Wednesday, July 17, 2013

God's Faithfulness in Audrey's Surgery

Audrey just had surgery on her head.  They took a metal plate and fit it inside the hole in her skull and then put the skin back over it.  It just amazes me that they can do this kind of thing...and that 2 days later, she is walking and yelling "Nellie!!!" to me when I walk into her room to see her.  Unbelievable.

This surgery, of course, was scary for all of us.  I cannot even imagine how it felt to Daphane and Tim.  We just kept imagining what if must feel like to take Audrey and hand her over to people who we didn't know and she didn't know...knowing that she had no idea what was coming.  Absolutely heartbreaking.  But Tim shared a story with me after the surgery that just I have to share - it's undoubtedly a reminder of Gods' presence.

The Sunday before the surgery, after the church service at Crossroads, Tim took Audrey down to the front of the auditorium to be prayed over.  He was sharing with a gal or two down there about why he wanted to pray for her....
after he explained it to them, one of the gals said, "I'm going to be in that surgery."  Tim was a bit confused by this as it seemed terribly random that she would be in the surgery. When he inquired more about it, she explained that she was actually a resident and was going to be following Dr. Mangano (the neurosurgeon) all week and would be in his surgeries....

Unbelievable - this prayer warrior praying for Audrey after church was actually going to be in the surgery with her?!  How absolutely amazing?!  I can picture her in that surgery watching it take place and lifting sweet Audrey up in prayer as it took place.  Through her presence, it's as if God spoke out loud to remind us, "I'm with your daughter."

I'm finding that God is doing these sorts of things - giving us these unexplainable situations, coincidences, and people to remind us of His love and His presence.  I believe He does understand our weakness and our struggles - the struggle to believe, the struggle for faith, the struggle to hope...

and He meets us there and says, "I am here in this battle, and I love you."

Thanks to God for being with sweet Audrey and for reminding us once again of His Faithfulness.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Carl and Cross-Country

I received an message from my former coaching partner, Carl Anderson.  He and I coached cross-country together for 10 years.  He was texting me to say that tonight was the first night of practice for the season...and he was thinking of me.

Oh I miss that sport.  And I miss Carl.  We spent hours over the years talking about our runners.  We spent hours upon hours running with them.  We spent loads of Saturdays walking through fields that were wet with dew at 7 a.m. in the morning - a trail of 50 middle schoolers romping around us - with wet shoes and anticipation for a win.  In our time we saw a great deal of success and even swept the City Tournament in all 4 races one year...never been done...might never be done again.  I have multiple plaques hanging on my office wall from Oak Hills, reminding me of what, thanks to God, our teams accomplished.

I miss Carl - his friendship, his excellence in coaching, and his completely obsessive, unbalanced passion for the sport.
I miss the kids - their middle school moronic behavior, their tiresome effort, and watching them grow and become more than they even thought they could be.  
I miss practice - training with the girls, reminding them to breathe rhythmically, telling them to stop crying while running, listening to the drama of their lives, and pushing myself up to my own physical limits.
I miss the races - running from spot to spot on the course to see what position the runners are in, counting the runners to see if we were going to beat Mason, reminding them as they ran by to focus on their breathing, and watching that final stretch to the finish line; seeing up close what courage in the face of so much pain looks like.
I miss my mile time - it was the fastest of my life (6:34) - man I wish I could get that back again.

There is no other sport like it.  The life skill of mind over body, choice over desire, purpose over pain - it certainly transfers to other areas of life.  To want so badly to quit, to be in so much pain, but yet to choose to keep going because you believe the end is worth it....that's some seriously good stuff.  And to do it not because your peers at your school are going to glorify you for being a cross-country champion (we all know that's reserved for other sports)....but to do it because of some greatness in you or because your team desperately needs that's incredible.  I owe a deep gratitude to Carl for allowing me to coach with him and for showing me what excellence in coaching looks like.  As I look back I realize that my life is is better....because of those 10 years.