Hi everybody & anybody who reads this! I realize I haven’t blogged in a while. Part of that is because we were camping for a few months this summer in the middle of a cross-country move, and part of that is because I never had the feeling that I should write about something. I typically only blog about what is going on in my heart & life if I feel a heavy prompting to do so, I believe from the Holy Spirit.
For those of you who don’t know, I got hip surgery a week and a half ago. In this post I’m hoping to be super real, raw, & open. Because this surgery and sucked and it has been hard, but through it God is getting ahold of my heart again, and I feel that I need to share the details of how He has done that. Hopefully it will encourage you!
My surgery was August 25th. I got reconstructive hip surgery to hopefully prevent getting a hip replacement in the future because I have (or had) hip dysplasia. The surgery went super well and the pain in the hospital and the recovery physically so far has been way better than I expected. The pain is tolerable at most times and I’m even mostly off pain meds for the most part!
The hard part through all of this has been the emotional side, which Joe and I were totally unprepared for. Basically I’m going to skip through the first week of recovery and start this story from Tuesday night, exactly a week after my surgery.
On Tuesday something inside of me continued to feel so awful. Honestly like I’ve never felt before. Sure, my hip was hurting and the circumstances weren’t ideal, but emotionally I felt like a complete wreck when usually I’m a pretty joyful person. I’m not sure if this is true – but I want to say that it is the worst I’ve ever felt emotionally. That might show you that I haven’t been through a lot of hard things in my life but all I’m trying to say is I was feeling very, very, very low. And on top of that I was feeling very, very, very distant from God.
I have been following Jesus for eleven years now and everything about following Him is so engrained into my way of life. My whole worldview is based upon Scripture and I truly just want to follow Jesus and glorify Him. Sometimes that becomes an easy pattern to follow almost as if I were on auto drive, not being intentional about growing or strengthening my relationship with Jesus. I believe a lot of us probably do that a lot more than we think. The past few months have been great exploring God’s creation, but I was not seeking God through those months. I was being stubborn and trying to figure life out on my own. I didn’t want to be away from God, I just also wasn’t walking with Jesus the way that I have known to be completely freeing and life-giving. Which is pretty stupid.
Anyways, on Tuesday I was feeling awful. I was crying and hysterical. Joe was trying to make me happy and was talking through a lot of stuff with me. I was being ridiculous and listening to “Wake Me Up When September Ends” because at the beginning of October I’ll be off of crutches. I know that’s really pathetic to listen to but sometimes you just want to feel bad for yourself for a few minutes. Halfway through the song I remembered that I had a text waiting for me from a friend in Spokane who attached a song. I chose to give up on Green Day and listen to this song. I don’t really think the lyrics of the song were significant to me, but the switch from feeling bad to myself to a worship song brought an attitude shift. That’s when Joe and I were able to enter a time of prayer and confession, giving up our desire for control and us trying to do it all ourselves over to Him. I remember saying that night that I feel like this is the most distant I have ever been from God and the worst I have ever felt (no coincidence there). But I do know that He’s always been right there, waiting for me to lean on Him.
The next morning I started my day with a podcast from Soma Spokane, our church back in Washington. It was on “Psalms and the language of true worship: Confession“. (You should click that and listen to it). The quote at the very beginning that spoke straight to my heart said:
“What if the strain and the stress that we feel when our own sin and our own fallenness and our own mistakes come to bear on our hearts – what if that is actually the grace of God upon you? … What if the tension that we feel is a mark of His nearness to us?”
When I heard that I recognized that although I felt that God was so distant, He actually was right there pressing on my heart, drawing me back to Him. When everything felt too overwhelming, He was extending grace to me by trying to get me to draw close to Him and hand over all of my burdens. He doesn’t want me to face this alone. By pressing so heavily on my heart, He is making me turn toward Him rather than continuing to feel nothing and live without seeking Him.
I kept feeling beforehand as if I had to get it together a little bit before I could turn back to God (again, not that I was running away from Him). It truly isn’t enough to just be living as a Christian and following Him in a standard way. We need to be pursuing Him full-heartedly every single day. It is such a privilege to know Him – we too easily take advantage of that!
Anyways, these are my thoughts and this has been my week. My prayer throughout the rest of my recovery is that I will draw near to God and that this will be a huge time of growth. I would appreciate if you could be praying for Joe & me. Honestly everything has turned around more than you can imagine since we handed it all over to God. He is always right there, waiting for you to turn to Him and stop trying to do it yourself. We literally cannot do it on our own.
I do wish everything could be easier. I wish I didn’t have to learn things the hard way. But I am thankful that God pushes through my stubbornness to draw me in because I am SO lost without Him.