I have been hearing a lot about choices lately, they say we all have choices, and I agree for the most part. However, I would like to submit an ulterior opinion… what if sometimes we don’t have a choice? What if sometimes, the choice we are given isn’t really a choice at, but rather an alternative way of telling us what we have to do, of controlling the outcome of our situation. Choices require an attractive alternative, or at the very least an option that one might actually choose. Don’t they? Or, maybe, maybe it’s not about the actual choice but more about how you look at the choice, how you look at the outcome of your choices that matter most?
The woman with cancer is told that she needs to have both her breasts removed or the cancer will spread and she will ultimately die. Choice? Where? Yes, technically she could say, ‘oh no thank you, I like my breasts and would rather keep them, but you have a nice day’. Let’s be honest though, who would do that? Where is the choice? Maybe it’s not really about the choice at all, maybe it is how she chooses to look at the loss of her breasts? Does she give in to the temptation of despair, or does she rise above and thank God that she has her life, that she can live and have more time with those she loves? Almost like choosing to look at a pile of crap or look up and see the rainbows.
I was given a choice, but the people that gave it to me made it clear that it was no really a choice at all…
After hearing all of the reasons why open heart for Josh will be difficult, risky and very long, after explaining that there are so many reasons why things could go wrong in the OR, how some of the decisions that need to made can’t even be made until they are inside him, after all of this, they gave me the choice. Do the surgery, regardless of risks, or watch him die of heart failure. Choice? Where?
Tomorrow morning I am handing over my baby to a team of people that I have to trust with his life and I have met them once, they are some of the best, I know that, but it’s still my baby and it’s still the hardest thing in the world for me to do. Like trusting a God that I can’t see. The difference is of course that I have experienced God’s hand, I have felt his love in my life and known his mercy, grace and I have watched him work and move enough to know that trusting him is not a choice either, rather it is the only way I can survive times like these.
These doctors, this team of strangers have been trained by the best in this field, people come from all over the world to study here, to learn and take it home to their own countries so that children there can benefit from their experience in Toronto. Joshua’s last surgeon is now back in his home country of Saudi Arabia, saving other kids like Josh. It’s comforting to know how good they are, I find hope in the fact that this hospital is the Top Gun of children’s medicine, but it still doesn’t change that this is my first born, my son that I am handing into their care tomorrow. What choices do I have? No one has really given me a choice? I have had to sign consent, given permission for them to stop my sons heart, they proposed it as a choice but I can’t find the other option.
So, last night as I lay awake trying to figure all this out I put two of the things that I have said in this post together and came up with the answer, or at least the only answer I will get right now…
I trust the God of the universe, he created Joshua, put him together cell by cell inside of my body, even the parts that aren’t working. He had a reason for that even if we don’t know the why yet. He has shown me love, mercy and grace throughout my life when I didn’t deserve it, and he will love me still in this. He will hold Josh’s hand, he will comfort him in ways that I can’t. My mother is law had a dream of Jesus walking around the OR, overseeing Josh’s surgery, sitting in the waiting room comforting us. Tim and I could live anywhere in the world, yet we live here, in Toronto, home to one of the best children’s hospitals in the world.
Yes, I am handing my son over tomorrow for a major event in his life. Yes, there are risks and no I don’t believe there are any choices, but – and this is a big but, I am giving him into well trained hands, hands that know what they are doing, and I am trusting him to God, the Father of miracles. I am choosing to look away from the crap to look at the rainbows.
I may not have choices but I do have hope.