by Macy Johnson
“For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives,
so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”
(2 Corinthians 1:5 NIV)
“Look at my bone!” I exclaimed when, as a toddler, I revealed the noticeable dent in my chest.
“Pectus Excavatum is a condition in which a person’s breastbone is sunken into his or her chest. While the sunken breastbone is noticeable shortly after birth, the severity typically worsens during the adolescent growth spurt.” (Mayo Clinic Family Health Book)
I shrugged off my deformity as insignificant, until the day my then teenaged son was diagnosed and referred to a specialist. Alex had surgery at Children’s Hospital to have a metal bar inserted behind his ribcage. If only it had been caught earlier in his life, when his chest bones were not fully formed and did not need to be broken.
I asked God what good could come of this. My son breathed deeper and his heart pumped stronger with added room in his chest, but why did his pediatrician fail to diagnose his condition years earlier?
An answer came several months after Alex’s surgery. I spoke to a group of women at church and told them how God works in ways we may never understand, using pectus excavatum as an example. A mother came up to me after the meeting and said she thought her son had the deformity. I suggested she contact her son’s pediatrician and confirm.
I met her again several months later. Her son did in fact have the condition and at a young age was able to avoid the horrific complications of Alex’s procedure. She thanked me in tears for the alert.
I will be ready and available to go through suffering so I can comfort others as Jesus comforts me. I hope you will, too!