God is Good…All the Time

I first want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. The well wishes, phone conversations, visits, and cheery cards in the mail are all very much appreciated.

The day of surgery was somewhat nerve-wracking: we got stuck in traffic and got to the hospital at least an hour later than I was supposed to be there. I was really worried that they would say, “Sorry, no time for you now. You’ll have to come back another day.” Thankfully, they did not and everything got moving less than an hour after I got there. God is good.

It’s funny the things you remember before and after a surgery, especially when anesthesia is involved. I had an epidural (though it didn’t really work as it was supposed to), and while I remember sitting up and getting ready for them to do it, that’s the last thing I remember – not that I’m complaining. The next thing I remember was darkness and someone asking about my pain. I remember saying it was an 8, but thankfully, again, I don’t remember the actual pain. God is good.

I don’t remember a whole bunch from the days in the hospital either. I remember one of the sweetest, most gentle women I have ever met – a nurse – coming early in the morning, while it was still dark, to wash me. Her words were soothing and soon they were all about a God who could get me through this pain and trial. “Oh yes, I know Him.” I wanted to say. “He’s the one I’m leaning on.” But the words just weren’t there. When she was finished, though, she asked to pray and I agreed. I don’t remember the prayer, but I do remember the comfort and peace given in that moment. God is good.

There were countless requests for ice and water that my mama was quick to fulfill (because the surgery was later in the day she spent the first night with me). There was a visit from friends during which I’m sure I made little sense (I suppose drugs do that to a person 🙂 ). There was a phone call from a friend just to let me know that she had been praying and was wondering how I was doing. There was the news that the tumor, though 8 pounds (yes, you read that correctly), was benign, just like they thought, and little else was taken with it. God is so good.

I have been home now for 2 weeks and recovery is going well. I drove for the first time today and there was no problem there. I still walk pretty slow and felt a little in the way when I entered into the crazy bustle of Walmart today. Bending over is tricky and I can’t lift heavy things, but as I sit here typing, I’m in no pain. And the worst it comes to is this soreness like I just did 100 too many crunches. God is good.

There’s not much more I can say. I knew before this all happened that God is good, all the time. This, perhaps, is my first time of being aware of the complete truthfulness of that. I wouldn’t change this experience or wish it never happened because of that;

2Count it all joy, my brothers,b when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Remember the last time I posted that? It might have been one of those times when you say something because you know there’s truth in it and you very much want to believe it. Not this time. I had no doubt in it’s truth before, but now I know I have experienced its truth for myself.

Are you struggling to see God’s goodness in your life? I pray He will make it evident to you. For He is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.

Love & Blessings,

KJ

Let it Begin

It seems when a new year comes along I always make goals that never become reality. They can be crazy big (I’m going to lose 70lbs) or basically simple (I will wash my dishes every night); but sill, the next year comes around and sees them unfulfilled.

This year goals will be met.

What makes this year so different, you ask? I know I cannot do it by myself, and I know I’m going to have to rely on God, as well as the family and friends He has put in my life, to get through it. This really isn’t a new thought for me. I have known this for a while, but it’s the putting-it-into-practice part that trips me up. Every time.

Choices I have made and the road God put me on has taught me to be a fairly independent person. The only time I’ve lived close to family in the last 15 years was when I moved back in with my folks after I finished grad school and was job hunting. I’ve always made friends fairly easily, and do have those I confide in and rely on. But when it really comes down to it, more often than not, I don’t ask for help when I need it.

The same can be said when I approach my Lord. Yes, I have grown and matured, and I thank Him for that, but I still find myself not asking for His help first. I’m guilty of trying to work things out on my own and then (usually after failing) sheepishly turn to Him. I cannot help but picture Him looking down on me, shaking His head with a sigh, and saying, “My dear child, I might not have saved you that hurt, but I could have carried you through it, if only you had given it to Me.”

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

Oh, I know I’m not the only one. Maybe in reading this, you come to realize that you do it, too. I have no real explanation for why I do this other than a simple issue of pride. I can do this on my ownI don’t need anyone’s help. Or, what gets me the most; I don’t want to bother anyone with my problems because they have their own to deal with. These, especially the last, are such blatant lies. We are to share our burdens. It was not intended for us to do this alone.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I’ve touched on this before, which just goes to show how much I need to be reminded of it. And now comes the test. When I have to put it into practice. Relying on God to see me through & others to do that which I cannot do myself.

A few weeks ago I had a routine doctor’s visit. Which led to the scheduling of an ultrasound. Not two hours after which came a phone call and the words “large cystic mass” followed by “GYN oncologist.” My breath caught for a couple seconds. Did I just hear what I thought I did? Yes, I had.

The following week I had the appointment with the oncologist. I asked a friend to come with me, a dear Sister who had also been a nurse and just a great support to me all around – a mom when mine lives over 600 miles away. Surgery was scheduled and then came the news I was not fully expecting. The cyst is so large they cannot operate laparoscopically. The incision made will be about as big as the cyst to insure they can get it out without difficulty. Depending on where it is in relation to other things, I could most likely lose an ovary as well. If it is cancerous (which, from what they can tell of it short of a biopsy, they think not) I could be losing more than one ovary.

I don’t really think I need to tell anyone who knows me that it was at this point that I lost it. One of my greatest desires is to, one day, get married and have a family of my own. I know that adoption is a viable option, but still. The possibility of losing that ability myself scares me. And there it is again, my ability.

I do not doubt God has a great plan. I do not doubt that He is sovereign over all. Do I wonder about His methods? …….yes. Do I love HIm less or blame Him? Absolutely not. Am I leaning on Him to see me through? There’s no other way i could make it.

As for relying on others. There’s the fact that I’m going to be out of work for 4 weeks or so and my awesome coworkers stepped up to take care of my weekly programs so they wouldn’t have to be cancelled. My mom is coming out and staying with me for a couple weeks. Friends are going to be driving her and I to and from the hospital (which is not local). Many have offered help with the only condition that I ask, including one threatening a smack upside the head if I don’t ask when I need it – how well he knows me 🙂

So, after all that, you may think me crazy for this: with less than a week before surgery, I’m doing fine. My God is in control. The path He has before me will only bring me closer to Him when I reach the end. Yes, I will still get anxious. I do not doubt I will end up in tears at least a few more times. But above all else, I know He’s got it in His hands. And who am I to say He’s doing it wrong?

2Count it all joy, my brothers,b when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4

So, my goals for this year? They all stem from this main one:

5Trust in the LORD with all your heart
            And do not lean on your own understanding.

      6In all your ways acknowledge Him,
            And He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

What about you? Are you starting this year with plans to do it all on your own? Or are you, willingly and actively, leaning on Him with Whom all things are possible?

Love & Blessings,

KJ