And I’m not trying to trick you. I had surgery 6 days ago. A hysterectomy to remove a grapefruit sized growth. I have photos but I’m saving them for my Christmas Card to send to all my Facebook “Friends”.
I have a friend (a real one, not a cyber one) Steve Sjogren. He wrote a book called The Day I Died. He had this amazing encounter with God and Angels while he was in the hospital. And then there’s the new book about the little boy who saw God when he died. His story is everywhere. I just knew I was going to have a moment with God during this traumatic outpatient surgery. I had great expectations of meeting God amidst a forest of trees, each of them symbolic, holding at least 365 days worth of blogging. I bet you can guess by the title of my post that …yep. No trees.
But I did have a lot of pain. And a lot of drugs. And a lot of vomiting. And a lot of sleeping.
Even though I didn’t have any mysterious, life changing insight into the creation of trees, I did gain some insight into the process of faith. The painful, circumcising, process of growing in your faith in Christ. Over the next few days I’ll share a few of them with you.
1. Everyone lies. In surgery and in coming into a relationship with Christ, everyone withholds critical information about the pain and suffering involved into the commitment that lies ahead. Everyone told me, “Oh Tiff, You’ll be fine! My aunt (mother, cousin, sister) had a hysterectomy and she recovered in no time!” “Oh, Tiff, it’s not that bad. You will be back on your feet before you know it!” It’s just like, “Oh Jesus has so much love for you! He is everything he promises to be!” “Oh, Jesus is so happy you are making Him a part of your life, You will be filled with such joy and peace. There’s nothing like it!”
Although these statements are true in of and of themselves, they are lies by omission. They omit the pain of having a part of your body cut out–or a part of your heart circumcised. People fail to tell you of the fight and strength you need to just not throw up or slap a nurse, or roll your eyes at the preacher (gasp!) when He promises you joy amidst your circumstances when God is tearing your whole world apart so he can build you back up. But you don’t realize it until it’s too late, you are laying in the recovery room–of the hospital or of your church–raw, vulnerable and in need of some people who know what they are doing. Which bring me to my next point.
2. Not All Professionals Are Good at Their Jobs. When I was in recovery, I had this nurse that was awesome–she was take charge, knew what to do with my pain, and it was clear she knew what she was doing. Then I was moved into post recovery, and my new nurse wasn’t so take charge, and didn’t know what to do with my pain. She made me throw up. Twice. She had to go ask the Nurse Boss what to do with my meds. It’s like when we grow in our faith, there are some people who know exactly what to say to encourage us, and can sense exactly what we need to know to grow us in the right direction. And then there are those people who anything they say about Jesus just doesn’t seem right–even if they are a pastor. They mean well, but….
So who has “lied” to you? Who has “meant well” but didn’t make you feel comfortable where you are at in your growing relationship with God?