Tomorrow at 5:30 in the morning Lucy and I will be reporting to the hospital, complete with all kinds of Covid-19 safety protocol, for her long-awaited scoliosis surgery.

Unless, of course, something changes. Which, right now, you never know.

This surgery has been scheduled for quite some time, but we had no idea how it would all unfold with the present state of the world. Lucy has been hopeful, praying sweetly and fervently each night for things to be able to go forward as her back is increasingly more uncomfortable. I have quietly worried deep on the inside watching that curve protrude more and more visibly.

But they called a week or so ago and let us know that the surgery date was tentatively looking like it was a “go.”

And we began to get cautiously optimistic. And also more and more nervous. (Thank you to those blog readers who have reached out about this and given advice and love, means so much to us, and we feel more prepared because of your thoughts and experiences shared.) We feel like we are armed with some good information, but also like we are marching into the great unknown.

Lucy and I had a little date to go to her pre-op appointment last week (the waiting room eerily empty and everyone masked and gloved, the new normal), and found that true to my suspicions, the curve has increased quite alarmingly: ten degrees worse in a handful of months.

As we sat there in the office, all masked up talking through what will happen on surgery day, I got more nervous and Lucy got more excited. I looked at her sweet face, listening so intently, so trusting of this doctor that he will fix things and make her feel better. So full of hope. I felt so much love for her and so much gratitude for her grit. She has no idea what she’s really getting into, but I’m so grateful for her bravery because it is making me more brave. And maybe in turn the bravery she is giving me will help me fill her back up when she needs it. She is one tough girl and she can do it.

This is no small feat for this girl. She will be under anesthesia for around six hours, will spend a day in ICU, and we will stay at the hospital together for a few days after that until she’s strong enough to come home. Then recovery will last six weeks after that.

I know there are lots of Lucy fans out there so I wanted to request any prayers you can send our way. We’ll take any you can spare!

So grateful for all the blog support for this girl for all these years! The love has buoyed us up over and over again.

I’ll try to keep some updates coming.


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  1. Sending good vibes to take with you to your surgery, prayers and good thoughts coming your way. Good luck! xx

    1. We will be praying for her, and all of her support team! Is there an email or address we can send cards or a little something to? I have 3 daughters around her age that would like to send some love her way!

  2. Oh wow! God definitely has some amazing plans for this girl! Through all of these difficult experiences, she is becoming so courageous, strong, trusting, empathetic, and just plain awesome. Tell her thank you for her example and thank you for your example and all you have taught me. Our family has been blessed by yours!

  3. Sending lots of prayers for you all, including the surgeon and medical team that will be caring for her (and you!). Kids are so much more resilient than us Moms and their faith, that childlike faith, is a reminder of how simple it is to believe in the one who is in charge and who has all of this in His grasp.

  4. Lucy will be in my thoughts and prayers as she successfully overcomes another challenge. Your girl is brave and strong. Please let her know that she has lots of supporters around the world.

  5. Good luck Lucy (and mom) on your surgery! Everything is going to be great and you will feel so much better this summer! Praying for you from Michigan ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Lucy sounds very brave and going into her surgery with trust and confidence will help her in her recovery… which I am sure will be challenging. Good luck and positive thoughts to all of you.

  7. Lucy, you are in my thoughts & prayers. Heavenly Father is with you today & will be with you during surgery. You are amazing! I get such strength from the youth of the world. Thanks for being so awesome! You have many great things to come in your life ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. All my prayers to Lucy and you and your family and her surgeon! Unbelievably hard thing to have to go through with your child, sending all my love.

  9. Coming up on 10 years since my scoliosis surgery! Wishing Lucy an uneventful surgery and a smooth recovery! Sheโ€™s got this!!!! Hang in there Shawni & Dave, I think it was harder for my parents than it was for me!

  10. I am continually in awe of how brave your daughter is! Sending lots of prayers of your way for your whole family. It’s an extraordinary time.

  11. We too will be praying for Lucy and for your family! Prayers for the surgeon that his hands will be guided. Prayers for physical and emotional strength. Lots of love from a longtime followers!

  12. Sending my prayers for Lucy, you and your family, and her medical team <3 I remember my friend having this surgery when I was in middle school and she seemed to think it was no big deal, but I imagine the experience was quite different for her parents!

    1. Lucy, you are the bravest of the brave! Prayers lifted up this morning on your behalf!!! And angels to surround you and your sweet family in the days and weeks to come! Hugs ๐Ÿค—

  13. I just fell down the rabbit hole of reading about spinal surgeries and I can feel a teensy edge of your anxiety and high hopes for relief for your daughter. May you be abundantly blessed with skilled and loving nurses and surgeons. May she feel comfort and little pain. May you be filled with courage and strength and arms to hold you when you need to let go and cry. Her beautiful band of siblings and their spouses will be there to support you and Dave and Lucy. I’m grateful you’ve had some happy times prior to this big event. You and Lucy might enjoy reading a rather old book called Karen (and it’s sequel called With Love from Karen). Karen was born with CP and a wonderful story of her growth and acceptance of her specialness and the major work her parents did to make CP a nationally known problem. God’s healing for all of you.

