Sunday, October 18, 2015

To God Be The Glory

The time is almost here.  In less than 36 hours I'll be in surgery.  People have asked me if I'm ready.  I have to say, "YES!"  I'm ready to get the operation over with; I'm ready to begin the healing process; I'm ready to feel myself again.

At my last visit to the surgeon, we had a talk about the possible risks.  There are quite a few, as in any surgery, but he doesn't expect any major problems.  He reassured me that he wouldn't put me through all of this if he didn't think he could help me. He said that he knew he was the one who would be able to help me.  I told him that  I knew he was the one, without a doubt.  I truly believe God brought me to him, and that he is the one that He chose to bring me healing.  The doctor then told me of three possible ways the surgery could go.  He said he hoped to do the two less extreme options for the reconstruction.  He didn't think they would work, but he didn't know until he opened me up.  If they didn't, then he would have to use part of my small intestine to repair the obstruction.

Last week I was watching a program, and the teacher was talking about the scene in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus was on His way to see His friend Lazarus, who was dying.
Jesus was told that Lazarus' sisters, Martha and Mary, had asked for Him to come because their brother was so sick.  The disciples were surprised because Jesus had decided to stay around for a couple of more days, instead of going to them.  They didn't understand because Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters.  They were very good friends.  Why wasn't He going right away?  The only thing He said to them was that Lazarus' sickness wasn't going to be his death...but that the Son of God would be glorified.  What did that mean?
By the time they arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days.  Martha and Mary were devastated.  They were inconsolable.  Jesus was so moved, He wept.  But then He did a strange thing.  He went to the tomb where Lazarus was and told them to move the stone. They couldn't have heard Him right.  The smell would be horrific!  But they did as He asked. And then Jesus did something even stranger.
He spoke to the open tomb.
And you know what?
He did.
Lazarus came walking out of the tomb, still wrapped in the burial clothes.
The people were overwhelmed.  How could this be?  Jesus raised him from the dead!  Surely this was no mere man.  He had mentioned the words 'Son of God'.  Could it be?  Many people believed in Jesus, after that.

The disciples didn't understand why Jesus waited.  They thought He loved them.  That isn't love to see them suffer like that!  Isn't that how we are sometimes?  We don't understand why God does what He does.  Why do I have to wait?  I want it now!  We wonder and tell Him, "If you really loved me, You would ___"  We don't realize that in the waiting, we learn patience.  We learn to trust Him when we have nowhere else to turn.  We weep and cry, and reluctantly we roll away the stone.  Even though we're sure there's disaster behind it...we roll it anyway.  And there we find the Glory of God.  Why?  So that the Son of God will be glorified.

In the past two years or so, I have asked, "Why" and "When" countless times.  All paths have led to this destination.  This surgeon.  What is the outcome?  Only My Heavenly Father knows; but I do know this.  He will be Glorified.  He already has, actually.  For I know without a doubt that He loves me and that this is part of His Plan for my life.  There will be pain involved, but ultimately it will lead to my healing.  God may show Himself with surgery option one or two...or even its the third, more difficult one.  Either way, He is saving my life.  

To God be the Glory.

John 11:4   "And Jesus said, "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified in it."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Lessons from His Calendar

I should have known better.  Didn't my mom try to teach me not to ask why...just do as I'm told?  I guess sometimes it takes awhile to learn some lessons.  That lesson, and the one about God not needing my help in planning my life.
When I met Dr. Wiegand in July, one of the first things I told him was that I wanted to have my kidney surgery right away, because I had a new grandbaby due in October, and I wanted to be well enough to go up and be there for the birth.  He understood, and took that into consideration.
Because of the intense pain I'd been having, he ordered a nephrostomy tube to be placed through my back, into my kidney.  It was held in place by a single stitch.  This was to let my kidney rest, until the surgery could take place.   Despite the use of "happy juice", when they put the tube in, I'm not going to hurt.  A lot.  The pain afterward was pretty bad for about 10 days.  Then the tummy pain subsided, but I had another nagging pain.  I had to be very careful how I moved, because if the tube moved a certain way it felt like I was getting stabbed.  As a result, I've been pretty much homebound ever since.
At every doctor visit, I would remind him of the upcoming birth...and he would order another test.
"Really?" I would think after every postponement of the surgery.  The time was clicking away!  I had to get this done and over with!!   I knew the doctor knew what he was doing, but the birth date was getting closer and closer!
He ordered another test for the 9th of Sept. I thought that there was still a chance to travel, if he did the surgery right afterward.  I would be recuperating, but I'd tough it out.  I saw him after the procedure, and he gave me the news that I needed one more final test.  I just lost it.  I cried, knowing that going up for the birth was out of the question.  The doctor patted my hand and said, "Don't you want to be around for your grandchildren, without having to do dialysis?"  I knew he was right, but still was heartbroken.
Two days later Shannon told me that she had to have a C Section and that the baby was going to be born early. We found out later that it was scheduled for the 2nd of October.  My test was for the 30th of Sept.  Maybe this was the answer!  All this time, we thought the surgery was supposed to be first, but it was the birth!   Only one little issue...sitting for that long, with that painful tube.  But I thought, "I don't care, I'll ignore it!  I'm GOING!"
The thirtieth comes around and they're prepping me for the test.  They casually say, "Oh, your tube has been in since July?  They'll go ahead and replace it while they're doing the test."  I was dumbfounded.  The only thing I could think of was all of that pain that I'd had when they inserted it.  ANOTHER one?  NO!!!!  I had to ride for hours in a car the next day!!!  I tried to reason with them, but they insisted that it had to be replaced because of potential infection. 
I was so upset, thinking of all of the "what ifs".  Then I caught myself and tried to calm down and quietly had a "conversation" with God.
"Really?  I know You know better, but a new tube?  This is not good!!  I'm giving the situation to You, but I don't  want to.  I know You know what I have to do tomorrow, so I'm going to trust You!"
But I was still upset.
They asked me if I wanted sedation, and I told them no.  I had to see the surgeon afterward, and I didn't want to hang around longer than I  had to.  Did you know that I was stubborn?
The doctor began to remove the tube and I felt him clip that stitch.  Something felt funny.  They then replaced the tube.  IT DIDN'T HURT AT ALL!!!!!  The doctor said that he was going to do a different kind of thing and not put another stitch in.  I then had to roll over on my back for the test.  I was pain.  After the test I was moving all pain!  I then knew why I had to have the tube replaced.  So that I could travel comfortably! I could sit and stand without that stitch stabbing me!
I can just picture God shaking His Head at me when I was having that "conversation" with Him.  He was probably wanting to say, "Yada, yada, yada...Will you just be quiet and let Me do this?!!!"
As we were driving up to Pensacola, I got a phone call from the hospital.  My surgery date was scheduled.  All of that needless worry and concern...for nothing.  God had it on His Calendar the whole time.  He knew, when I didn't know, that all would be ok.
And this?  
THIS for all of the delays.  So that I could be there for the birth of this beautiful little miracle. God is my loving Father that wants to bless me with things that I desire.
So am I nervous about the surgery?  No, I can honestly say I'm not.  I am concerned, of course, but not worried.  God has this, just like He always does.  He is forever faithful.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (ESV) He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.                

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