Not According to Plan
Have you ever experienced a moment that didn’t go quite according to plan? Perhaps you carefully prepared, arranged all the details days before, and when the time came it seemed as though all of your meticulous planning was wasted? And so you ask God, “That didn’t quite work out, so what was the point of that?”
Recently, we took one of our education kids for a checkup. Matthew (name has been changed) has a rare heart condition. For years, we have taken him to see specialist after specialist here in Phnom Penh. While we continue to seek out answers on if he is operable, we stand for a creative miracle in his little body. On this particular visit, we were told to get Matthew up to another city the following week to meet a visiting pediatric cardiologist from a prestigious medical university in the US. We would need to show up early Friday morning to meet this doctor. Upon hearing this, Matthew’s elderly guardian promptly asked us at XP to escort him for her. A 14 hour round-trip bus ride had little appeal at her age. She expressed her trust in us to care for him along the way.
Over the following week, preparations were made: parental consent forms signed, bus tickets purchased, medical records obtained, and many prayers prayed to cover our trip and also that Matthew would be there when we went to pick him up.
So when Thursday night rolled around, Matthew was waiting eagerly, excited about his bus trip with aunties from XP. Knowing he would no doubt be cold from air conditioning, we popped by a local market to buy Matthew a sweatshirt and new sandals to replace the ones he had outgrown. Water and road trip snacks purchased and a restroom stop taken care of, we made our way to the bus stop. Matthew and I proceeded to play a game of “put a sticker on the other person’s shoulder without them seeing” as he wowed me with all the words he knows in English. Full of personality, playfulness, and joy for a boy who’s heart continues to work overtime to keep him going. He is indeed a fighter. His guardian came to send us off as we boarded the bus that would deliver us early in the morning to meet the doctor…so we thought.
At 8:00am, after enjoying our fried pork with egg and vegetables for breakfast across from the hospital, we made our way over. A big compound, we continued to be directed by attending guards as we walked around the campus in search for the cardiology wing. Finding our contact, a Khmer pediatric cardiologist, she regretted to inform us of a delay in the U.S. doctor’s arrival.This was a huge disappointment. It was not exactly a simple task in getting the proper consent forms signed and all the other details covered in order to travel with Matthew. How could we just turn around to head back home with nothing?
But did we really come away with nothing?
On our way back to the bus station, Matthew asked for ice cream. Yes, absolutely, the boy would have ice cream! And it was then that I saw that nothing about this trip was wasted. God reminded me that He not only heals and cares for our physical needs, but He’s also the giver of good gifts. I believe He wanted to show Matthew just how special He is. Yes, He’s taking care of his physical heart, but He also wants to take care of the desires of his heart as well and even give him little surprises along the way like new shoes, shirt and ICE CREAM as well as the full attention of two XP aunties who get to show Matthew God’s extreme love for him.
Will you join us as we call down a creative miracle in Matthew? Pray healing into his heart as well as his lungs, divine health, and for Matthew to continue to know how great the Father’s love for him is.
Written by: Tami Becker