“When everything seems to be going wrong, refuse to get discouraged. Remember that I am a God of surprises; I am not limited by the way things are or by the paltry possibilities you can see. I am infinitely creative and powerful.” (Jesus Today)
I know there are far worse things Tommy could be going through than a second knee surgery. But, to a 17 year old, who just, eleven months earlier endured the pain of an ACL injury, reconstructive surgery, and months of physical therapy in order to get back on the football field, it is frustrating.
As I sat in the waiting room, the same waiting room I was in less than a year ago, I knew the procedure was turning out to be more than just his meniscus. The minutes dragged on, and soon a half hour became an hour, and an hour became two, and when it came close to three hours my heart was hurting for my son. A three hour knee surgery isn’t a good sign.
Finally, the procedure was over and while we were waiting for Tommy to “wake-up,” the doctor told us that he had found and repaired small tears in both of Tommy’s menisci. He also had to revise the ACL with a cadaver graft and remove the previous screw from his tibia. Thankfully, he was able to work around the screw in his femur, and now Tommy has a few more screws and a washer to hold his ACL firmly in place. We were also told his cartilage is already showing signs of arthritis.
As the doctor was talking I was thinking about Tommy, and how, right before he went into surgery he said to me, “When you find out it’s just my meniscus will you please text coach and let him know.” I was worried how he would mentally feel when he found out that this was not the surgery he wanted. We had prayed over and over again that when the doctor operated he would find Tommy’s ACL perfectly intact and only have to fix a small tear in his meniscus. We wanted a simple surgery and a short recovery process. I was worried that Tommy was going to feel discouraged and disappointed not only with the outcome, but with God. Wondering why, after we had prayed so hard for different results, He would allow Tommy to go through this again. Another extensive surgery. Months of physical therapy. And another football season lost. It was hard not to feel disappointed for Tommy. Defeat was written all over his face.
It’s tempting to ask God the question, “Why?” But, we don’t. We haven’t questioned His plan, because when this injury first occurred we knew the outcome was already in God’s hands. So yes, of course we prayed it would be a simple surgery, but we also knew we were praying with tunnel vision. God’s plan would come to be, not our simple plan. We can’t even began to grasp the mind of Christ and the plans He has for us and for Tommy. But we are certain they are “plans for good,” (Jeremiah 29:11) even when we don’t understand the path He is leading us down. We trust He is a loving and faithful God. Always present. Always waiting for us to seek Him. To find Him. And when we look, He is there. Waiting with His surprises, creativity, and power. So, instead of asking why, we wait. We wait with thanksgiving, with anticipation, knowing that God can use Tommy’s disappointment to reveal God’s glory in a way that we can’t even fathom or imagine.
Thanks to all who prayed, texted, or emailed before, during, and after Tommy’s surgery.