I am so excited that my dear friend, Suzanne Wesley, is sharing a post on my blog today. We met through our church, Maryland Community Church. She is a gifted graphic designer, writer, mom and has a heart for the Lord. Please be sure to show her your appreciation in the comment section today.
(Originally written 9/28/2009) Last Monday I had to take my youngest to the pediatric cardiologist’s office. Well, actually it was a local clinic they held in our area this time. Both of my daughters are preemies, but the youngest was by far the earliest and tiniest. Because she was born early, my daughters’ heart had not fully developed. At birth, she had a hole between the lower chambers of her heart and another in the upper chambers. Thankfully, the one between the lower chambers healed, but at 19 months of age – we continue to watch expectantly for the one between the upper chambers to heal. If it does not, she will have to go for an outpatient surgery to have an implant placed in her heart to block up the hole.
She weighs only 20 pounds and is a tiny little thing … but she has a calm spirit, and a happy attitude. No one would ever guess that she is anything but healthy. I wonder how many more of us are wandering around each day with something vital wrong with our health, and yet no one is the wiser? Maybe some of us don’t even know it ourselves? I personally have Multiple Sclerosis, but no one would know it unless I tell them (so far). It is an eye-opening experience to realize that the young man, or middle-aged lady in the aisle at the grocery store, might be facing cancer, or fighting off pain from Fibromyalgia … and no one can even tell. You don’t wear it like a sign. All cancer patients do not wear wigs or have bald heads … and they often do have to go to the store.
And that cute little baby in the cart – the one with the big blue eyes and the most adorable giggle – she might be facing heart surgery within the year. What this revelation has caused me to do, is to be more patient with total strangers. I’ve spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and most of the people in the waiting room look like nothing is wrong. So now, when someone cuts me off in traffic, or in line at the store, oh yeah, I still get a little annoyed at first… but I also realize that many of us carry our own invisible problems. Problems that weigh on our minds, and sometimes they affect our manners or our concentration. That young man blocking the aisle may look like he’s deciding on what kind of soda to put in his cart, but his mind may also be reeling with shock that he has to start chemo next week, and dreading the reality that he may not feel up to drinking any soda for a while. You just never know.
Take the time to be kind; be slow to anger.
Psalm 145:8 The lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
2014 update: When she was 2.5 years old we went in for yet another heart scan and we heard the good news that the holes in her heart were healing up enough on their own that my daughter would not face surgery after all. I was one happy momma that day!
Bio: Suzanne Wesley is a freelance writer and graphic artist from Indiana. Visit www.suzannewesley.com to connect with her.