By Tammye Hamilton
I was nursing our newborn one October morning when my frantic nine year-old stumbled into the house carrying her two year-old brother. He was screaming and his left leg was hanging at a sickening angle.
"What happened?!" I cried. "He fell out of the tree, mommy!" She said, sobbing.
I had no idea what to do. We lived nearly an hour from Jon's office and he had our only car. There was no 911 service in the rural area where we lived. I sent our oldest child to get the closest neighbor but she declined to help because she had to go to work.
I called a friend who lived several miles away and told her my desperate situation. Thankfully, she dropped everything and rushed over to take us to the hospital. On the way I got the story that the older siblings were in the tree and he wanted up so they put him on the lowest branch, about four feet off the ground.
In the Emergency Room it was confirmed that our son’s leg was seriously injured. He was quickly transferred to an orthopedic hospital. We learned that when he fell from the tree he landed on a protruding root. His femur was broken and compacted.
He was in tremendous pain and did not understand what was happening. He became terrified of the doctors and nurses because he thought they were causing the pain. I sat by his bedside holding his six week old brother and doing the best I could to comfort him.
Over the next difficult weeks, the doctors came to believe his leg would not heal properly. He was released and then hospitalized again and placed in painful traction in an attempt to lengthen the break. It meant more heart-wrenching pain and it didn't work. They told us there was nothing else they could do because of his age.
The doctor said, "One leg will be significantly shorter than the other. He probably won't be able to run or play sports". We were devastated by the bad news. The whole experience was overwhelming and more than we could handle.
After two months in a full body cast, our healthy, chunky baby, who weighed nearly a dozen pounds at birth, had lost significant weight and was unable to stand or walk.
Jon and I decided to believe that God had a plan for our little guy. Whatever it was, we could trust Him.
We returned to visit the doctor just four months after the cast was removed. By this time, he was running everywhere, like any two year old. After the X-rays, the orthopedic specialist stood our son on a table. He turned him around to show us the back of his legs and drew an imaginary line straight across the creases behind his knees
"Mom and Dad," he said to us, with obvious surprise, "If I didn't KNOW he had broken his femur, I would not be able to tell!"
He fell from the tree 25 years ago this month and there has never been a day since which offered any other possibility but complete healing. This kid was perpetually in motion. He has played nearly every sport, excelling in soccer and basketball.
Today, he is a missionary to a closed country where he often uses sports to effectively interact with young people and adults. This month he will attempt his first triathlon.
While our prayers are not always so miraculously answered, we can still trust that God has a plan to work ALL things together for our good. We can always trust Him. Even on very bad days
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28