Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On hope and gratitude when it's hard.

Fair warning, this is probably not going to be a pretty or very well-written post. I have things in my head and on my heart that I just need to put somewhere.

Whether or not I show it, getting the news that I have to have surgery has this tendency to sort of knock me off my game for a day or two. I know, you'd think after 22 of them, I'd be a little more used to it than most people, and in some ways I am, but in other ways, it hits me like a ton of bricks even worse now than it did before.

Maybe it's because now it's happening in the middle of a semester, and so I have added school stress on top of it.

Maybe it's because this is the first time in my life that my mom isn't here to hold my hand through it, and I can't lean on Holly anywhere close to the way I could lean on my mom. And growing up and being completely on my own is scary. I'm just being real here. It's scary.

Or maybe it's simply because I'm freaking exhausted of hearing that I have yet another reason to need surgery. Like, really? The first 22 times weren't enough? Somebody found something else on my body that's messed up; they haven't run out of things to operate on yet? I guess it's like hearing that I need to have surgery again is a very in-my-face reminder of just how broken the body I live with every day really is. And no matter how many times it happens, that's never an easy thing to come to terms with. I'm tired of being in pain. I'm tired of surgeries. I'm tired of not responding to treatments the way doctors expect. I'm just tired. I want to be healed...more than anyone knows.

But I watched a video today of a talk from one of my favorite authors, Angie Smith. The funny thing is, it was at a conference for moms, and a lot of it was directed towards parenting, but I watched it, and it really spoke to me. Angie talked about how we all need to live in the moment, right now, and be thankful for right now, even when it's hard and messy and we don't understand what's going on. Because God has given us this moment to LIVE. We don't have to get angry at ourselves because we're not dealing with it the way we think we're supposed to, the way we think the "better Christians" would. All God is asking is that we trust that He is good and He is working and He is ENOUGH to get us through, day-by-day, whatever it is that we are facing. I may have to have another surgery in two weeks, but you know what? At least I'm still alive to have that surgery. Because talk to pretty much any doctor that's ever treated me, and they'll tell you that it's a miracle I'm still here. And I know full well by now just Who is responsible for that miracle. The gift that He has given me in surviving the trials of my past, in still being alive today, in waking up this morning, that is something to make me say, "Thank you, God!"

I'm gonna be totally real here. Some days, I forget that God is enough, that Jesus overcame the world, that the battle I feel caught up in was won a long time ago. But He is, he did, and it was. And as Angie said in her talk, this life that I see, the one filled with pain and medical problems, it's only a tiny piece of the scroll. There's an eternity waiting for me where I won't have to deal with any of this and I will get the healing that I so desperately long for. I just can't see it yet.

Best of all, I will be face to face with my Creator, who breathed my life into existence more than 22 years ago, and continues to breathe life back into my weary soul every single day.

And that, my friends, is where I find the hope that I hold on to. That's why I'm still grateful for this life that I have, no matter how frustrated I get by the trials I face.

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