Surgery Day: T-1

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Abby’s surgery is tomorrow morning. Please say a prayer for her. I’ve been cleaning and organizing and basically doing everything possible to keep myself busy and preoccupied. I’m not yet ready to think about what will happen tomorrow. I’m not yet ready to think about having to hand over my baby to doctors and watch as they take her into the operating room. I’m just not ready for it all emotionally. And yet, at the same time, I’m ready for this to be over. I want this all behind us already.

Yesterday, Abby had an ophthalmology appointment to determine whether she has any eye problems associated with the craniosynostosis. Sometimes kids with craniosynostosis have vision issues due to the deformity of their skull. It turns out Abby has basically every eye condition possible. It is likely she will need eye surgery. While the doctor assures us that the procedure is simple and we will be “out by lunchtime,” it’s still surgery. Another surgery.

I’m at the point where I feel like I just can’t handle it all anymore. I’m exhausted, physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’m trying really hard to keep it all together, but I’m hanging by a thread.

I feel like St. Teresa who famously said, “if this is how you treat your friends Lord, then it is no wonder you have so few.”

Perhaps it’s just the exhaustion speaking, but I just don’t understand anymore. Why is this happening...again? Why my children? Of all the people to have to go through this twice, why us? Did we do something to cause this? Are we being punished?

To be entirely honest, it makes me question the goodness of God. If God is truly our loving Father, why does he burden us with this? I prayed so hard for a natural and safe birth with Abby. I didn’t get it. I prayed for a healthy child and while Abby is perfect in every way, she’s only two months old and needs surgery. I feel like my prayers are not only not being answered, but they’re being thrown back in my face.

"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"

I feel like I’ve been given a stone when I asked for bread.

These past few months, it’s been very hard to persevere in faith. Initially, when Abby was born and one of the doctors in the hospital suggested she may have craniosynostosis, I was so angry. Angry with the doctor, angry with God. I told God in no uncertain terms, “You’ve got to be kidding me! I CANNOT deal with this.”

Later, alone in my hospital room, I began to think that in all honesty I probably could handle it, if I had to. I am strong and have endured emotionally crappy situations before. I’m really good at keeping things together, at least on the surface. But the question was not that I would or could, but rather why did I have to?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

“Whoever will be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

Perhaps this suffering is really a chance to draw closer to Him and to develop a deeper understanding of His will. If that is the case, then I’m failing miserably. I feel like Jonah, simply ready to run away. Run from the stress, run from the pain, run from the suffering. But God was there with Jonah and I suppose He is with me too.

Pray for my Abby.


  1. Maybe it's not that he is giving you these things to deal with, but he gave Abby a strong mother who would help her get through these early difficulties. I'll be praying for your little one. And for you and the rest of the family.

  2. Oh I am praying for sue, Jennie. I was thinking of you today, as you must be getting ready for it all....

    Your feelings are totally normal...its so mysterious that God would give you this situation, not once but twice....
    When we can give a lot, He asks a lot, and keeps asking...but he gives us the grace also....
    Hang onto the grace of all the prayers you are going to get tomorrow.....

    Looooove you!!

  3. Thank you girls. You both make really good points. Your comments (and prayers) are very comforting, thank you.

    I'll try to update you as soon as the surgery is finished tomorrow (probably around noon).

    Thank you again!

  4. Pedro and I are praying for you and Abby (and all of you!) and will continue to do so especially tomorrow.

    I hope you don't mind, but I shared your blog post with Pedro and after he thought about it, he shared with me a really beautiful insight, referring back to this past Sunday's Gospel reading. When the Canaanite woman with the sick daughter asked Jesus to help, He was first silent, then almost insulting, but ultimately responded to her wishes due to her faith...Jesus wants us to grow in faith.

    I'm sure He is drawing you closer to Him through these trials, Jennie, and, as Kerry said, giving you the graces, too. Count on our prayers as you endure this Cross! XOXO

  5. Jennie, offering everything I can today for little Abby and for her mother's tenacious courage.



  6. It's ok not to be so brave all the time Jennie. With your perseverance in faith, God will 'provide a way out so that you can stand up' under the strain of this trial. And Jesus wants the privilege of carrying you and Matthew through this ordeal. I just read today.."The Bible never minimizes hardship or unfairness. It simply asks us to withhold final judgment until all the evidence is in." I know..easier said than done...Grace for each moment... xoxoxo

  7. Thanks, Serena. That is a comforting thought, that persistence in prayer does pay off. And thank you for your prayers, I really appreciate them.

  8. Thank you, Annie, that means so much to me that you would offer up your day for my Abby. Thank you.

    And thanks, Mom. You're right, I know that in hindsight we'll be able to see God's hand in all of this, it's just hard in the moment. Thank you for your prayers.


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