I have always believed in Divine Appointments: that most of our meetings aren't coincidence.
On Mother's Day 2013, I was down in Roanoke, Virginia for a double photo shoot. That morning, my first session of the day cancelled due to a conflict. I was bummed. Really bummed. Honestly, I moped around for a good hour ... complaining about losing time and money and having had to turn away another client earlier in the week. My mom and MIL convinced me to just enjoy having more time with the boys. Reluctantly, I agreed.
Around 11am (when I would still have been busy shooting), we went to Cheddars for lunch. When we walked in, we ran into a woman named Donna Robbins. This is going to sound like a "strange" connection ... but Mrs. Robbins in the mother of my cousin's ex-husband. She has always and continues to be very kind to our extended family. She greeted us with warm hugs and genuine conversation. Knowing that she is an incredibly faithful Christian woman, I asked her to pray for Jackson's healing.
She appeared utterly revived to do so! She told him that she was part of an intercessory prayer team at her church and that they often prayed for healing. She said that everyone they have petitioned the Lord for has received His blessing. She told me that she knew God wanted to and was going to heal Jackson's spine.
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You know the rest of that story, right? We returned to Shriners Hospital on 5/22, and Jackson was deemed CURED of his Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. And ... remember that unexpected phone call I received from his surgeon on Monday? That's right. Even if Jackson was ZERO, I still expected a 10th casting. It never crossed my mind that he would be so blessed to stop casting after #9. Also, his cast, although broken in two places, was able to be used for brace construction.
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Beginning THIS month, Shriners Hospital was going to begin charging co-pays for anesthesia. Jackson didn't require anesthesia because he wasn't casted again.
The timing is perfect. First, it is Summer. And ... if everything (prayers please) goes as expected ... Jackson should wear his brace this year (ages 3-4) ... then he will have x-rays every 8 weeks the following year (age 4-5) ... then IF HE IS STILL STRAIGHT he will only need follow-up every 6 months. That will line up precisely when he begins Kindergarten. I LOVE the thought of him not having to be pulled from school for medical travel! God is so good!
There was another Divine Appointment in store for us in Greenville. Remember how I have mentioned that his blog has become an information source for newly diagnosed PIS families? Well, one of the families I have mentored the most had an appointment the same day as we did. They are from Georgia ... and we have spoken over the internet and telephone for months. Yet, I never dreamed we'd get to meet face-to-face. We did! Their little Camden is the youngest baby ever to be casted at Shriners Greenville. He is 9 months and just got his 2nd cast. Seeing them, I think we were able to provide a glimmer of hope for Camden's bright future! It also gave me the warm fuzzies to know that Jackson's journey is saving the lives of other children. I know God is going to heal Camden's spine as well.
(you can read his story at: http://camahedy.blogspot.com)
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Today I am thankful. I am thankful for the Lord's grace. I am thankful for Divine Appointments. I am thankful for Donna Robbins. I am thankful for bath time ... for swimming pools ... and for the beach. I am thankful for being able to lift Jackson into my arms without a struggle. I am thankful to see Jackson sitting in his carseat with his knees drawn up to his chest. I am thankful to watch Jax sleep curled up in a ball. I am thankful for Heather Hyatt Montoya of ISOP. I am thankful for her daughter Liv who pioneered this treatment. I am thankful for Dr. Min Mehta, for her personal struggle with scoliosis and her determination to find a cure. I am thankful Shriners Hospitals. I am thankful for Dr. Peter Stasikelis (and even for Dr. Cahill who applied Jackson's first 5 casts). I am thankful for Duck Tape. I am thankful for being able to touch my son's skin. I am thankful for an ability to worry less about germs, and falls, and spills. I am thankful for straight spines. I am thankful that my son is alive and thriving.
Today I am thankful that God promises us this:
"Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."
And he delivers!