  14. Sending healing strength to Lucy and all of you.
    She seems like a strong young woman surrounded by a loving family. Iโ€™ll keep you all in my thoughts ๐Ÿ’š

  15. Will be remembering Lucy & your family in my prayers today & in the weeks ahead.

    I hope the operation goes ok & that Lucy recovers well. x

  16. Sending your child off into surgery with general anesthesia is one of the hardest things to do as a parent. We will definitely be praying for Lucy, her medical team, and for you. God bless you all.

  17. Sending prayers for you and Lucy. You are both so courageous and I admire your strength and grit especially during the hard stuff.

  18. I am praying for Lucy! For you and your family. And for everyone who will be taking care of her.

  19. We will be praying for Lucy and your whole family today and over the upcoming weeks. IT is so amazing the strength and bravery our children show us. Our son had ACL/Minscus surgery on March 20th (the last day of elective surgeries in TX) and I was terrified and he was ready to go and take the next steps. We are just passed the 6 week mark and the stay at home order was just what we needed in so many ways. Lucy is amazing and thank you for sharing. Sounds like you have a lot of people with you in spirit in the waiting room. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. May God bless her and protect her, may she heal promptly. Iโ€™m praying for her surgery to be a success and for you for strength. Sending you many hugs.

  21. Lucy, you are the bravest of the brave! Prayers lifted up this morning on your behalf!!! And angels to surround you and your sweet family in the days and weeks to come! Hugs ๐Ÿค—

  22. So many emotions felt in this post. My heart goes out to you and Lucy. What a big day it will be for her and you, and on the days to come. Sending extra care, love, and prayers to the medical team, Lucy, you, and to your family. I know youโ€™ve got this, and Lucy is in great hands!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Lucy- thinking of you, praying for you and cheering for you, from Northern Utah! You are going to do great! ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ’—

  24. I will be praying for Lucy as well as the whole family, surgeons and any one else involved with her care. So glad she is going in so optimistic and know she will do great! Lots of love!

  25. We’ve never met but I’m on team Lucy 100%. Prayers for her, her medical team and for you and Dave. What a sweet brave girl!

  26. Lucy and Shawni, You are brave and strong! I know you have your faith, your family, and your own inner grit to help get you through this challenge and to come out the other side. So grateful for the miracles of modern medicine.

    Does anyone who knows Shawni IRL wants to set up a PO box for Lucy’s many fans to send her gifts, cards, and words of encouragement? I bet she would get a ton of wonderful stuff to distract and comfort her during her recovery.

  27. Lucy, you got this!!! Wow you are strong and courageous and I wish I was as strong as you!! We will be praying for you all the way from Canada !! Xxxx

  28. Sincere prayers for Lucy. May the hand of God be upon her and angels surround her every step of the way.

  29. Been praying for you all. I keep checking back to see how you all are. Looking forward to good news when you are able to update!

  30. I’ve been re-reading “A Mother’s Book of Secrets” pulling out some nuggets to keep me from pulling out my hair during all the craziness going on right now. Ha! I’ve been following you and Lucy for many many years. You’re right, from how you’ve described her, she seems to have the fire, grit, and sweetness it’s going to take to get you all through the long journey ahead. Love and prayers to you from the bottom of my heart from Colorado.

  31. Sending you lots of love and prayers from OHIO. My daughter had the same surgery last summer (60 degree curve) It was pretty brutal but we made it through and she is doing really well. We can do hard things! ๐Ÿ™‚ the hardest part was dealing with constipation and keeping track of all of the meds. If you would like any advice, let me know. Go Lucy go!!

  32. Lucy, you are an inspiration with your great attitude. I am praying for your quick and complete healing. And Shawni, I will be lifting you and the family up in prayer in the days ahead as well. Sending hugs. God bless you all.

  33. I’m so glad you shared this with us. I remember she was worried about it a few months ago during Meant to be Me class, and she chose this as a situation to run a thought model on…it was neat to see the other girls help her find new ways to think positively about it. SO grateful she was feeling even better about it right beforehand. She really is such a strong soul. So many prayers coming your way for the continued healing! We love you Lucy!!

  34. Praying from North Carolina for Lucy, for you and your mamaโ€™s heart and for the surgical team! Praying for your family at home as they await your return!

  35. It’s interesting people here seem to be very one sided. The shared video was thoughtful. That seems like the ultimate point of it. Obviously people can bicker about literally anything, even something like this. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home, while my husband is an essential worker and leaves us for long 12 hour shifts. As terrible as it might sound for my family this timing was good. Without going into details it has given our teens opportunity to be out of school away from some terrible bullying issues that had just come to a head. Being out of school and having distance has been so good for mental health. Everyone absolutely has to look for the positives that are happening in their lives. Help where you can, do things to lighten others burdens but it is okay to also see positive things that have happened. That’s not a terrible thing.

  36. Thereโ€™s a million things she hasnโ€™t done, but just you wait! Courage, dear hearts, you got this!

  37. Happy Mother’s Day!! Is there anything more emotionally difficult than sending your child off to surgery?!? Been thinking and praying for you guys, especially Lucy. Sending you all of our love, thoughts, and prayers for a quick recovery for brave Lucy and her brave mom!

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