Eleven years ago on this day I was sitting in a waiting room in Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City waiting on my first born seven month old son Winston to come out of surgery. In a matter of weeks we had literally gone from a routine well baby checkup and looking at an itchy scalp, to a balloon heart cath surgery, and finally on to open heart surgery under the world renowned Dr. Christopher Knott-Craig. Welcome to parenthood!
What I remember is soon there was a flood of letters and calls from family and friends saying they were praying for us. I remember my Aunt Ann in Tennessee saying that there were like eight (?) churches praying for Winston, this baby they didn’t even know.
What I remember is that I played no part in this pray effort. I was busy still dealing with the disappointment of, “I’m his Dad and I can’t fix this!!” I was listening to Christy say, “Turn it over to God” but I didn’t even know what that meant much less how to do it. I was too busy obtaining by online doctorate specializing in cardiology so I could make suggestions, talk the doctor talk, critique their work on my son and maybe, just maybe, help them fix this if they needed some help! I didn’t have time to pray!
What I remember is the anxiety and fear and nonstop pacing in that private waiting room they reserved for us complete with “Brown Family” on the outside of the door. I knew we had moved to a whole other class of serious when we arrived that morning and they explained the private waiting room thing to us. (And my heart just started race when I typed that…gulp).
What I remember is in that family waiting room Dr. Knott-Craig had us stand in a circle to pray with the family and let us know that he and his surgical team would be praying over “his baby” before they started the surgery.
What I remember is they told us prior to the surgery to pack clothes for a stay of nine to eleven days. We had some awesome friends and family that paid for us a room at the Parent Hotel that’s within the hospital reserved for those who have kids in the pediatric ICU; call it an exclusive getaway if you will! (Thanks again to all you who did that we could never have afforded it!) And just in case you haven’t caught on to the theme; anytime something is "reserved" especially for you at Children’s Hospital it is not a good deal!
What I remember is surgery went as expected and on the third day of recovery I heard these words from the recovery doctor Dr. Kent Ward, who we still see to this day, “If you lived here in the metro area I’d let you go home today, but since you live in Enid we are going to hold you over one more day. We’ve never had a child recover from open heart surgery this quickly. It’s amazing!” Three days! Be prepared for nine to eleven days and Winston was ready to go home in three!!
What I remember is directly after hearing those words from the doctor; I instantly recalled my aunt’s words about all the churches praying for Winston. Then my thought turned to all the notes and calls with prays from friends and family. I remember receiving a cloth that had been anointed with oil and prayed over by a church.
What I remember is this was the first time I witnessed God work through the power of prayer! I’m sure I’d seen His handiwork before but I was too thickheaded to recognize it.
What I remember is that friends and family standing in gap for you and praying when you can’t or won’t is powerful!
What I remember is Romans 9:14-16 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort but on God's mercy.
What I remember is that His mercy and compassion is so much bigger than me because I was trying to fix my son by my human effort and He still chose to heal my son in spite of me!
What I remember is I left my house for work this morning and my 11 year old son hugged me on the way out the door!
What I know is the fact that Winston standing there hugging me today had nothing to do with me! It had everything to do with Him!
God, today my hope is you get all the glory, all the honor and all the praise for allowing me to enjoy my son for the last 11 years.