Here I go again. I cannot believe I am tumbling down this dark abyss one more time. I thought I was stronger. I thought I had this conquered. I thought I had it all together. When will I ever learn that faith and fear cannot co-exist? When will I ever learn not to focus on how big my problems are, but how big my God is?
It is funny how all of these words consume my innermost thoughts now, but at the time, these thoughts were no where to be found. I was facing one of the most biggest obstacles of my life. I knew God was there, yet, so distant. I wanted to hear His voice. I wanted Him to put His arms around me and whisper in my ear that everything was going to be OK. But the only words I heard were Open. Heart. Surgery. I was shocked. I was devastated. I was scared. Never in a million years did I think I would have this facing me.
I have always struggled with my weight, but the interesting thing is that when I was told I had to have this surgery, I was down 32 pounds! This was the smallest I had ever been in a long time. I thought losing weight was supposed to be better for you. I was feeling better, eating better, looking better, determined to live my best life. Did I wait too late to start living healthy? Is this the beginning of the end for me? This was truly a battlefield of the mind!
As it turns out, my surgery was not a result of clogged arteries or years of unhealthy eating. It was not a result of being overweight or losing weight. I had an abnormality that I apparently had from birth, that just decided to rear its ugly head in my 40s! A stent would not work. A pacemaker would not work. My heart has to be opened and stopped to fix the problem. How in the world am I supposed to see God in the middle of all of this?
I must admit that during this time of my life is when I thought about death the most. I thought about things that I was proud to have accomplished, things I was still working on, and those things I never got to do. Things I should have said, and things I wish I had not said. Most importantly - how much precious time I wasted with people who cared nothing about me. I wasted too much time taking on other people's problems. I was longing for a do over. Have you ever wished you could do life over again? All these things were running through my mind. I had already given myself a death sentence. So much for trusting God!
I remember on the day of the surgery how petrified I was. I was surrounded by my family and I really thought this would be the last time I would see them. I could not stop the tears from flowing. I could not stop my mind from wishing I could have done things differently. I wish I could have said I'm sorry. I wish that I had not gone there. I wish I had not done this. I wish I had more time to do that. I wish.... I wish.... I wish.... I could not stop the fear or sadness from polluting my mind. At this point, it was nothing that I could do but put it in God’s Hands.
Needless to say, I made it through the surgery but the toughest part was yet to come. The recovery was worse than the surgery! Since the heart is the center of everything, it affects everything and I pretty much had to learn to be human again. Sleep was non-existent. I was uncomfortable most of the time and Morphine was my BFF! The real work was not so much the physical recovery that I had to work on, but the mental and emotional recovery was damaged as well. I completely shut down. I shut down from myself, my family, my church, and even God. I had no desire to go anywhere or do anything. Everyone kept telling me that I had major surgery and these are the after effects from it, but when I tell you I stopped, I mean I stopped. I stopped everything. Even my blog. Even the calling God has put on my life. Even the book I am supposed to be writing. I walked away from it. I don’t know if it was the medication I was on, the menopause I was going through or just simply the aging process itself, but none of this mixed well. I did not like who I was becoming or who I was trying to become.
But….let me tell you about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! When I thought I was at my lowest, He was right there! When I saw how satan was trying to run rampant through my home, my marriage, my finances, my health, my family and my children, God showed me that He equipped me for such a time as this and I will be an overcomer! The devil tried to get me and everything that was connected to me while I was down, but I had to learn to push through this season in my life and take back everything the devil was trying to take from me. I had to learn to get back up again. I had to keep reminding myself that the Blood still works!
I have learned that if you are truly saved, I believe that God will only let you stray away from Him so far because you will begin to feel uncomfortable. You cannot be like everyone else when God is truly down on the inside of you. You have to be the exception and not the rule.
I wanted to share this experience with you because I feel like God has given me a new lease on life and I do not want to waste anymore of His precious time. I want to devote my life to sharing His love with so many people. I no longer think the same, my tolerance level has changed and I have learned and am still learning to pick and choose my battles. God has been speaking to me for a long time, but I chose not to embrace what He was trying to tell me. I could not understand why He was isolating me from family and friends. Now I understand why. I had to go through that to get to this. I had to learn to appreciate the process!
Some of you want to get to the outcome or the end without focusing on what you have go through to get there. Sometimes, your blessing is in the middle of your storm! Sometimes you may have to go left and not right. Sometimes, you may have to let go of your plans and embrace God's plan. Some doors may have to be shut so others can open. Surrender everything to God and let all of that other stuff go. Trust Him completely and appreciate the process!
1 Peter 5:10: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
Forever Hoping for You,