It occurs to me that everytime I write about something difficult or painful, I want to title it “Change”. Hmmm, what does this tell you about me?
I used to like change. Not so much anymore. Ugh, what a stubborn, inflexible person I can be.
As you know, I had back surgery in January. I had an almost entirely degenerated disc, and the little bit that was left was herniated, so I had that all fixed up. My surgeon, who is one of the best spine surgeons in the country, told me that 90% of his patients feel tremendous relief after the surgery, and the other 10% remain the same. There was no number given, but I had read that only a very small percentage have negative results.
Well, as time has gone on, the pain has not decreased. As my 12 week appointment drew closer, the pain actually increased. I felt bad telling my doctor. But I did, and he sent me back to another doctor for an injection in my SI (sacro-illiac) joint. Apparently, it is not uncommon for secondary issues to pop up after spine surgery like mine. I had the injection seven days ago. (and boy howdy, did that sucker hurt!) I was told by my spine surgeon that if it was my SI joint, we would know right away because I would have immediate relief. The doctor who did the injection said it might take a couple of days. I have also heard from friends who said it took a month for them to experience any relief.
Days go by, and I wake up, hoping to find that I can move a little easier. But every morning, I wake up and the pain is a bit worse. I am finding it hard to do the things which I was even doing two weeks ago.
Which makes me wonder if life is changing for me. I mean, what if I am becoming very limited in the activities that I will actually be able to do? What if I can’t do any of the things which I love to do, and used to do all the time? What if I can never stand more than a 1/2 hour at a time? What if I can’t bend over any more? What if I can never pick up a baby again? Or go on a hike? Or help somebody move? or wash dishes or scrub my kitchen floor?
I realize that this might sound ridiculous to some. There might be a day when I look back and it sounds ridiculous to me, but right now, this is where I am.
Honestly and sincerely, I have questioned what my purpose and life and ministry is supposed to look like if my back doesn’t heal. I have cried. I have doubted. I have been angry. I have been hopeless.
and I have been humbled.
I haven’t sung in choir since November, and two weeks ago, I thought I was ready to go back. But then I had that injection, and as things got worse, I began to question whether or not I should even try it. But Thursday evening came around, and I felt like I was being prompted by the Holy Spirit to go. It was wonderful getting to see everyone, but the most precious moment came at the end of the evening, when we were going over the very last song.
The song is called “Healer”, and as we began practicing it, I was thinking about my physical healing. I don’t even remember if we went through it a second time, or if it was still the first time, but (you can ask anyone in that room) the Spirit of God filled that room and I don’t know about anyone else, but He pricked my heart. I began to think, not of the healing of my back, but of healing from the fear, the anger, the doubt and hopelessness in God and His perfect plan for me.
I still don’t know what that plan is, but I know that whatever He has in store, it is good. Maybe the way I serve my family won’t look exactly like it used to. Maybe I won’t be able to serve my church family the way I would like to. But He has begun to give me ideas of things I am able to do, if I am willing to change. Let me rephrase, He is giving me ideas of things that He is able to through me, if I am willing to change. And since I am willing, and nothing is impossible with Him, I believe that there are good things in the future! As you listen to this song, I pray it will bless your heart, as it did mine. He is trustworthy…He is all we need!