mention the fact that none of her anatomy was textbook. It sounds like it was a scavenger hunt finding all of the vessels, nerves and bony landmarks. In his wisdom, the doctor decided that it was not in anyone’s best interest to do anything to the knee during the same surgery.
When Jian woke up in the recovery room, she asked how it went. We told her that the doctor was able to repair her hip and make her leg straight. The flicker of amazement that went across her face is again something that I cannot put into words. Her eyes became bright, she smiled and very quietly whispered, “God helped me!” I think she also knows a thing or two about being wrapped in a blanket of peace. What a privilege it is to have front row tickets to this story God is writing. I can do my best to put it into words, but I assure you that it won’t compare to stepping out and taking your own journey with Him, wherever it may lead. It is scary and unknown, but He will not leave you nor forsake you. As our brave girl recently paraphrased this verse, “Nothing to be afraid, Mom. You just have to pray to God.”