I stepped into the shower; it was warm and the steam was just starting to rise. I could feel the tension, pain, and stress of the past few days being washed away.
The steam was starting to form a film on the shower glass but I still could catch a glimpse of my image in the mirror above the sink. As I looked more closely, I saw the scars and the reality hit – I just had open heart surgery!
It was an epiphany. That moment of clarity, where I came face to face with the truth. The point where the reality of the situation met my perceptions and I knew life had significantly shifted.
Although I had experienced all the elements of the surgery and initial recovery, I had been so busy just accomplishing the next milestone, I had not stopped to truly grasp the enormity of the past week.
But standing there in the shower, warm water running down my back, it hit me and my initial response was to cry. Not proper controlled tears but the type of crying that comes when your world has taken a sudden and unexpected change.
I need to share a few things to help you understand why this came as such a shock.
1. There is NO history of heart disease in my family.
2. I don’t have high cholesterol.
3. I have NO history of high blood pressure.
4. I eat a healthy diet.
5. I routinely exercise.
Yet, in July 2017 I had a stent placed in the major artery that feeds my left ventricle. They call it the “widow maker” many don’t survive a significant blockage of this artery. Then just 5 short months later, that same artery re-blocked and another stent was implanted. Last week BOTH stents failed and I had bypass surgery!
Doctors can’t explain it, family and friends don’t understand it, and I certainly DON’T get it.
I worked hard to be healthy, yet a curveball, an unexpected event, a life – perspective – personal definition altering moment.
I believe God uses curveballs, life-altering events to gain our attention. He uses these times to shift our perspective from self-focus to a dependence on Him. He uses these events to remind us that we are His Beloved, His daughters, a loved child. And in our pain and fear, He holds us and reminds us that He loved us so much that He suffered and died to ensure an eternity with us.
God uses curveballs and life-altering events to demonstrate His involvement in our lives. I experienced this togetherness in a profound way about two weeks before my surgery. A gentle nudge, an uncomfortable feeling that things weren’t right. And then, a gentle voice delivered a single word “BYPASS”. It happened on two separate occasions while walking my dog and now, looking back at the sequence of events, I know He was preparing me for the imminent.
Our lives do take twists and turns. For me it was a health issue, others face a loss of a job, spouse, or child, and for some, it arrives unannounced as a loss of direction or purpose.
These events can derail us. They are the situations and times that challenge how we see ourselves, make us question our value and worth, and leave us empty and searching. Yet, we can be confident that we never experience these situations alone.
In Joshua 1:9, we are reminded
… For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (New Living Translation).
God is with us through all our circumstances. He is the constant that we can depend on when we get lost and are uncertain if we can get through the storm. He can shoulder our doubts and help us make the necessary shifts when we no longer see our way.
God has a plan and purpose for every life, your life. Through the difficult and beautiful, He is transforming us into His image. Trust Him, rest in Him, and know you are His BeLoved.
BeLoved was created to help us wrestle with the changes life brings and to challenge us to remember that our identities don’t lie in our circumstances but rather a God that redeems, restores, and refines us. Loving us more than we are equipped to understand.
To help us explore God’s amazing restorative work, we will share stories through a weekly blog, encourage routine devotion, monthly book|author suggestions, and resources. We want to hear from you, so please feel free to share your stories, leave comments, and ask questions.