Thriving. . .


October 21, 2011 by Danelle


He held up his shirt to show me the place where the scar would forever be.

Over the belly button.

Where I gave him everything I could those 9 months we were one.

Lifeline between momma and son.

Younger son does this, shows me this scar, during our math lesson today.

We are studying “oblique” lines and we are a fitness and sports minded family.

Vertical lines are easy to remember from basketball.

Sons know what it means to improve their vertical.

It means they are growing and jumping and reaching much higher than before.

So for “oblique” I show them the muscles.

Younger son takes one soft fingertip and traces the place that has healed but never disappeared.

“Around my scar. The obliques are around my scar.”

He is so precious to me.

I ache knowing that God loves me more than I love this son of mine.

I take his head in my hands, nuzzle our heads close and confirm this truth.

Years ago a doctor told me my younger son wasn’t “thriving”.

Born with a mixture of colic, acid reflux and pyloric stenosis.

He had surgery at two months to make his pyloric muscle weaker.

He needed to become weaker to be stronger.

To thrive.

Surgery was a success. Weight began to stick on his body. Food stayed down with medicine for reflux.

But there is truth in scars. 

It is a visible sign of the past. 

His pyloric muscle, those words from the doctor, the surgery, the scar; they were strangling to a momma’s heart those years ago.

But much time has gone by and I see something different when son is running around with that scar exposed.

The moment that we cut the strength away from all that leads to death, the strongholds that make us die a little each day. . . and we allow  the surgery and  scars to appear. . .

Right above our lifelines. . . 

We thrive.

In Him.

Moving beyond ourselves. 

And today, as younger son moves achingly close to 8 years old I am snapping a picture of his sweet scar.

Son’s scar proof of the surgery that saved him.

May my scars prove the same.

**This post is being submitted to FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY over at a beautiful blogging corner called THE GYPSY MAMA. .  The theme for today is “beyond”.

**Consider subscribing to He sees me? It is certainly an encouragement and blessing to me. Enter your email in the small box and you are all set. You can even control how often you are emailed about new posts.


23 thoughts on “Thriving. . .

  1. Becky says:

    Oh. My. Word! That is beautiful and I am left in tears as I read it. Beautiful- thank you!

    • Danelle says:

      So sweet Becky. I am often left in tears myself when I think of how He loves us! Amen! Have a beautiful weekend sweet friend!

  2. A lovely story, well-told. Thank you so much.

  3. Oh, my friend, I love this! So beautiful in every way–when you See. When you choose to See. Such worship–the surrendering yourself, your want, your thinking of what’s best/more comfortable, and trusting.

    • Danelle says:

      You bless me with your sweet words Amy. Here and on your beautiful corner of the blogging world. I mean it. Surrendering and trusting. . so hard and yet really all that makes our life real in Him.
      My Pastor said last night that we don’t have to try to be beautiful new creations that shine in Him. We are that already. We have to choose to believe that we aren’t good enough to shine. And that is a whole different story. . . .
      May we know who we are and not choose to believe any different. . . .

  4. Amy Baldwin says:

    Wow! That’s all I can say. Thank you for reminding us that times do get better, we do heal in all things, and that in God, all things happen for good. A song I heard this morning said “remember that when you lay me down to die, you lay me down to live.” After that song and your post I pray that God does scar me, whatever it takes to get me to come to him at all times and live for him at all times. I can’t wait to live!!!

    • Danelle says:

      You shine brightly Amy! You walk with His Peace and His Presence. You do. And yes, when we choose to die, that is when we Live. I think if we take all that we know and spin it upside down. . . we catch a glimpse of what is “real” and “true” and “lovely”. It is when we allow the junk that God promises every person will walk through to beat us down and make us resentful and harbor pain that we live a sort of half-life. We know we are missing something and it is Him of course.
      But He is in you. You are a bright beacon of His light to me.
      You Live real and hard and beautiful because He is in you.
      And your comment made me cry.

  5. Floyd says:

    Good stuff. Great analogy. I love the closeness. I can feel the love you have for your son, and the love our Father has for us.

  6. Your blog really touched me, thank you. You’ve been able to bring together a lot of deep things in a beautifully expressed way: your trust in God and love for your son, the pain but also the fulfilled promise of his early surgery, and your ability to help him understand and integrate what you’ve been given.

    • Danelle says:

      I am touched by your comment Fred. I have no idea what this surgery looked like when you were a baby, but praise God it has become a surgery that leaves a scar, yes, but is rather routine for children born with pyloric stenosis. I stand firm on Romans 8:28 and know that God takes all things and makes them good for those that He loves. My younger son’s surgery is a physical reminder to us both of His faithfulness and healing. God in all. The scar is just a reminder of a life saved. It is beautiful.
      All we can do is take what we have been given and shine for Him in all that we have and all that we’ve been through.
      So thankful for your kind words Fred.

  7. dschondog says:

    Dear Danelle,

    I will remember this story the next time I have to explain pyloric stenosis and the band-aid surgery that corrects it. It is such a hope-filled analogy. I LOVE the belly button picture. It makes the whole story doubly precious. You’ll have your nursing degree before these two young men are raised with all the medical experiences you have had with them.

    Have a blessed day,

    • Danelle says:

      Hi Dawn,
      The medical field has made great strides in the surgery for pyloric stenosis. I was shocked when they brought back my younger son from surgery and told me he would probably only need Tylenol for the pain! Praise God!
      A nurse? Me?
      Oh Dawn, that is funny. I am going to have to tell my family about this. They will laugh until they cry. I am so grateful for wonderful nurses like you. Beyond grateful. But that career is the polar opposite of any gift that God may have given me to use for Him. Trust me.
      Praying my story will touch any that you meet and feel led to tell as you hold each family you care for in the arms of Jesus. Truly you are his hands and feet in that hospital and beyond.

  8. Leslie says:

    “His strength is made perfect in our weakness” may I take joy in that weakness that His glory may be seen, How often “I want to do it myself” and find out how weak I am and how much I heed Him. Your words sing.

    • Danelle says:

      Thank you Leslie. And yes, I too push to do so much myself, but find what is done that shines brightest for Him is only Him in me. Always.

  9. craig says:

    oh Danelle, echoes of Ann Voskamp in your words – the weaker to become stronger – the scar above where you “gave him everything I could those 9 months we were one.”. all of it so full of lyrical poetry. This is writing. I heart. This is writing that makes words alive. Weaker to become stronger – and the scars to remind – and I think the scars are made of stronger stuff than was there before. I understood both before reading this – I understand both better now. Thank you. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

    • Danelle says:

      Thank you Craig. Your comment leaves me speechless. I feel humbled and blessed by your kind compliments. You are a great encourager. And I love, love, love this. . “the scars are made of stronger stuff than what was there before.” Amen a million times to that.

  10. ‘Son’s scar proof of the surgery that saved him.
    May my scars prove the same.’
    Very powerful; a good idea to take a deeper look at all our scars and see how our scars have saved us… how we are better because of them…
    loved this!

  11. craig says:

    this is just me waving hello. ƪ(◠‿◠)╯ I really heart your words – and I’ll be back to read more when there’s new – you have a gift – I’m going to heart reading you – a lot. God bless and keep you and all of yours. Danelle.

  12. […] writing this blog, I came across a more recent post by Danelle Townsend in which she illustrates (to my thinking) a beautiful and seamless blend of […]

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