Confession: I started writing this thing about reflecting on life whilst being in the woods this weekend but I scrapped it because it was stupid. The truth is, I’m spent. I’m not gonna sit here and draw pictures of dandelion mountain top epiphanies when this morning I spent a good thirty minutes in a heap on the floor crying into the carpet.
This is not a pretty post.
After experiencing six consecutive days of an even higher level of pain than usual, I found myself at a new breaking point. It hurts to drive, it hurts to walk, it even hurts to sit. My doctor up north told me my pelvic muscles are in a constant state of contracting–bracing against the pain. After a while this constant tension causes muscle spasms, resulting in a feeling of weakness in my legs and hips. This has been going on for a while now but this time climbing the stairs felt like running the mile and that was my tipping point.
So I just slumped there and cried limp on the floor.
Later that day, my doctor told me my description of new symptoms gave her good reason to believe I may currently have an active bleeding ulcer. So later this week I’ve gotta get cameras down into my stomach and intestines and up into my stomach and intestines (if you catch my drift) to find the bleeding and decide how bad it is and if it needs to be stopped.
“This could be very serious,” my doctor told me as she watched microscopic bits of my blood run from some magical solution on a glass slide in her hand, “Go to the ER if you experience dizziness, vomiting, or spike a fever.”
This is not a “knocked down but not destroyed” day. I’m pretty, really, super beat. I have to take vicodin now and that only cuts the pain to a manageable rate for three hours per dose. A couple years ago I took half a vicodin it knocked me out. I can’t help but wonder when this is going to stop.
I got super emotionally naked at my last counseling session. I mean so uncomfortably real. My therapist had hit me with something that was incredibly hard to hear and in tears I spit out the phrase that had been so wildly firing through my skull:
“I’m so sick of this thing running my life. Telling me what I can eat, what I can do, where I have to live.”
That was the day my therapist told me I was depressed. She told me she had been thinking about it and that she suggested an antidepressant before I moved away. My friends and lingering responsibilities and distractions were what had been keeping me from really feeling it.
And I don’t really know how I feel about that.
This is not a pretty post. I don’t have a “but here’s the deal, Jesus…” to go off on and pull life from right this moment. I don’t feel full of hope. Surgery didn’t work the first time. My doctor down here likes to remind me there’s a good chance it won’t work again.
A woman I have immense respect for said this in one of her talks at church: “Who are we to decide how we are to be healed?”
The first time I heard her say that, I got so stoked. Jesus’ plan for my healing will always be better than mine. In that moment, those words electrified me. Now they petrify me. What if this surgery isn’t meant to help me? I am so afraid of being in that ten percent who experiences no relief. That can’t be me.
This is not a pretty night. Things are looking pretty bleak right now.
But the truth is: The only reason I’m going to bed tonight drenched in fear and hopelessness is because I haven’t asked Jesus to take it from me.
I’m sitting in my blindness because right now I’m scared to agree to His timing for His healing in my life. Because right now I feel like I just can’t do it anymore.
But that continual trust and continual surrender–as messy as it is–is the spit and mud that will save my life.
6 After He said these things, He spat on the ground and mixed saliva and dirt to form mud, which He smeared across the blind man’s eyes.
Jesus (to the blind man): 7 Go, wash yourself in the pool of Siloam.
Siloam means “sent,” and its name reminded us that his healing was sent by God. The man went, washed, and returned to Jesus, his eyes now alive with sight.