SURGERY!! “Worry, Part 1”

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August 17, 2013 by greenhouse04

I never thought of myself as a worrier by nature. However, with a big change coming up in my life (see previous post), I’ve suddenly become one!

With my first major surgery (after which my family was told I could have easily died!) I didn’t worry. And I’ve never worried about possible health problems that could come of all the scar tissue that resulted.

But that surgery was sudden – an emergency. This one I’ve seen coming for the past 2 months! It’s like slowly watching the approaching date of a terrible car crash, knowing it will happen and land you in the hospital for a while. Plus, I had no children at the time of the first surgery… I’m learning that with children comes the tendency to worry a whole lot more!

As the date has approached my body has given me signs of the buildup of tension. I’ve visited the chiropractor a bunch, but my neck is still stiff and my fingers still tingly. I dreamed I was dying of terminal cancer. And I had to see the dentist for what I thought might be a cavity, but is in fact bruised teeth from clenching and grinding (while I sleep).

But God has impressed on me some very comforting truths during this time of worry.

The first is that, as he is eternal, he has already been to all of my tomorrows. In fact, he’s there right now. And none of my tomorrows will come to me without him first filtering them through his loving and wise will for my life.

The second is, the worst that could happen to me is not the worst. My worst has been taken care of through my Savior. My death only means being with him; other trials that may come are to refine me and those around me; and eventually, everything – including my body – will be made new.

The third is that my husband and children are in God’s hands, not my own. That is comforting, but hard to remember and actively believe. But I’ve already had to give all three of them up in the past, re-placing them in God’s hands where they belong, and now I get to do it again. They are there anyway – my “placing” them there is simply conforming my attitude to reality.

Finally, God is showing me (again) that my body and it’s wholeness – or lack thereof – is not what defines me as a person. As the blind and deaf Helen Keller said, “He would not let them take away my soul, Possessing that, I still possess the whole.”

So I can trust in God. “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand.” (Psalm 31:14-15)

I can also actively try to stop worrying. Easier said than done, I know! But part of it is simply “taking every thought captive.”

When I’m tempted to let vague fears swirl around in my brain, I can chose to quote a verse or say a prayer, focusing my thoughts on my real God.

When I look to the future and see days in the hospital with IV’s and blood work, painful forced walks (those of you who’ve had surgery know what I’m talking about!), loneliness and boredom, then weeks at home waiting to recover enough to pick up Emma or do housework, I can instead look beyond that time to when I’m recovered enough to start kindergarten with Eddie and foster a new baby.

I can refuse to entertain the “what-if’s” and “if-only’s” that like to dance into my thoughts. Instead, I can dwell on what truly was, is, and will be.

What Was: God’s miraculous and gracious moving to bring Mr. and I together, to send us to China, to keep me alive after a burst appendix, to unite us with our church, and to bring us two precious children. (Yes, all of these stories have the workings of God evident in them. Maybe I’ll tell them some day.)

What Is: I have a loving, thoughtful, faithful husband, two fun, well-adjusted, adorable children, close family, and generous, helpful friends in our church and beyond. I am so blessed!

What Will Be: someday, I will be with Jesus.

If I can keep my eyes on that last one, somehow the worry just fades away.

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