The Great Physician

On April 21, 2017, my daughter broke her collarbone. It took us two hospitals and two doctor’s offices to get seen that night, but we trusted in the Lord that He would get us where we needed to be. When we were finally seen, the doctor told us it was broken, put her in a shoulder brace, gave her some pain medicine that she ended up being allergic to, and sent us home with orders to see the surgeon the next day. Even though it was a nightmare of a night, we kept on believing that the Lord would take care of her and that He would work it out.

I knew it was a bad break since my daughter could not even use her hand or bend her arm. When we went to the surgeon the next day, however, I wasn’t quite prepared for the x-ray. The bone was in two pieces, and one sat about two inches lower and away from the other. In my mind, I always thought of a completely broken bone as something deadly, something you saw in movies that caused marrow to escape into the bloodstream and kill someone. Luckily for us, the Lord had sent us to just the right doctor.

My daughter was scared and worried. Yet the surgeon was kind and patient. He explained how God had given her that specific break since a 10-year-old’s body could heal itself better than mine could or his could. He told her how she was going to where a special brace to pull the bone pieces back together and that she was going to have to keep her shoulders back to help the bones get as close as possible. You see, what he explained was that if the two pieces of the bone could simply touch long enough, God could mend it. He told us that we’d give it six weeks and then we’d take another x-ray and decide what we needed to do from there.

When we left, I was a bit frightened, and so was Diddle. After all, it was a pretty alarming thing to see her bone severed in two and sitting nearly two inches apart in her chest. We prayed and prayed. We decided that the Lord had led us to this specific doctor for a reason, and we decided to pray for His healing and leave it in His hands. We asked everyone we knew to pray, and we could surely feel every prayer.

It was a rough time for those first few weeks. The pain, swelling, and uncomfortable, random stabs of pain from the bone moving in her chest were complicated by her getting the flu. Several weeks after the break, Diddle also fell. She was going up the stairs and slipped and fell on her stomach. She tried to catch herself with her bad arm, and the pain was pretty intense. Luckily, we went back to the doctor and he said that the fall shouldn’t have set things back too far.

Six long weeks after the break, it was time to return to the surgeon today. Over the last six weeks–and especially the last week–I prayed and prayed and told the Lord that I knew He could do it. I prayed and told Him that I was leaving it up to Him. I trust Him, and I knew He would do what was meant to be done.
When the doctor came in with the x-ray, he pulled up the old x-ray first. “I want you to see what we started with,” he said. “You see, this was a pretty bad break, and the bones were sitting very far apart.”
He pointed to the two pieces sitting about two inches apart in her chest. Diddle and I both winced at the sight, as it is a pretty hard thing to look at and not wince.
“Now let’s look at where we are today,” he said, pulling up a new screen on the computer.
The image appeared. I could sense the disappointment in Diddle without even looking at her. She was seeing exactly what I was seeing. The doctor had told us that if the brace could pull the bones back together so that they could just touch, then the bone could mend. There, on the screen, the bone pieces still sat at least a finger’s width apart.
My head began to nod involuntarily. Even though I was disappointed and a little afraid for the idea that this probably meant that Diddle would have to have surgery, I still felt positive. I nodded, knowing that I had turned it over to God in my heart and that she had done the same. He knew what He was doing, and even though it wasn’t our plan, His plan was what mattered.
“You see, we put you in this brace to pull the two bone pieces together so that they could touch and then mend,” the doctor said and turned towards Diddle. “Now let’s look a little closer here.”
He turned back to the screen and enlarged the view by zooming in on the break. Magnified, it looked worse.
“We were trying to get these to pull back together. Now, let’s look at this. Do you see this dark spot?” he asked as his pen traced a dark oval behind the break. It was about three inches long and about two inches high, and it encompassed close to an inch of both broken pieces. “This dark spot here… this is where God’s building you a new bone.”
Tears filled my eyes. I looked at Diddle. Her face lit up.
“Does that mean I can get rid of this brace?” she asked.
“Yes, you can get rid of the brace. Now, it’s not a bone yet, but He’s working on it. This will all harden up and one day it will be all one piece again.” He got out a piece of paper and sketched as he spoke. “You see, this is where the bones ended up, and this is where God is building you a new bone. It will be round like this. But, you see, the amazing thing is that your body will know that a bone shouldn’t look like that. It will know that this bone is supposed to be straight. So, over time, it will wear away here and here and, eventually, you will end up with a straight bone again.”
Diddle beamed. I had no words. God was building her a new bone. They pieces hadn’t touched. But still, somehow, He had worked it out.
“Now, I wouldn’t have told you this at first, but that was a really bad break. In fact, if it had been your mom there, or me, it would have meant surgery. Those two pieces of bone were very far apart. But your body, since you’re ten years old, well, that meant that it could most likely do it without surgery. And now that’s just what is happening.”
The rest of the visit was a bit of a blur. Progress to track, goals to reach, strength to build, flexibility to regain, and work to be done. In the end, we’re looking at six to ten weeks or so before the bone hopefully begins to be more bone-like, but the doctor is positive that it will do just that. She’s not allowed to put pressure on it and can’t have any impact on it, so no big hugs or falls. But, in the end, she’s on the road to a new bone that will one day be straight.
What an amazing God we serve! I tell you what: He truly is the Great Physician! It took us two hospitals and two doctor’s offices to find a place to take us the night the bone broke, but God knew where He was sending us. He was sending us to the place where we’d be sent to the surgeon who was able to tell us today that God was building her a new bone.
Thank you for all the prayers! He sure does listen! And please, please, know that nothing is impossible for God.
Shared on the Encouraging Hearts and Home Blog Hop for May 11, 2017:
Shared on the Family Friday Link-Up Party #27 at This Chaotic Bliss: