Mother’s Day celebrations may be tricky amid COVID-19 quarantines. It may be the year of homemade cards, small celebrations and gifts ordered online.
That day, Dr. Christy Lane thinks about those who may be depressed, who have lost their mothers, for women dealing with infertility, for moms who are overwhelmed and discouraged.
Being a mom was always part of Lane’s plan, along with wife and pediatric surgeon. Of course, she could juggle all three with the help of a nanny to care for her children through long work weeks and high-stress days.
Lane’s dream was within reach when she was chosen for a prestigious fellowship at Columbus Children’s Hospital in Ohio, invited to scrub in on complex cases, on a fast-track to success.
Then her mom died far too young, far too fast from stomach cancer.
Suddenly life looked different.
“God used something so painful to redirect me,” Lane said. “I feel that God protected me from what I wanted in life.”
Sixteen years later, Lane isn’t a surgeon on a world stage, but she enjoys life as a pediatrician with a practice in New Albany, Indiana.
Lane will celebrate Mother’s Day with her three sons and daughter with special needs who was adopted from China. Everyday life includes loving her patients and their families, her children and husband, Chris, who is an attorney, and running marathons dressed in all kinds of crazy costumes in honor of her sickest patients.
Throughout COVID-19, Lane has posted daily videos about staying healthy through the pandemic. All are laced with humor—sometimes even including raps packed with good information for adults as well as kids. Her video about wearing a mask talks about “neck wearers,” “head wearers,” those who pull wrinkled masks out of purses or pockets. She talks about wearing gloves in public, handwashing, anxiety, risk.
She gives food boxes to those who are hungry and mobilized those who can sew to make masks for other healthcare workers.
While Lane likes to have fun, she is serious about faith. Bible verses decorate walls in her office. She prays for and with patients who come from every walk of life.
It’s just the way Lane wants it.
“I wanted God to be glorified through this,” Lane said. “Our goal is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. People know they’re loved. The biggest thing is to have a relationship with these people. They know I’m a Christian because I love them.”
The Lanes are active members at Southeast’s Indiana Campus. Lane is not hard to spot in a service as she worships with abandon.
“Worship is such an intimate thing,” she said. “It’s a way to pour out everything to God and leave nothing left. I don’t hold back because God didn’t hold back. I’ve always been loud and boisterous for sports teams. Why not for Him?”
Though both Chris and Christy Lane are on call in the evenings, they eat dinner together most every night. Ping-pong tournaments often follow dinner.
Lane spends one-on-one time with Lily, who has come a long way since she was adopted from China. She was 16 months old when the Lanes first saw her in the hospital four months after heart surgery, her tiny arms scarred from IVs. She weighed just 14 pounds, but from the beginning, Lily understood family.
“Lily is teaching us how to love more,” Lane said.
Throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, patients have dropped off meals at Lane’s home, put thank-you signs in her yard, checked in on her family. She is their doctor, their friend.
“When our daughter Kinsley was born with multiple disabilities, Dr. Lane was a lifeline,” Tina Burkhead said. “She loved Kinsley like her own. When we would visit her office, she would pray for us and check in how we were doing. When Kinsley went to her heavenly home, Dr. Lane was crushed right along with us. She left a special pair of Mickey Mouse ears in her casket. We love her and are so thankful for how she has cared for all five of our children over the years.”
And Lane is grateful for a life she loves.
“My biggest accomplishment is all three of my boys baptized. They love Jesus, and they love to go to church,” she said.
Chris Lane watches his wife through good and hard days.
“Christy is my hero,” he said. “Her faithfulness to Christ is amazing. There’s no way to say it. She sacrificed what she wanted to do to be passionate about what she believed.”
Dr. Christy’s tips for moms
>Give kids freedom to fail. It’s OK if they don’t get the highest grade. I care more about how they love other people and overcome failure.
>Be transparent about your own struggles. We can use parts of our lives that aren’t glamorous or easy to better ourselves to become Kingdom workers.
>Teach kids that God is big, and He will take care of them.
>Life will never be perfect. Get over it.
>Love deep and well. That includes people not like us—especially people who don’t know Jesus.
>Your life may look different than you planned. Trust God it is good.
>Pour out everything to God until there’s nothing left. Never hold back. He didn’t.
>Make home a haven—low stress, high love. Make it a fun place.
>Don’t aim for perfection. It’s OK to feel like a complete failure. God will use that.
>Don’t focus on the things that don’t matter—especially in parenting. The main thing is to raise kids who are submissive to God’s calling and the Holy Spirit.