Healing from surgery just isn’t easy. Healing from any ailment just isn’t easy. Healing from ANY struggle in life, just isn’t easy.
One thing I have learned is that healing from surgery is physical, but oh is it so much more!
I remember the days leading up to my second surgery, when I could barely talk. I was hopped up on so many meds, but I truthfully, barely had any energy to utter a word, but moans of pain. I couldn’t lift my own legs and at times, barely my own head. I remember thinking, will my body ever heal? I had so incredibly far to go…
And I am so encouraged and humbled to say that I sit here typing this post, sitting up, having put my own clothes on, put my hair in a ponytail, am able to turn my head from side to side, lift my arms above my head for the most part (though it isn’t always a pretty sight :)), and take a walk down the sidewalk. Brings tears to my eyes just to say that. I remember not even being able to stand on my own. Oh how far I’ve come physically! I must say, when I was told I needed in-home physical therapy, I almost chuckled and thought that was for old people (I suppose, like me…) After having PT now for 2 weeks, wow, has it been physically changing for me. I have a LONG ways to go yet, but if you would’ve seen me a week ago, I have made leaps and bounds. So thankful for that service!
But healing is so much more than physical. Healing involves the mental, emotional, and spiritual, as well. An aspect of healing that I didn’t even know existed. An aspect of healing that I didn’t even know I needed.
Call me an emotional basket case, but that is what I have been since being home. Some tears of frustration, but more tears of humbleness and thankfulness.
I firmly believe that God is the ultimate healer. As my pastor reminded me, God is the ultimate One who is reworking those cells together, putting my bones back together, and as much as I can wish them to come back together, it is all in GOD’S timing. In other words, I just need to hang tight. But I also firmly believe that God has sent His messengers, to help me and my family heal emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
I had no clue, the toll my surgery and us being gone for so long, would have on Mazy. I should’ve had a clue, but my mind just wasn’t there. When you go through a major surgery, this sounds completely selfish, but it is completely true: you have no mental capacity to think about anyone else, except your situation and healing. To even think about another person, your mind truly doesn’t even go there. I can’t even explain it. I even forgot I was a parent when in the ICU! But after seeing the struggles that Mazy has had, my heart now aches for her recovery too. I pray that God would protect her little heart and mind, that she wouldn’t fear us leaving her again in such abruptness. I pray that she would know that she is so loved that no matter what happens, we will always be here for her. But how do you make a 2 year old believe that?
Well, thanks to God’s messengers, YOU have helped us in this! The little gifts sent to Mazy, have allowed us to take those items, sit on the couch with her, and do activities with her. They have given her a “newness,” something to take her mind off the fact that mommy is healing and mommy can’t do what she normally does. Each time she has had a little package, her demeanor changes. Of course it’s not a forever fix, but it has encouraged not only her parents, but her too, knowing that it’s one more thing that I can do with her while I heal. We then BOTH heal. So God’s messengers, thank you for thinking of our daughter too. It has been life-changing for all of us! Before, I wouldn’t have EVER thought of the kids to be completely honest. But now being in our position, I now know that not just the person with the ailment needs healing and help, but the kiddos do too. We have been beyond blessed.
There is also something to be said about the simple acts of kindness, that can help a person heal emotionally, mentally, and physically! Like a box of sunshine, filled with everything yellow – talk about literally brightening up my day! The care packages filled with all things to help me stay positive, things to do, and things that have made me feel so loved.
Not to mention, the gift of doing my hair! I told Dan that if there is one ministry I would love to do in a hospital someday is to offer the gift of washing the hair of those who are hospital bound for awhile. The gift I’ve been given after my hospital stay, words can’t express. Makes me cry every time. I know it’s such a simple thing in life – washing hair. But when you can’t do it yourself (I tried and it didn’t go the greatest), and you have to rely on others, it’s humbling, but has healed me more than just physically. It’s the bond of those who I can sit and talk with while it’s being done. I treasure that.
Thank you for the meals. I can’t stand for long periods of time, but I can put a meal in the oven. What a gift.
Thank you for the gift cards TO restaurants! To be able to go get something on the fly or even step into a restaurant nearby, just for a little outing to get out for a short time. Never would have thought of that!
The physical care for Mazy, has been incredible. Our parents have been so helpful and could NOT, I repeat, could NOT, do this without them! And all those who have taken Mazy in a jiffy, for a day, you name it. As Mazy adjusts to life back with us, we hope she also adjusts going to others as well, as time progresses!
A card or text filled with encouraging words, when mentally, I am completely spent. It is SO SO easy to get down. I’ve learned the enemy works overtime in those who are already down. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about! Obviously when things are going well, it’s easy to be upbeat. But when things are hard, oh does the mind slip into a funk in the matter of seconds. Been there, too many times.
Financial gifts. The hardest to accept, but the peace of mind they offer is incredible. Whew, makes me cry…going to try to get through this paragraph with a dry eye…not going to happen! We have been so overwhelmed with gratitude for the ways God’s messengers have blessed us financially through all of this. The bills and unexpected costs actually started back in Minnesota already, when it was discovered that my heart was declining and more quickly than before. So when we moved to Michigan, we knew a surgery was coming and was coming soon. We weren’t sure how we were going to make ends meet with the medical bills, but God has blessed us beyond mesaure. When we weren’t sure, God was.
These are just a HANDFUL of the ways God’s messengers have blessed us. When we moved back to Michigan, we Dan started a job in our church that didn’t have long to get to know us, before I was all of a sudden thrust into open heart surgery. We moved back to an area where I knew people, but it had been 15 years since I had seen or talked to many. Yes, my family is very close and Dan’s just 1 hour away, but it was a new beginning for us. Still is in a way, since our move has been filled with so many heart appointments and our minds have been filled with everything heart related. We left Minnesota where that was our “family” for 4 years – a very familiar place. Michigan was familiar due to holiday visits, summer vacations, and it’s where we grew up, but it wasn’t familiar like Minnesota was. So here we have TWO families, who have now walked alongside us in this journey. Something we daily thank God for because truly, we could not be on this healing journey without YOU. Without both sides.
Another thing my pastor said (yes, I had a lot to learn…) is that love is not a transaction. That has hit me so hard over the past few days. I am someone who wants to be the giver. I don’t always receive help well. But wowzas, has God forced a change in me. I often have to eat my own words. Though, I still have this desire to repay EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU BACK, but there is NO WAY we could. NO WAY. And I think God made it that way to make sure I didn’t LOL! But truly, it has been hard to just accept love for what it is. Isn’t that true for so many of us? To just ACCEPT love. To just ACCEPT a gift as is. WITH NO RETURN.
Isn’t that counter-cultural?
That has been one of my biggest challenges in this whole healing process, believe it or not! I have shed more tears over the love we have been given, than over pain and frustration, since being home. And I suppose, that’s the way it should be, shouldn’t it? And it just makes me think, oh what I have learned about healing. Healing is SO much more than the physical. Healing can happen through God’s messengers.
We have a long road ahead of us, but I want to thank you again, for being God’s messengers to us. We praise God for you and we pray that as you have been a blessing to us, that God would bless you, for being a blessing. Oh the beauty of being part of the family of God!