Just when I thought I’d survived my birthday and was getting back to a more normal routine, a medical emergency again intervened. I woke up on March 22 in the middle of the night with severe abdominal pain. Thinking it was food poisoning from the night before I tried to ride it out. By 5:30 am, I knew that wasn’t possible and woke up Sara to head for the Emergency Room. Being so close to my heart surgery, the doctors’ first concern was that summon the sac around my heart had either ruptured or become infected. Early tests indicated otherwise, which sent them down another track. After two days of testing the discovered that I needed my gall bladder removed, which was done on Friday morning by laparoscopic surgery that took four different small incisions to do the deed. I returned home later that afternoon to begin recovery.
Welcome to my life! What a crazy four months it has been since my last surgery, recovery, two-week trip to Jordan and Israel, back for THE SHACK opening and then quick trips to Wyoming and Montana. I thought I was getting my groove back. In fact, I had finally scheduled the make-up trip that my heart surgery cancelled, to Michigan and Wisconsin at the end of April and early May.
I just got a call from the hospital doctor that the biopsy showed no bacteria and no malignancies, so I’m grateful for that. But honestly, I’d rather be in Vermont tonight, which was my original plan than sitting home nursing a very sore abdomen. I was supposed to be on the east coast between Boston and Baltimore with lots of people I was looking forward to seeing. It’s hard to be on the bench again, or should I say couch and I am feeling a bit too badly at the moment to even make use of the time to write. Hopefully that will change by the end of the week. And guess what, I’ve got to start walking again for a couple of weeks until more strenuous activity is allowed.
There are times when things like this come up and I can see how God wonderfully spins these things together. Even my heart surgery with its cancellations seemed important to take care of a congenital need I had and the fact that it didn’t keep me from the Israel trip was a bonus. This last week, however, has seemed more like an attack of some kind, as if the enemy thwarted something God was about. That happens too. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about his attempt to visit them again, “For we wanted to come to you — I, Paul, more than once — and yet Satan thwarted us.” I don’t know that it was Satan in my case. I’m sure a lessor demon would have done, but I’ve been feeling a bit robbed this week.
Oh, we’ll reschedule the time back east, already looking to nail down early June, but it’s more than that. And will God make better use of Plan B? Of course he will. He’s just like that. But that doesn’t mean that his way always unfolds without conflict. That’s why he calls us to be faithful stewards, praying and responding as we are able.
and praying for others too. One of the hardest things to do with growing trust in Father’s affection is not to become fatalistic, and assume that whatever happens is what God wants. There are two kingdoms at war around us. Sometimes because of the obedience and prayers of the saints Father’s will happens, and sometimes the enemy has his way. I have greatly appreciated all those who have written my through this second surgery with prayers for my recovery. Also pray for God’s will to unfold in the places he wants to send me these days. I don’t claim to know for sure, but there seems to be some resistance.
And I know that while we may not win every battle, we do win the war. Victory is guaranteed, I only want to ensure that my heart is yielding every day his lead and that I am brimming full of his life and power.
And I pray that for you, too!