I admit it… I am afraid. Next week I will submit my body to the skills of a surgeon I met one time. I will enter into several hours of deep sedation under the care of an operating room staff of masked strangers. They will operate from above and below. While removing the final segment of my colon that has become irreparably diseased due to diversion colitis, they will create two large wounds to heal when the operation is complete. It is an extensive and delicate surgery.
If experience is our best teacher, than I have learned in the last nine months that my body will puzzle the experts with its process and condition, and I have learned that the “rare complication” is not so unique when you become part of its statistic. The portal vein blood clot, the liver infarction, the C-Diff infection, and even the diversion colitis were not the normal course for recovery from my March illness and surgeries… but they were my course.
Now my path has brought me to another unwanted surgery, a surgery that will make my ostomy permanent. There’s no turning back now. There is no possibility of reversing the ostomy. The diversion colitis has determined this path.
I am reminded again of the truth that I clung to as a life-line through the early days of my recovery as each day brought waves of uncertainty and complexity: None of this takes God by surprise.
King David wrote many Psalms that expressed fears he battled; David clearly describes how faith in our all powerful God conquers those fears. David wrote of his enemies, of the nay-sayers who slandered him and tried to pull his focus away from the Source of his strength. Yet David knew the faithfulness of the Lord, his God, because experience had been his best teacher.
Psalm 3:1-5 Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
Next week, as I face another major surgery with significant risks, I would not be honest if I said I wasn’t afraid. Fear is overcome by faith. My experiences of these last nine months have been a remarkable teacher. I know that I am deeply loved by God, and He gives me strength. I deeply love the Lord, and in Him I find courage.
Next week, when I lie down to sleep, I know that I will wake again, because the Lord sustains me!