December arrived, and brought with it that fateful moment. (This is all related to being a freelance test pilot, but I don’t finish painting the picture until the bottom of this post, so keep reading.)
The moment when we would have to kiss Jake’s sweet little misshapen head goodbye–we would never see it in that shape again.
I caught it on film, because Beth had given me strict instructions to take pictures of everything–she knew that she was going to be a basket-case but wanted pictures.
This particular photo always brings me to tears for reasons I won’t explain now…it was the start of more waiting.
To our surprise, though, he surgery didn’t last long, and we rushed into the ICU to see Jake…for more waiting.
The minutes seem like hours. The hours seem like years.
Why does time move so slow?
You try to read, but the same sentence just keeps passing before your eyes…and never makes it to your brain.
You go eat. You go to the bathroom. You watch as the ICU nurse checks all the IV’s.
You ask if its time for more morphine. It’s not.
So you keep waiting…
And then things start to happen much more quickly.
You go home, and life starts to be more normal, but the thought of eighteen more months of checkups is always nagging in the back of your mind.
And that separation date…no job come June…that day is coming fast. How will we pay for the insurance for all his checkups? Who will even insure him?!
I think I hate waiting for answers.
I think I hate sitting around with unanswered questions.
Fast-forward three months to March, and we have a follow up with the neuro-surgeon. When he comes in, Beth begins to explain the treatment options in Tennessee. Vanderbilt is a famous hospital, and it will be nearby. As Beth explains how we are moving and wants the doctor to recommend a neurosurgeon in Tennessee, we get an unexpected report.
The doctor says, “I have never seen such a wonderful recovery. He has healed so well, so quickly, so completely. I have never done this before, but I will sign off on Jake’s treatment today. Your child is now well. He does not need any more cranio-check-ups.”
In other words, “you don’t have to wait fifteen more months to know that he is all better.” No more waiting!
As I write this, Jake is two days away from being two years old. He is perfectly healthy. I have asked his pediatrician numerous times to check his head, and every time, the doctor gives a good report.
As I write this, I’m tired of waiting. There are more unanswered questions in life. I’ve been admitting that I need patience but not asking for it in prayer. (That’s kind of an unwritten rule: don’t ask God for patience, because you won’t like how He provides it.)
As I write this, I understand that it’s waiting for answers that I don’t like. It’s the unknown that leaves me antsy.
Ironic–considering I speak, write, and teach so much about facing the unknown–statistically speaking, strategically, and the union of them both.
I guess I haven’t mastered my strategy yet.
As a freelance test pilot–as an entrepreneur–things work on a totally different timeline.
It’s almost as if a journey that should take weeks takes years instead.
As I stood there in Chick-fil-a griping to myself about people who didn’t answer questions or make decisions yet. I thought back two years.
Then I thought back four thousand years to another group of people who wandered in the wilderness for two years.
My journey, as you can see, has been no less miraculous. It’s something I couldn’t help but exclaiming on the drive home, alternately weeping tears of joy and crying out in praise.
But I forget these parts. Instead…
I can’t remember who threw the tree in the water yesterday, instantly transforming it from something bitter to something beautiful and delicious. I can’t remember that I didn’t go hungry last weekend, or the weekend before, or the one before that.
I guess what I am saying is this…keep waiting.
Use the time to review what He has done.
I think that’s what He’s waiting for before He moves us on.
(This is all related to being a test pilot, and here’s how. A test pilot can find himself in a part of the flight envelope that he never expected–what do you do when find yourself there?)
Introspection is far more important than you realize.
But observation is the most important skill. Observation is the skill that shows us what’s going on around us. And what’s going on around us is far more interesting and more important than what’s going on inside.
Usually, we make decisions, we act, without having all the facts because we didn’t take the time to observe the true nature of the situation.
Stop and smell the roses. That’s observation.
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