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In The Thick Of It

I had heard that some people die just from going under anesthesia. After some googling, I found that this is rare, but true. I also kept thinking all my surgeon had to do was sneeze and hit some important artery or vein and kill me or paralyze me. This is where my head was at the day before my surgery. My parents were still recovering from their stomach flu and Erik was working late, so I was on my own with Eli and no space to process my thoughts. I didn’t want to show fear in front of Eli because I desperately wanted him to feel safe and secure and that everything was okay, so I resorted to grocery shopping for the month and obsessively cleaning my house in attempt to take control where I could. Admittedly, I know there was a better way to handle the situation. When Erik got home and was able to give me a few minutes to myself, I couldn’t come down from my tweaked state to even slow down for myself. I just kept on my cleaning rampage as if possessed. It took a dear friend reaching out with encouraging words and the beautiful song, In Jesus Name by Katy Nichole to listen to, to break me out of my trance and get me back into the feels. I listened to the song as I put some clothes away, I fell to the floor right in my closet and had an honest tearful moment with God. It was what I needed to get me breathing and back in my body.

The morning of the surgery, I woke up with this memory of my second time ever on a plane. I was eighteen years old. I was flying home from Florida with my best friend Kate. We were sharing an iPod. We each had an ear bud in. All of a sudden, we hit turbulence. Being a new, nervous, flier I was convinced that we were going to die and was spiraling out of control in my head (as I clearly tend to do sometimes.) In the meantime, Kate, calm as a cucumber, decided to check out a song by this new singer, Kesha. All I could think was “I cannot die listening to this garbage.” As I smiled at this memory, God showed me that was exactly what I had been experiencing with this surgery. It was something completely new to me which is why I was afraid, but just like that plane landed safely home, I was going to get through this surgery just fine.

I had an amazing team that made me feel safe and comforted. My nurse was awesome and told me that my surgeons were incredible. He and Erik became friends right away and were coming up with clever hospital inventions to make us all millionaires keeping us laughing and entertained. My anesthesiologist is a friend of Erik’s. He kept coming in checking on us and talking to us while we waited in the pre-op room. He and another nurse came in and prayed with us before we went into surgery. God was so present with me there, and He used these beautiful people in a big way. I was completely calm and unafraid the entire time. They got the tumor which was bigger than anticipated and said all went well. Now, we wait on pathology results.

As much as I’ve tried to shove it away, I have a relationship with fear. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” I don’t have the level of faith I wish I had, and I continue to fall into lower level thinking, but God keeps pursuing me, showing up for me, and guiding me to His peace. Over and over, I am reminded of His faithfulness and love. Slowly but surely, God is showing me that I don’t have to be afraid of the unknown. He is already there, and I am held regardless of circumstances.

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