“toughest kid I know!”
I’ve got to tell you, I may be a bit biased; however, my son is the toughest kid I know. If you follow our social media, you likely understand what I’m talking about. For the rest, allow me to explain.
Tuesday, we packed Chris Jr. up and sent him on his way for his freshman year at Purdue. Mamma and Poppa, did OK until coming home at which time we both lost it looking at the area of the house he hangs out and his room. Then, Wednesday evening, I receive an unexpected phone call. With joy picking up the phone, I said, “and to what do I owe this pleasure”. Chris’ response, “I dislocated my shoulder again and they are taking me to IU hospital.” Yes, words our family is becoming all too familiar as this is likely close to 10 seperations to date.
Chris has a genetic connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome that isn’t well known; however, many are discovering. Chances are, if you’re “double jointed” or have more than normal flexibility, you too could have this condition. Chris has had three shoulder surgeries and the doctors have decided that it’s really of no futher benefit to perform surgery. Thus, when he separates, it must simply heal on its own the best it can with some PT. As a result, Chris has missed high school athletics and really can’t do normal activities like playing a low intense game of pick up basketball which was the case at Purdue this week.
This time was a bit tougher than normal as the ER doctors couldn’t get the shoulder to go back in place. After close to 10 attempts, the Orthopedic doctor decided to take him to OR, heavily sedate him, at which time it fell right back in. Under low sedation, Chris’ body was fighting the arm being put back in. As a result of all this, Chris’ body has experienced a lot more trauma which relates to pain. Bigger than this Chris’s mental and spirtiual health have been challenged as he continues to deal with why he can’t do the things he so desires to do like play a simple game of basketball. To give you a bit of insight to Chris, I’ll share a post he wrote yesterday:
“First full day of college and the shoulder is already outta socket. Probably could’ve guessed lol. So thankful that that I had a great group of doctors to help me and it could’ve been so much worse. There was a man in the room next to me who went into cardiac arrest last night and it was extremely humbling, and a great reminder of how fortunate I am. The condition that I have called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is no joke, but God has created me with this condition to better equip me for his battles. So once more I say, the shoulder won the battle last night, but I’m going to win this war!!! Use this as a reminder to be careful as you go back to school; no one is invincible. More importantly though, have an amazing time!!!”
Now, what I hope you’re picking up on in this post is Chris’ amazing faith and how he believes God is using this to “equip me for his battles”. Yes, the irony of this is that Chris’ last night at home Lisa and I had some very indepth conversations with Chris about something he’s feeling deep within. I would’t get into all the details, however, I’ll just leave it at our family knows God is preparing Chris to lead over and beyond where he’s already a leader.
This also reminds me of a conversation Chris and I had in Florida on the beach one evening during a high school retreat a couple years ago. In that conversation, I told Chris, “God is going to use you for something big. What you’re going through in high school a similar journey as what I’m just now going through in my 40’s. It’s only after we experience true brokeness that leads to an extreme love for God and God’s people that He can truly use us. Your experiencing that brokenness much earlier than most in life which tells me He’s got something big for you.” Yes, our family has seen what “brokeness” truly looks like in many ways which is why I know what a tough kid my son is. The physical is only a sign of the exponenially harder spirtual and mental battle going on within his flesh.
Son, continue to stand firm in your faith knowing the war has already been won. We have some exciting times ahead of us and I’m so joyous to be partnered with you in the journey. God loves you son and so do I!