“…when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds.
Come on. Admit it: When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like Morton’s salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies.
You want a warrior Jesus.
You want a battlefield Jesus. You want His rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention.”– Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing
I’ve started a new book this evening, one that was given to me by a friend. To be honest, I’m nervous to read it. It sat in my purse all day, and I felt its weight as I went about my daily activities. This evening, with Tim putting the kids to bed, I sat down in the recliner in our bedroom and I began to read.
I never wanted to be here. Not again. Not on this journey. It feels raw, like a wound that had healed, only to be ripped open again when I least expected it. The positive pregnancy test is still sitting it its box in the bag I take to and from the shop. The line is still there. But I’m not pregnant. I have the scars on my stomach to prove it. I have the ache in my heart to remind me.
I stretched too far to reach something today, and one of my incisions started to bleed. Not much. Just a little. Enough to remind me my body is still healing, that precious little time has passed.
I have no urge to shake my fist at the heavens, to accuse God of carelessness or neglect. There is no comfort in asking why. I daily fight the urge to go numb… as if that were somehow the answer. But it’s not. I have to feel it. Every last drop of it if I am to heal properly. The secret isn’t in ignoring it, but processing it though what I know to be true…
My circumstances to not dictate God’s character.
He is still good.
He is still just.
He is still loving.
He is still forgiving.
He is still faithful.
He is still strong.
He is still in control.
In my grief, those are the things I remember.
God became man in the person of Jesus. He wore our flesh. He breathed our air. He felt our pain. He lived a sinless life, died a horrific sinner’s death, and conquered the grave to redeem our sinful nature. There’s a bigger picture- one we only catch mere glimpses of this side of heaven. In our mortal flesh, we won’t get all the answers and that’s okay, we don’t actually need them. It’s enough to know that God is there, working things out for our good and for our sanctification.
As Christians, we never walk the path of suffering alone. In fact, we don’t walk it at all- we meet it in battle with Jesus by our side.
I’ve mentioned here before that I don’t drink much alcohol. I can’t stand the flavor, and it pretty much puts me to sleep within minutes. So I really don’t see the point.
Except when I’m sick. An annoying thing happens when I come down with a cold and I have a sore throat. I cannot sleep with a sore throat, even if it is mild. It will keep me up all night. Years ago I got the idea to drink a glass of wine when I had a sore throat just so I could sleep. It worked. The wine knocked me out and I woke up in the morning without the sore throat. It was amazing.
The other night I laid down with a sore throat. I haven’t been sleeping well at night anyway since the surgery, but the sore throat made it impossible. I was up nearly all night and I was worthless the next day. So the next evening I had a glass of wine and got the best sleep I have had in ages. The next day I was discussing this with my sister while Baby E was in the room.
Fast forward to this evening when my sister and I were discussing how sore we are when we wake up from sleeping in odd positions. Baby E pipes up with excitement, “Do you know what would help with that?!?! ALCOHOL!!”
Apparently he now believes that alcohol is the solution for all that ails mortal man. Stubbed toe? Alcohol. Sore muscles? Alcohol. An annoying cough? Alcohol.
Lest we should sound like a family of alcoholics, please ignore any medical advice that Baby E feels necessary to give, rest assured it was not sanctioned by either Tim or myself!
“My swallowing hole tickles!” Baby E informed us the other day.
“Do you mean your throat?” I asked as I pointed to his throat.
“No. Inside.” Baby E pointed inside his mouth. “My swallowing hole!!”
FYI… We are officially renaming ‘throats’ as ‘swallowing holes.’
That is all.
“Anything you do is going to hurt, but you won’t hurt anything by doing it,” the doctor informed me at my appointment yesterday. “If you wanted to run the Boston Marathon tomorrow, I would be ok with that. It would hurt, but you could do it.”
In other words, I’m cleared for just about everything, save bench pressing 200 lbs.
I went over a lot of things with the doctor yesterday and I’m still processing much of it. They have to monitor my blood for a couple of weeks to make sure everything goes back to normal, but so far so good.
I am so incredibly thankful that this has been a relatively smooth recovery!
It’s starting to look magical around here!
Tomorrow morning is my follow up appointment with the surgeon. I don’t think I am going to learn anything I don’t already know, but I am a little nervous to hear it from his lips.
I can’t believe it has been two weeks. I’m still dealing with a lot of fatigue. It doesn’t take much to wear me out. I’m sore, especially if I move too quickly. Surprisingly they decided not to make an incision on the side of my abdomen where the rupture happened, instead opting to enter from the other side. So ironically the area where the rupture actually occurred doesn’t hurt at all. The opposite side however is still rather sore, not the incision, but everything inside. The scars aren’t looking too bad, and the bruising is starting to fade.
I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how quickly this all happened, how fast my day to day life got derailed and put on hold. I really feel blindsided. But I’m thankful it wasn’t worse and I’m grateful for the continued love and support of the people around me.