Today I'm eating and our daughter is fasting for surgery. My months of fasting and other spiritual disciplines have ended. My appeals to God have come again to this: God is God and we who serve him resign to his decisions.
Our daughter is preparing for her knee replacement this afternoon, provided a new cold bug doesn't interfere to push it off. We just want it to be over so she can get back on her feet. This is her fourth joint replacement and fifth major surgery. Between, there's a kind of painful equilibrium where she deals with her rheumatoid arthritis and friends and family pray.
Every time surgery rolls around, my entire being brims with sadness. On the day of surgery a mother is supposed to be 'up' and strong for her child. It's not about us parents, after all. Not about anyone but our daughter. So there is a front to be upheld and a cool functionality that kicks in.
Each time this happens, the process deepens my longstanding relationship with a heavenly Father who could speak a word, a Creator who could easily breathe his life into a body or joint, and a God who could heal with no loss to his person or power. It's also about loving a God who helps us endure pain, comforts us, and faithfully watches over us. Christian friends warn me not to forget to be grateful for many blessings, even when I'm feeling betrayed by the ugliness of reality.
The process of faith is about trusting that nothing is wasted. Not the hideous scrape of a surgeon's saw or the medical miracle of anesthetics to dull unbearable agony. Not the generosity of caregivers, the skill of doctors, or the greed of the American medical system. Not even my disappointment with God or the closing off of emotions to wait out the day. Especially not the trust that God and his love remain the same when life is intolerable.
As my husband goes off to do what he loves - teach - and I stay behind for the hospital run, we are bound together by prayer for this child. Grief pushes down everything but words on paper. Speaking would smash the defenses that keep me alive and upright.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. N one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:1-5 NIV