April 19, 2021

Surgery. Today. Again. Fourth time. Uugghh.

Four years ago she slipped on ice and broke her left wrist. When it was set in the cast, it was set crooked and healed with a bend. First surgery was to correct the bend. The second and third surgeries were basically to repair and tighten the connective tissues of her wrist because the bones were moving out of position causing pain. Lauren pretty much knew the 3rd surgery wasn’t successful about 10 months after it was done. She started complaining about pain again last fall. We are thankful for the expertise of her previous surgeon, but today we are trusting her wrist to a different surgeon and hoping for a long-term healing outcome.

She was able to play in a softball tournament 2 days ago knowing that she likely won’t be able to play anymore after the surgery. Maybe she can, but we’ll have to see. She’s a strong player. She wanted to play for college. But being in a cast having to heal from the initial injury, then 2 months in cast and months of PT after each of the other 3 surgeries has limited her ability to practice and play and strengthen her skills as a batter and catcher. But she’s good. Real good. It’s a shame her injury and surgeries have altered what she wanted to do.

I say altered but we don’t really know how her wrist will function after she heals. But we know she will be in a cast and splint for quite awhile, then have physical therapy. Paul and I want her out of pain, and we want her wrist to function better than it has been for the last 4 years. But wouldn’t it be sweet to see her back behind the plate again?

Lauren wasn’t as tough pre-softball as she is now. She was the one who never suffered quietly, and she made sure that no one’s malady and malaise was more severe than her own. I always used to say that she could be bested by a hangnail, and that a bruise could wipe her out for a solid week. I’m exaggerating (but am I really?) And when she was hurting, everybody knew she was hurting. But circumstances and life and maturity have happened, and now she’s tough as nails. Tough as that 6 inch nail that she stepped on that went right through her sneaker and foot.

She has lots of scars already. Her skull, y’all wouldn’t believe…she has a scar about 9 inches long from a skull surgery when she was 3. You know that creek Paul drove the mower into? Twice? That creek caused her skull injury. And she has several scars from the other 3 wrist surgeries. And part of her pain and malfunction is from internal scar tissue in her wrist.

She’ll have more scars after today. But this surgery will be arthroscopic. I thought she might be encouraged to hear that arthroscopy would be less invasive compared to the previous surgeries. But no. “They do slice me open they are making cuts in me.” There’s my malady girl. Less trauma-yes. Less drama-no.

But scars aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Lauren’s skull scar is a reminder that we need to be careful with the creek (I’m looking at you, Paul). But she has no lingering effects from her fall, and it’s just an interesting story now. And the scars from her wrist surgeries won’t prevent her from holding hands and clapping and waving and wiping away tears of joy and sadness. They are just scars showing where she was injured and where God showed off his healing.

And speaking of scars, we are just out of the Easter season, which basically means it’s already the Christmas season. Mary would have been pregnant by now. As Christians, if we aren’t heavy burdened riding a donkey toward the impending crucifixion in Jerusalem, then we are heavy with child riding a donkey into Bethlehem. And Christ is with us all the way because he has risen the donkey before us.

And Christ got His scars in Jerusalem, and none of them limited His mission. He was beaten and scourged, but the scars on His back don’t prevent Him from bearing the weight of my sins. The crown of thorns was meant to mock his kingship, but He is still Lord of Lords. He was pierced in His side and bled out, but still His blood is enough to cover me. His feet were nailed and scarred, but it hasn’t stopped Him from walking to meet me where I am. His hands were pierced, but He touches and heals me gently. We all have scars. Life cuts us all. None of us are unscathed by disappointment and pain and illness and injury and brokenness. But it’s in our weaknesses, in our scars, that we can be reminded of Christ’s love for us as we remember that His scars are meant for our healing.

So all that to say that Lauren is in surgery right now. The surgeon is slicing her open as we speak. I’m expecting an update soon, and I’ll get to see her hopefully within the hour. One of the last things she said to me after the anesthesiologist started her block was “is my mascara messed up!” She probably won’t remember saying that, but she did say it. Prayers are always appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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