Colleen wrote the following journal entry about her thoughts, anxiety, and faith prior to a serious spine surgery she had in December, from which she is still recovering.
A Journal Entry
There’s something about the unknown that can be uncomfortable.
I want to know the outcome of my upcoming surgery. But in addition to this worry, I learned recently that I’ll need another surgery on my lumbar spine. Though an unexpected surprise to me, God wasn’t surprised. He’s known about my surgery—and everything else about my life—since before the beginning of time. That said, the thought of my upcoming spine surgeries is not a pleasant one.
Being Present in the Moment
I meditated on James 4:13–16. None of us knows what tomorrow holds—much less the next minute. However, I’m learning to be present in the moments God allows me to have. I’m finding peace, grace, joy, wonder, and a sense of calm in the moments God provides. But . . .
These aren’t “perfect” moments . . . and that’s my problem because they don’t always align with my expectations. My expectations often define how I think these moments should be rather than accepting them as they are. When faced with unknown endings, each moment takes on a greater, deeper meaning.
Coming to The End of Ourselves
Today, I visited my invalid father-in-law who is confined to a hospital bed, unsure of his surroundings, unsure of those he once knew—even his wife and children. This once outstandingly athletic, exceptionally attractive, hard-working man has come to the end of himself.
I realized we, too, will come to the end of ourselves. This is a contradiction to “self-help” thinking. How is it possible to help oneself—as a fallen, broken person—without a greater Helper who is sovereign, all-powerful, all-knowing? There must be a greater power to help us. That doesn’t mean we are always helped in ways that are convenient to us; we are helped as God sees fit, and this shapes our character. Sometimes His help is painful. When I read Isaiah 53 today, I found that hope comes when we follow God’s perfect plan . . . despite the pain and rejection of this world.
Following Jesus can cause conflict with others and can take us out of our comfort zones . . . while we’re simultaneously and completely comforted by Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 1). So the question remains for us all: Am I willing to release my will and accept God’s—to welcome His will with open hands amid pain and loss, confidently trusting that His will is right and GOOD regardless of how I may label it?
These are my thoughts on faith, trust, dependence, and life with Jesus today.
I fear having surgery, and I fear its after-effects, but this forthcoming trial is forcing me to plow deeply into God’s Word, which brings hope to my soul and greater trust in my sovereign Creator.
Let Me Hear from You
I hope my words above encourage you to examine your faith in Jesus. If they do, share with me what you discovered this week.
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