By definition, ‘G force’ is the gravity pull on the body when it accelerates and changes direction. Imagine being on a roller coaster after it has peaked, plummeted and then begins to rapidly climb again. You know that really heavy, downward tugging feeling on your body in that moment when it begins to climb; which pushes you back into your seat, makes your face tight and your heart race uncontrollably? That’s G Force! My daughter Mila’s recent bout of surgery made me think about this phenomenon both literally and figuratively. Just three weeks ago, she underwent her second open heart surgery, in a procedure called the ‘bi-directional Glenn’ (Glenn). This operation was a HUGE milestone in more ways than one. It happened to be the very critical second stage of her heart repair process and had been greatly anticipated from the moment her first surgery was completed.
There were many critical milestones to be met and a lot of pressure leading up to this operation. From target weight requirements to be met to constant growth monitoring; all these considerations made the journey a high tension one. It’s as if the Glenn had become a presence of its own, always hovering, watching, luring, daring, beckoning us to make it to its gates without failure or incidence. In some ways I think I grew to subconsciously glorify it, by putting a lot of hope in and anxiously awaiting the promised changes it would herald for Mila’s future heart health. You can therefore imagine the relief and joy I felt when she successfully met her pre-surgery goals, made it through the critical ‘inter-stage period’ between surgeries and was now ready for the G force in our lives that had become the bi-directional Glenn surgery. After a rocky climb, it was with much relief and anticipation, that I finally felt as if I had reached the peak of my figurative roller coaster ride.
A day prior to surgery however, we found out that the procedure had to be delayed because Mila had some anatomical complications. The prognosis was not the best. I remember sitting on the hospital bed with her cradled in my arms, listening to the surgeon outline her challenges as if I were underwater. Here came the roller coaster ride again! I felt the G forces pulling me down in exponential proportions. My heart raced and fell to my feet, my head spun, my body felt weak as if it would fall to the floor in sheer horror and disbelief; yet I just sat there in absolute numbness and confusion. I was saying to myself, how could this be? I had done everything I was instructed to: I kept her in a bubble, worked on getting her to the required weight, kept on top of her monitoring and doctor’s visits. I thought I had this under control?!
That wasn’t the time for pitiful, empty questions however. While I awaited her surgery to be rescheduled, I decided to accelerate my attitude of gratitude, my faith, and spirit of thanksgiving to the Almighty. I kept on praying, believing, petitioning for God’s mercy, favor and grace for my baby. A month later, with time rapidly elapsing outside the recommended surgery timeline, the surgeon decided to go ahead with the procedure, making it very clear that with her complications, the bi-directional Glenn was a best case, hypothetical scenario. The day of surgery was one riddled with a constant stream of G Forces for me. It was one where every second, of every minute, of every hour, I had to fight against that gravitational pull, trying to immerse me in doubt, depression, distress and worry. I had to shift spiritual gear, accelerate and stand rigid in my faith to combat them. That day was even more so, one filled with consecutive, small acts of bravery on my part. I had my mind made up, I was going to finish this roller coaster ride well!
After the seven hour procedure we met with the surgeon and he told us that he had been able to perform the Glenn after all and that albeit challenging, it had been a huge success! He pointed out that Mila had done better than anyone had anticipated! I immediately bursted into tears, held my hands towards the heavens and blurted “thank you Jesus” for what seemed to be hundreds of times. I was so overcome with wonder, awe and gratitude; that God had showed up for my family and granted us the very desire of our hearts. This Glenn that had seemed so unattainable, such a formidable force, was the very thing He had granted us for our faithfulness. He had heard our prayers and had rewarded us for not allowing this challenge to be a hindrance or limitation, but rather to be our leverage, to accelerate us higher and closer to Him. It then dawned on me that I had to stop glorifying her illness and instead, recognize it as a light affliction leading me to greater tasks of faith.
In that moment I had the biggest epiphany, that God had been in the G Force the entire time! The delay in Mila’s surgery had been God’s purpose and Divine timing. This had afforded the surgeons more time to come up with a more robust surgical plan, which subsequently placed her in a better position than she was a month prior. God also used that time to allow me to accelerate in faith even when the pressures, the tension and anxiety of the Glenn weighed heavily on my shoulders. There are G forces that are meant to create stress on your mind and body in the scientific sense but there is the ultimate G force called God, who comes armed with Grace and Glory to be our beacon of light in our dark places. We all face our own afflictions in this life that seek to weigh us down, burden us and drag us into a dark abyss; but in order to accelerate and rise above them, just trust and believe that GOD IS IN THE G FORCE! My roller coaster ride is cruising into the dock, and I do believe I have finished well, by God’s Grace. Hail to the ‘G’!
6 a.m. family pic before Mila’s Glenn.