Unprepared in the Unexpected

by | Jun 19, 2023

Townes has entered a stage we have coined “No Nap Townes.” I don’t know why or how it has happened but suddenly our toddler apparently has ideas of his own for nap time or quiet time.

The best part of all is when you ask him, “did you take a nap today?”

Townes, “Not today, I am no nap Townes!”

Alas…he doesn’t seem to mind that weeeeee may have really needed the down time to accomplish an as sundry list of things or perhaps if the world stopped turning, we too may take a nap!

Two Sundays ago, I found myself in this predicament: wanting to take a nap and rest while my son had other ideas. So after about an hour of back and forth, I relented (yes, I know. I know…he broke.me.down) and told him he could sit on the bed quietly and play with his train while mommy rested.

Needless to say, his version of “quiet” and mine are dramatically different so what better way to spend time together than to scroll mindlessly through pictures. I’ve learned that the “selfie” generation would have started long ago had we had the access to photos these children do. So down the rabbit hole we went…

Only I didn’t consider or prepare myself that he might scroll all the way back to the beginning…

The beginning…where his life began…in the hospital.

A conversation I knew would come. A discussion vitally important but one yet, I never believed, I would adequately be prepared for.

Sissy Goff is well known to the Nashville community and nationally as the director of Daystar Counseling Ministries.  A couple months ago she offered direction and advice on how to discuss hard events and circumstances with your children.

Her advice was simple: answers your child’s questions truthfully. If they present you with a question, they are ready for the answer. You don’t have to offer any more or any less. I cataloged her advice in the back of my mind as something I would likely need one day.

And now, sitting here during what should be nap time, I found myself listening to her advice as it reverberated through my mind and Townes questions came as we stumbled upon the pictures of him from when he was an infant.

Townes: “Mom, who is that?”

Me: “You”

Townes: “Mom, what is on my face?”

Me: “That bandage helps track your pulse”

Townes:” “What is over my head?”

Me: “That is a machine that helped you breath”

The hardest of all came when the picture of him post-transplant popped on the screen. He didn’t look like himself. His face was puffy, his body swollen from what it endured at such a young age, his incision fully exposed, and chest tubes in full view…

Townes: “Mom, who is that?”

Me: “that’s you buddy”

Townes: “Mama, what are you doing?”

Me: “I am listening to your beautiful heart.”

No additional questions followed. Townes didn’t ask why. He didn’t ask what happened to me, so for now that’s where our conversation ended. My own heart hanging on by a thread to my sleeve with no other choice but to trust the Holy Spirit in my responses; to once again walk forward in faith, trusting that the Lord himself would be with my son as he processes this new information.

To whom was this conversation the hardest?  Likely me.

Townes learned a little bit about his miracle story and this journey is not done as I know more will proceed. More questions will come and once again I will find myself not quite prepared.

For now, I find solace in the lesson I began to understand the day we received Townes diagnosis.

‘They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, ‘Tell the servant to go on ahead of us’—and the servant did so— ‘but you stay here for a while that I may give you a message from God’ (1 Samuel 9:26–27).

The servant in the scripture above is a perfect picture of Jesus, our Savior. He goes ahead of us in all things. He gives us a path, a strong footing, a foundation to lean on, and he leads us by still waters (1 Samuel 9).

When more questions arise, I rest in knowing Jesus conquered the grave – he made the things that seem impossible, such as explaining why Townes needed a heart transplant and how such a gift is given, possible.

He provides the strength we need; the peace in difficult circumstances and even the joy when life suggests otherwise. Jesus tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that his grace is always more than enough, and his power finds its full expression in our weakness. So, in other words, his power shines the brightest in our uncertainty, in the unexpected, and when we feel insufficient. 

Jesus has gone ahead of me to make a way. And if he did for me, then he has done it for Townes, and for you too.

So, in honor of Father’s Day, thank you Scott for imparting your revelation to me while we waited on our doctor to review Townes’s 20 week ultrasound. Without your faith and trust, I wouldn’t be standing on this truth today and believing Jesus is the servant that has gone ahead in all things.

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