If you want to know what it's like to go through surgery and get an idea of what it does to your soul when you are in your recovery period, watch this Sermon. It's titled, "I am Here to Love God." Read on if you want learn more...
The Pastor is Dr. Bob Laurent and he gave an incredibly moving sermon this past Sunday, February 2nd at Granger Community Church on it. What he said came right from his heart and got me on a deeper level that made me feel like I was there for a reason. As I listened the best way I could describe it was the entire season was like a "surgery of the soul."
Why? Because it's not about going in for surgery, or waiting in post-op, it's the pain meds that mess with your body and mind that Dr. Bob speaks of in his sermon. I'm not sure when he had his double knee surgery, but you could tell his pain was fresh and God was holding him up there carrying him through multiple sermons.
But the way he described the season was so right on - pain on every level - mental, emotional, physical, and gut level. You think you are close to God and then you are faced with something that makes you completely unable to do what you normally do in everyday life, faced with relying on other people, not being able to move your body for exercise, so MANY things that are hard to describe in one page. It's like he was standing there to pen the closing paragraph for my season with my shoulder. Granted, in the grand scheme of pain and surgeries - ours were nothing. I know people go through much worse every day than I could ever imagine, but I know the pain and it's there to teach us something about who God is in our life.
I can say that my surgery and the 9 month recovery made me a different person. I no longer hang onto tomorrow, nor take the little things I can do with my hands for granted. I know what it's like to so badly want to workout or do something with your body, feeling the weight come on, and just having to sit with it. That's the space where I met God on an even deeper level and I rely on him more than ever simply because he carried me through it.
And again, it seems minimal but for me - it was a season of gut level honesty with God and spiritual renewal at a time when physical movement wasn't possible. Dr. Bob spoke about it as sometimes in your life you come to a place where you can't fix it. You can't jump over a valley. You slowly trudge through it. I know you get this, whether it's surgery or some other tough time in your life you've been through a soul-type surgery.
What's even more amazing to me about that surgery journey is the scars. You see on my shoulder four scars and a larger one where my bicep was reattached. For all surface purposes, the outer scars look healed. The surgery went great. The physical therapy was great. The whole thing was good - on a simply physical recovery level. But on a gut level? You couldn't see my scars. If you asked if I was all better, you couldn't see the gut level struggle it was, like Dr. Bob described.
In some way, it reminds me as I write, of the hard work in recovering from addiction, the pain you go through at the depths of your soul when you lose someone. People would think you seem fine. But they don't know that pain deep down. That pain only you and God know.
Yet, it was never someone saying, "It'll get better," that comforted you, just like with death someone saying, "They are in a better place." It was talking to those people walking the same journey, how ever long it was going to take them at physical therapy. It was those physical therapists who made you hurt as they pushed you, but made you feel better as they talked over your pain. It was those quiet moments with God when you are like, "You've got me here for a reason and I'm trusting you," or that friend saying, "God's slowing you down for a reason," that warmed you heart and looking back knowing it was because he loved you. It was hearing someone about to get surgery and being able to say, "I get it, You aren't alone."
No it wasn't getting sympathy from other people that filled my heart. It wasn't sitting on a pity pot. It was taking the physical steps to recovery which was a full time job and letting God carry me THROUGH healing in the spiritual steps. It was knowing that the only person that mattered in all of this was God and how HE KNEW MY PAIN. He was with me in my pain and he endured on this earth SO much more pain - for me.
I am so grateful that God gives me the chance to notice how he's working in my life.
Last Sunday I saw Dr. Bob standing with a new knowledge of spiritual depth on that stage. I heard him say the word surgery and when I sat beside him and spoke, we both knew why God had us there that day - in the middle of a blizzard to share in that pain with each other, in the light of a God who loves us and is carrying us. I thanked him for putting into such beautiful words what I couldn't have come close to in describing that post-surgery season. It was truly a huge gift from God.
And you know what? Two days later - on this Tuesday morning I saw right in a row two women post about injury and following surgery - right in a row in my News Feed, and I got to be grateful again - that I wasn't alone in my journey and it's awesome when God shows you that you aren't. Those are the things I look for - when God shows us we are NEVER ALONE. All we have to do is look for his presence.
I thank God for carrying me through that season of allowing me to dislocate my shoulder for the third time in 15 years so that I could get the surgery when I did, let the wounds heal on the outside and in the inside so he could make more more into the woman he made me to be. Just like losing my Dad and getting into recovery, I am grateful for how God works in my life to bring me closer to Him. The other day when I drafted this, there was a song coming to me (shocker). It's called, "Never Once" and it's by Matt Redman. Watch because the lyrics so describe HIS presence and this battle described above.
Lastly, Dr. Bob, I can't thank you enough for this sermon. Friends, I don't know what your soul surgery is where you might be at in the process, but I God is working in your life. Trust Him.