Today I am four weeks post-op from a radical hysterectomy. I have been trying to write this for the past three weeks and although there is much that I want to share about what has happened, the words just didn’t seem to come.
For the past several years, I have been having “woman” health issues. Bit by bit, they became more challenging and my quality of life began to change.
Since I am a doer, often, I would just put my head down and plow through the struggle; through the fatigue, pain, depression, hemorrhaging, headaches and crying. My family was supportive, frustrated, and bewildered trying to keep up with all that was happening to me emotionally, physically and spiritually. One of the biggest challenges was that nobody could see what was wrong. I knew something was wrong, but since I would not stop and they could not see, it was difficult for all of us to process and understand what was going on with Mummy.
I would catch myself ranging from anger to depression to determination to despair with no logic or pattern. I would have bundles of energy one day and the next, not be able to get out of bed. My relationship with my children was suffering and my husband and I were constantly at odds. I knew that this wasn’t what was supposed to be happening, but I did not seem to be able to change it.
I spent months proclaiming that God was faithful while struggling to accept why He would allow me to be robbed of my passion and enthusiasm. One of the most amazing things about my salvation story is that I have NEVER doubted God. I have friends who have told me that they felt that God had abandoned them. For me, instead of abandonment, I felt resigned. I believe Jeremiah 29:11 where we are told that God has a plan to not harm us but to give us hope and a future. I thought of prayer warriors, who, when their circumstances stopped them physically, they went on to pray mightily. I thought of faithful believers who shared the Good News from horrible situations like the Nazi death camps. I looked in the mirror and wondered at why God would think that this chaos would be for my good or how I could be mighty for Him when I didn’t want to see anyone or even be with myself.
About five years ago, my mom had uterine cancer. As my symptoms continued to progress, I started to recognize a lot of similarities in the things I was experiencing. After fighting to get into an OB/GYN who didn’t dismiss this at “that time of life”, my GP told me, “Well, you can go to Dr. X. She’s new, so her waiting list isn’t too long.” Okay then.
It took about three months to get in to see the doctor. We reviewed what I had going on, my family history and then she said to me that she suspected cancer and that we would do further tests, but after discussing hormonal therapies and their side effects, she said she thought that surgery was going to be the answer. By the time I left, I had a slew of appointments and something concrete to pray about.
Many ultrasounds, blood tests and a diagnosis later and I was wrapping my head around surgery. I answered questions like, “Are you scared?” with quips like, “I’ve had my children” and the usual jokes about freedom from monthly inconveniences. I continued to put my head down and go, assuring everyone that I was fine and that I believed all would be good. And I believed it.
My surgery was scheduled for a Thursday and my husband flew out of province for work on the Monday before. It was a good opportunity for him, so when he asked if minded if he went, I told him it was fine. He would get back late at night after my surgery and I would see him the next day. No big deal. Until it was.
That week leading up to my surgery, I prayed, rested, read and did my own thing. I made plans for what I was going to do during my recovery and then on Wednesday, I cried. I didn’t just shed a few tears, but I sobbed. I ugly cried. I was alone and I was afraid and I was exhausted.
Finally, removing all distractions and all control, God brought me to a place where the only thing I could count on was Him. It was hard. I was broken and I was finally, after years, in a place where God could be completely in control of my life.
Once I had mopped my face, I got on my knees and really gave it all over to the Lord. I had thought that I had already done that, but those gallons of tears showed me something – I had been serving and doing and going on for God as much for me as for Him. That was the first of several lessons that God was going to lay before me in this journey.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word.
My soul was weary. I was living in my strength. When God showed me that I really had nothing left – not even fumes – that was when He could show me just how powerful and sustaining His strength is.
That was the beginning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
That’s it. It is just beginning and the fear (reverence) of the Lord is where it starts. The next several pages are going to be a journey through some of the other lessons God has given me post-op.