Monday, January 18, 2010

Part Two

My daughter fully intended to stay with me until I went into surgery, but hospital delays forced her exit to go pick up her preschooler. It was kind of weird when each person from intake to pre-op to recovery asked, “Who is with you today?” My husband was tending to another situation. I considered saying, “Just God and me. That makes four of us!” But they may have put me in a different ward! To tell you the truth, it was just God and me, and I was so aware of that. If I hadn’t been, I think I would have freaked out. I mean, they do use heavy instruments and brute force to take your knee out and put a titanium one in. Recovery is said to be more demanding than hip replacement. I could have thought of all that stuff. But instead I was thanking God for a great surgeon and the ability to complete this procedure and, hopefully, regain the normal use of my new knee soon.

I prayed for an elderly woman in the curtained off area next to me who was totally alone, hoping she was okay. I was awed by the precision and efficiency of this huge teaching hospital staff. They would come and go, politely and caringly asking patients how they were doing and answering questions they might have had. I prayed for everything to go well that day for all of them and their patients. And with complete calm, I went under with a spinal. When I came to, it was over.

Now, I can’t lie and say it was/is all a piece of cake. There were unpleasant and painful moments. Six weeks later, discomfort continues to varying degrees. My range of motion excites the physical therapists. I overdo it because I think I can and then pay for it with exhaustion! But the take-away value of this experience, in addition to securing a new knee that will enhance my quality of life whether I can rush the net again or not, is that I walked into the surgery solo. That is remarkable to me. I’m mentioning it, not because it’s newsworthy or a huge story, but because I know somebody reading this could be facing something huge or scary all alone.

If that’s you, I want you to know we’re not ever alone, ever. I know this, believe it with my whole heart, and assure people of it in view of a diagnosis, relationship crash, or job loss. But when push comes to shove and I stand before my firing squad, as it were, by myself, what comfort and blessed assurance it is to know for sure that God is with me. It’s just one more way He proves Himself powerful on our behalf, showing up like that, being with us always to the end of the world, just as He promises. Whatever comes your way this next year, whether you stand up to it alone or with the support of others, you will make it. God is with you, looking out for your best interest, guiding you with His loving provision -- seen or unseen. We sang “O Come O Come Immanuel” at Christmas. Immanuel means “God with us!” How sweet the sound! How sure the promise! Happy New Year!

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