I’m just 5 days away from the implant surgery of my long awaited Spinal Cord Stimulator. The past year has by far been the most difficult season of my life. I’ve been trying to recover from major back surgery the past 14 months. I am very optimistic this implanted device will significantly reduce the nerve pain that presently surges throughout my lower body.
Of course, just like with my back surgery there are no guarantees. Anytime you implant something man made into a God made body there are no perfect scenarios. However, I did have the opportunity of trying out this device for a week. Based on that positive experience greater hope appears in front of me.
Now, I could never put into words how this journey has impacted my everyday life and family. First, I’ve not been able to return to full time work for over 17 months and counting. Secondly, I’ve not been able to “enjoy” doing much of anything physically. Thirdly, I’ve just felt like my entire life has been at a standstill since experiencing a slip and fall accident that occurred 21 months ago.
I would be quick to say that while I’ve had many times of heartache I’ve seen God at work every step of the way. I’ve seen that no matter where life finds you God is near. I’ve learned that even when you feel totally uncertain God is still very certain. I experienced the fact that God’s grace is sufficient and His strength is enough. I’ve concluded that it’s definitely during the greatest of trials that God not only teaches us the most, but plans to use us the most.
After all, what greater platform for God to showcase His ability than when it’s obvious you have little to no ability. I’m convinced that whatever hardship we experience God has plans to use it for our good and His glory. Yes, it’s often hard to enjoy a relentless storm in our lives. Yet, it’s also hard to deny all the ways God uses that storm to teach us and grow us.
Now, if you asked me how I presently feel my answer might not sound very positive. For I would quickly say that I’m exhausted, miserable, and would just like this all to be over. However, I would never deny the fact that God has used this time to build my endurance, faith, and character every step of the way. You see, I know deep within that God’s will is what matters most in the end. Therefore, I’m willing to embrace this uncomfortable, but fruitful time in my life. I would greatly appreciate your prayers as my implant surgery takes place this Thursday, July 7th. God bless you all.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Well, folks this is a big week in my life. I’m finally meeting with my surgeon to discuss and schedule the implant of my spinal cord stimulator. I feel like I’ve been waiting in the doctor’s office sick as a dog for nearly 2 years. Honestly, I can’t even remember what it feels like to get out of the bed with ease and walk through the day without great discomfort. But, hopefully better days are ahead based on the recent results I experienced from my trial of this device.
While waiting for what has seemed like forever God has revealed so much. As the former USC running back Marcus Lattimore once said, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” Honestly, I’ve seen the good, bad, and the ugly of myself during this process. I’ve learned that before I really had not idea what it meant to be patient. I’ve learned that telling someone to trust God through the tough stuff is much easier said than done. I’ve learned that with God all things are possible, but walking by faith through the Hell is always a step by step process.
Now, I still don’t like the word wait. But, I’ve come to understand that waiting is often critical to the development of our faith. Waiting teaches us to fully rely on a never changing God instead of our ever changing circumstance. Waiting is not something that should be feared because during that time God is doing some of His greatest work. Our lives may feel like they are at a stand still. But, during this time God is working on us, in us, through us, despite us, and around us.
I’ve definitely concluded that waiting on God puts our lives back in order. You see, before we may have thought we were in control and called all the shots. Before we had the greater tendency to run ahead of God and think at times we didn’t need God. Waiting most often keeps us on our knees as we feel totally dependent upon what only God can provide. I know for me that waiting has taken a load off of my shoulders. I no longer snap my fingers and just expect God to do things instantly. I know deep in my heart that God makes all things beautiful in His time. And, God does work all things together for my good and His glory. I’m absolutely certain God will work the same way in your life as you learn to wait before Him.
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
“For we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
I don’t know about you, but my feelings change like the weather. One minute I’m high and the next I’m low. One minute I have great peace the next moment I feel that uncomfortable sensation called anxiety. Some want you to think that if you have such feelings you aren’t really a Christian. But, my bible reveals that this means you’re human. This is why I must be stabilized by my faith in Jesus Christ alone and not my fragile feelings.
It’s been said “you’ve got to stand for something or you fall for anything.” The devil is hoping that you don’t stand on the solid truth found in God’s word. Why? Because if you don’t stand firmly on God’s truth you will fall prey to anything the devil throws your way.
You see, momentary feelings will lead you constantly astray. They can wreck relationships, ruin your integrity, and cause you to question everything that comes your way. However, trusting in what God’s words says instead of just how you feel is critical to a stabilized life. Too often, what people refer to as God is simply their gut. And, last time I checked you shouldn’t trust your gut more than your God.
So, as you go through this roller coaster called life. Make sure that you maintain a firm faith in God and His word. If not your ever changing feelings will lead you away from a never changing God. Your faith must be more than feelings. Your faith must be what you rely on when your feelings are misleading you by the moment.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
“…You must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6