The body has amazing healing properties. I know this because yesterday at 2:30 p.m. I awoke in recovery after “feet” surgery – hammertoe and bunionectomy – and now at 9:30 a.m. the next morning – just 19 hours later, I am sitting in my green chair, wrapped feet in surgical shoes propped up on two pillows, ice packs on ankles, having my coffee and prayer time with Jesus.
I know it’s early for an assessment, but I am doing surprisingly well and feeling so optimistic about quick healing and recovery that I’m led to contemplate this unexpected ease this first day post-op, even as I give glory to God for His once-again grace and faithfulness.
I am realizing that the way I went into the surgery – physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually healthy – may have everything to do with how I feel today and the ability to heal quickly in the coming days. I was physically prepared …. my weight was down to a near normal range (of course I’d love to lose another 15 lbs, but I’m okay at this weight), I have a regular routine of morning stretching and core exercises, I was walking with a few co-workers at lunchtime and doing random workout sessions to my Zumba Fitness DVD’s in my living room in-between schedule transitions. I’ve been on a healthy eating plan since January – totally detoxed from sugar, preservatives, solid fats, and eating limited dairy and very little meat. I’ve had no alcohol since early Jan. – intentionally abstaining from a glass of wine with dinner while doing the Daniel Fast, and then just never returning to it, never really thinking about it actually. And I’ve taken care to get adequate sleep at night. All in all, I felt physically strong going into the surgery.
I was emotionally healthy, too. I feel so loved by The Plant community, family, the Biggest Loser community at work … it really helps to be coming from “a loved position” of care and support. I have been reading and learning a lot about my own past and growing in relationships, understanding reasons for choices I’ve made in my life, getting to know myself and see myself as God sees me. When my daughters came home over Easter and took me shopping for a chair and table for the deck, I felt so taken care of and loved … when I was surprised with a gorgeous mixed rose arrangement at my desk from co-workers who are walking the weight loss journey with me to wish me well on my surgery, I felt a part of something greater than myself, a sense of belonging and knowing we share a bond of common struggle. That same day I arrived home to a box from my sister that contained a wrapped gift for every day of the week beginning with the day of the surgery and each gift had a little inspirational “teaser” written on it, just begging me to open it, but I knew this treasure box came in my sister’s place …. I knew she wanted to be with me, to take me to the surgery, to bring me home, fetch every little thing I needed to be comfortable, pain-free and taken care of. She had prayed over me the night before surgery on the phone. And so the desire to savor her presence with me after the surgery enabled me to just line up the little packages next to the vase of long stem roses – in day order, and just let them be. The surgical center had offered to send a limo to pick me up and see me back home – and I was all about that, believe me, but what I craved most was not the red carpet treatment to get me to surgery … it was to have my gentle and unassuming friend Denise with me the day of surgery. Denise took me to the surgery, helped me back into the house, up the stairs, got me settled into a chair with feet up, ice on, brought me soup, and lovingly sat with me, sharing some of her life, just talking like girlfriends do – not about the surgery but just about life, just passing some time, seeing that I was okay, being with me in the simplest of ways in the moment.
I was in a healthy place even mentally. I got everything done I needed to do before surgery to prepare my environment – grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, the downstairs was set up with everything needed to sleep down there for a few nights if need be, bills paid, calendar noted of things to take care of after surgery. I had a clear conscience about people I needed to be in touch with, things I needed to work through … I had called my Mom on Mother’s Day – this may not be a biggie to you, but I am sadly out of touch with my family on a regular basis (everyone except for me is living in Wisconsin) and it weighs heavily on my mind. I moved through an upsetting situation at work with my boss to satisfying closure and clarity about what I need to do to move forward in the future. And I had become knowledgeable about the surgical procedure itself, expectations post-up, medications prescribed, recovery period; arrangements were in place for Denise to take me and bring me home, I knew who was available to help me, and maybe most important was that I was willing to let other people help me and even to ask for help … something that had not exactly been my calling card in the past.
Spiritually I have a daily discipline of time in the Word, prayer, and devotion. I pray regularly with others, for others, over others, and have practiced setting aside Tues. nights as a study night for over 2 years now, proactively ending a 6-year run as a Community Bible Study core group leader to harvest my blessings and make room for God to give me something new. In the waiting for God’s something new, I read like mad to grow in my relationship with Christ, soaking up all I can that will move me closer to conforming to His image, doing some intentional listening, pursuing what He is calling me to not on a grand life purpose scale, but in this season, in this week, in the moment before Him – open and supple to His leading, sensitive to His voice, basked in His presence. Sometimes I pray He doesn’t give me something new – I am reluctant to give up this time of sheer intimacy with Him, my Tues. night date night with my Lover. I blog to share what God is doing in my life, to deliver messages the Lord has put on my heart. I offer complimentary life coaching sessions, treasuring the opportunity God gives me to pour into someone’s life for 30 minutes, to encourage them, get them started moving forward … and God always “grows” me through the Spirit-led direction I give to others in that time.
What if we went before God with every request for healing fully prepared, knowing we had done everything possible on our part first – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually – before going to the throne of Grace to ask Him to heal us?
I think of times in my life when I asked the Lord for healing, but I hadn’t done my part …. maybe I was choosing to live in isolation and wasn’t equipped to live in community as God intended us to live … or I professed to trust God, to rely on Him completely for healing when I had given little attention to our relationship, to what His promises in the Word require – not just inspire. Sometimes God is waiting for us to do what we’re waiting for Him to do … could that be true in your life?
I take such comfort in the Scriptures that tell us not to worry, that God will provide. But listen to the power and richness in this paraphrase from The Message of Jesus’ words in Luke 12:29-32.
Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
Steep …. what a great word! Can you feel the power of what it would mean to be steeped in God-reality? Steeped in God-initiative? Steeped in God-provision? Oh Father God, fill me, drown me, saturate me, permeate and overwhelm me with all that You are, all that You have created me for; impregnate me with God-sized obedience and inoculate me with the kind of discipline and devotion that warrants your grand provision.
Definition of STEEP
to cause (as a person) to become filled or saturated with a certain quality or principle <grew up steeped in the ways of his ancestors> <a town steeped in history>
to wet thoroughly with liquid <chew fresh ginger that has been steeped in hot water to aid digestion>