I am having minor shoulder surgery tomorrow. Not really a big deal… but I’m still feeling anxious about it. Not so much the procedure itself (although I may be saying something different tomorrow morning just before the procedure)… but the recovery is what’s got me uneasy. I’m afraid I’ll be in a lot of pain. Enough pain that physical therapy will be too hard, that I won’t be able to start running again right away, that the procedure won’t work and I’ll still have pain and limited motion. But at the root my anxiety is a lack of trust. Does God even care about something so small? Of course He does – I know that. But do I believe it? Can I trust that even if my “worse case scenario” plays out that God is still good, that He can still work in me and through me, that He still wants to give me the desires of my heart, and that He knows better than I do what is best for me? That’s a tall order. I often find myself asking God, evening begging Him, to help me in my unbelief.
The feeling of anxiety also triggers me. I associate feeling this way with my son’s death. Not that the anxiety I’m feeling today is anywhere near as intense. But it’s an association thing I guess. Even feeling just a smidge like I did on that day – that horrible awful day – is enough to have me shaking, uneasy, and sick to my stomach. Then I hear the voice… “Man up, Denise. You survived your son’s suicide. One of the worst things ever. How can you be such a wimp heading into a simple little surgery?” That argument sounds logical to me. It makes a ton of sense. And it’s completely unhelpful. Our enemy is like that… he wants us to focus on fixing ourselves under our own power rather than acknowledging our weakness and crawling up into our perfect Father’s lap.
So here I am. Facing a minor but unpleasant situation that is viewed through my new life lens. Sometimes I don’t like my new lens. And what I really don’t like is that every single decision – from watching a TV show to choosing what to wear to the bigger stuff like attending a memorial service or a minor surgery has to be filtered through this damn lens. It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this. Why me? I just want my normal life back!
God help me to not feel sorry for myself. Teach me gratefulness. Teach me to live life with eternity in mind more consistently.
Lord thank You for the ability to have surgery – for the financial means, for the access to skilled surgeons. Thank You for the family and friends You’ve blessed me with. Thank You for my eyesight as I look forward to extra reading while I’m recovering on the couch. Thank You for chicken and rice soup. Thank You for anesthesia and pain killers. Thank You for the women I’ve already met during physical therapy. Thank You for laughter with them as I drop F-bombs in my pain… they’ve been such good sports in spite of my mouth! Thank You for the reminder of when Drey broke his arm and how speedy his recovery was.