Sometimes we think we are near the end of a thing and we get there and God says not yet. That’s where I find myself today. More waiting, which is not what I wanted. At all. I’ve been pouting over it all week, because honestly? In my mind I’ve waited enough. I’m reminding myself again and again today that He always knows better. Jehovah-Shammah goes before me and He has this time of waiting in His hands for His glory and my good. —(me on instagram back in September 2015)
The outpatient procedure I had done back in September didn’t go as planned. After waiting and praying and two more visits to my doctor and praying some more, I decided to go with a more invasive surgery. One that had me bid adieu to parts of my womanhood, but one that would be a sure fix to some painful and frustrating issues.
And so I had that surgery not quite four weeks ago.
That first week I laid low and rested lots and by the next week I was feeling a bit of cabin fever. What first got me out of the house was a certain birthday girl begging me to bring cupcakes to school. I’m her mama. It’s what I do…
As the second week progressed, my pain was easing up and mom and I started to get out of the house a little more. I thought I was doing well, being strong, moving on.
Then Monday came.
On Monday of the third week, I had my first pre-op appointment with my doctor, and without going into details, she pretty much gave me a serious talking to. She could see that I had overdone it a bit (though I didn’t think I was!) and told me in no uncertain terms that no! I could not resume driving yet and also to get home and rest with my feet up. For another week. And she limited my lifting and housework abilities to nothing at all for another six weeks.
And y’all know I’ve got a husband and four kids, right?
So, through tears and being greatly discouraged, I went home to put my feet up. My mom was still here through that third week, and she and Jonathan kept everything going while I kept resting. Now, mom has gone home and so it’s a one man show around here – I am back to driving carpool, but I’m not much help around the house. It would be wrong if I didn’t take the opportunity to thank my mom for spending three weeks here, doing the housework, driving my carpool route, handling four children and and a slow to heal daughter.
And now, a shout out to my husband. You are a gift to me. You always work so hard for us, but this? This is you doing everything. This is you loving me in sickness like you do in health. And this? This is beautiful and it means more to me than I can find words for just now. Thank you.
And now it is Jehovah-Rapha that I’m after. The Lord who heals you. I am a slow healer – with each pregnancy and procedure it’s taken me longer to heal than the usual woman. What can I say? I’m special. But I had hoped this time would be different. Oh, my doctor told me the whole list of terrible things that can go wrong – bladder tears, bowel loops, ureter snips. I was full of fear at times leading up to the procedure. But the day of? I set my heart on this verse:
Your strength will come from settling down
in complete dependence on me— Isaiah 30:15 MSG
And as I waited in pre-op I kept telling God that I was settling down in Him. But how naive I was to think I’d only need to settle down on that particular day.
I’ve been considering His purpose(s) for my slow healing. He knows full well I have this family to take care of. He knows how stubborn I am. He knows the needs of this home. And yet, He is forcing me to slow down, to rest often, to put my feet up. He is forcing me to keep settling down in complete dependence on Himself. He’s humbling me and reminding me that this is not all in my hands. In fact, none of it is in my hands.
How little they know that the abiding in Christ is just meant for the weak, and so beautifully fitted to their feebleness. It is not the doing of some great thing, and does not demand that we first lead a very holy and devoted life. No, it is simply weakness entrusting itself to a Mighty One to be kept — the unfaithful one casting self on One who is altogether trustworthy and true. —Andrew Murray in Abide in Christ
It is no coincidence that my word for this year is abide. This season of recovery and rest and waiting and frustration and longing is the perfect time for the Lord to call me into His keeping. Last week I was just sort of discouraged and a little angry about the whole mess, but this week? I find myself learning more of His love for me in this place of weakness. Not only does He call us, He wants to keep us and to be kept is to be in a posture of constant need. My neediness is starting to become quite a special thing to me, because He’s reminding me that even in my healthiest state, I am in desperate need of my Father.
And here’s something else that hit me as I read it recently. He’s teaching me this too:
I do not believe in the words, “I have to,” as in, “I have to go to work or I have to raise my children.”
It is only, “I get to.”
We get to go to work.We get to raise our children. We get to take out the trash, evidence of abundance. We get to chop these vegetables, evidence of nourishment. We get to rush out the door, late and frenzied, with the diaper bag spilling and phone ringing, evidence of life abuzz all around us. —Erin Loechner
This is the heart I desire to have, and this time of not getting to might just help me get closer. So as of this week? I get to drive Milla and Elijah to and from school. And I hope that as I’m able to return to keeping the house and cooking the meals and doing the laundry in the weeks to come, that I will feel like I get to, evidence of the abundant grace He has given to me.
So here I am. The end of the one thing that became the beginning of another thing. It’s never truly the end, is it? It’s always a new beginning.
As ready as I am “to get to” do all my normal mama and wife stuff, I’m settling down in Him in this season of waiting for His healing. He is keeping me, and I am held.