Ever since I’ve started this blog, I’ve been openly transparent and honest about my life and my faith journey. As you may know, if you’ve been keeping up with me, I’ve had some ups, and I’ve had some downs. I’ve been gracefully broken, and beaten to the ground. Yet still, I’ve continued to push through the frustrating pains of life. This day is no exception. In just a few short hours, I’ll finally have surgery on my right hand. It’s so surreal because I never thought this day would come. I’ve waited so long, endured this pain for almost two (2) years, and now finally the day has arrived. I’m looking forward to the days to come where I will be able to type and write again, more consistently to you and without pain, but the journey towards getting there hasn’t been easy.
At first when I was presented with the prognosis that I would need surgery, I was elated. I felt super excited, ready to get going under that surgical knife. You’d of thought someone had hit me with an injection of adrenaline had you seen how enamored I was with the idea of surgery. Then, as the days grew near to this fateful day, my nerves started to get the best of me. I began to feel scared, anxious and afraid that things would go awry, that the outcome wouldn’t be what I’d hoped for, had imagined, and that I’d never be able to use my hand to write again. I even started to feel like going the route of surgery was a huge mistake. Although my doctors had exhausted all other non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery, as the days grew near, I still felt like maybe this wasn’t the best course of action. It’s as if the glamour and limelight of the benefits of having it had went away, and all I was left with was the trashy, messy clean up that I was not willing to deal with. Was I really ready for surgery?
In the midst of my fears, suddenly I remembered The Word. I had to remind myself, by speaking The Lord’s words over my life, that things would be fine and that God wouldn’t allow this to be the end of my writing journey. As I’ve said many times before in previous posts, I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, so to have that taken away from me is like pulling away a lifeline. Writing keeps me sane, it gives me peace and a release from all of the thoughts that engulf my mind. It also allows me to create worlds, to see my sleeping dreams that play out like a film on paper, and allows me the opportunity to share my story with you. So, I knew I had to speak positivity, God’s light and promises that all things work together for the good of those who love The Lord over my life and current predicament.
Yet still, everyday this past week leading up to this morning of my surgery, I’ve struggled with my worries. It became an up and down, in and out, hot and cold, roller coaster ride of emotions that I was secretly battling. On the surface, whenever anyone would ask me if I was ready for my surgery, I’d say all the right things I needed to say: “God’s got me!”, “Everything will turn out just fine!”, “The Lord told me in Matthew 11:28, to come to Him all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and He will give me rest.” , “The Lord is my strength.” ,”Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.” (Matthew 6:34NLT), ““For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT), and so much more. The words flowed from my mouth like running water, but my mind still continued to play the worry song like a broken, scratched up vinyl record.
So, after a week of battling the worry warts, Sunday morning came. It’s the day before my surgery, and it was raining hard. All week long, since my mind was so plagued with worry, I made a mental note that I would go to my family’s church. However, when I had awakened early Sunday morning, I thought I’d overslept and missed it. Boy, was I wrong! I rolled over, and felt around the blankets and dozens of pillows on my bed looking for my pink dreamcatcher carry case that contains my iPhone. I couldn’t find it, so I settled with checking the time on my iPad instead. Now I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t you just check your iPad to begin with silly?! Hey, you tell me if you’re thinking clearly when you first wake up in the morning. So, after utilizing the obvious choice device that was nearby, I realized it was only 7:45 am. Not only had I not missed the church service, I was 2 hours and 15 minutes early. I knew it must’ve been a sign from God that I was meant to get my butt to the physical church building, but glancing over towards my window pane, though the curtains were closed, I could still hear the rain pouring down, beating the ground outside my backyard. Honestly, I like the rain, but God knows I’m not a fan of going out into the rain. As I weighed my options of should I stay in my nice warm bed and just tune into an online streaming service from another church, or should I brave the elements and go out into this dreary weather, I thought about if this day was tomorrow or any other day that I had to go the hospital or doctor’s office. Would I cancel my appointment just because it’s raining? The answer is no. I wouldn’t stop my daily routine for rain, so why should I even attempt to allow the rain to slow me down today from getting to the actual church building.
So, I got up, made up my bed, went downstairs to the basement to get my laundry out of the dryer, stopped in the kitchen for a bowl of cereal, said a prayer to God, and put away my clothes. After eating, I managed to pull myself together in all black: pants, a top with a black and green polka dot print, my favorite cherry red YSL blazer, pulled out my black rain riding boots that would perfectly compliment my attire without looking too drab, applied my Chanel perfume and proceeded to walk to church. As I braved the bad weather storm in my rainy-chic attire, I was determined to hear a word from God.
For awhile now, there’s been one bible story that’s been plaguing my mind like a tooth ache. It’s been constantly nagging me to the point that I’ve found myself studying it hard as I’ve tried to figure out how this person’s life story applied to my own. Finally, this week it hit me like a gush of wind on a hot summer’s day. I felt warm inside as I realized the story that’s been bugging me, that’s been heavy on my mind, was about me, or at least where I’m at in my life at this current time. The story was about Hannah. Why am I bringing this up, you may ask? Well, it’s because as soon as it was time to hear the pastor’s sermon today, the very first thing he said was, “Today church, we’re going to turn our bibles to 1 Samuel 1 and we’re going to talk about the story of Hannah.” My jaw dropped in shock as my eyes filled with tears. In that moment, I immediately knew God was speaking to me. He was trying to tell me something. So, I pulled out my iPhone, opened my Youversion bible app, and proceeded to turn to the main book / story that I’d been studying all week. With a big, wide eyed smile, I listened intently, and said a quiet prayer to myself saying, “Speak Lord, I’m listening!”
It’s crazy how God works! He never fails to amaze me. What I got out of the sermon today was to not get caught up and distraught over the detours. Focus on the fact that the destination is greater than the detour, and that the destination God has for you is still the same. Don’t get weary and worry about if it’ll ever happen. Don’t give up on your hopes and dreams just because your life is now faced with a sudden, or unexpected detour. THIS WAS WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR! As I told you earlier, I’d been crying and worrying about if I’d ever get to use my hand again, if I’d ever get to write again, if this surgery (aka detour) was the right thing to do or right way to go, and if having this surgery meant that I’d never see my dreams of being a published writer fulfilled. God’s word through the story of Hannah, and the pastor’s sermon really took hold in my heart. It gave me a new life, perspective, and more importantly, hope.
After service was over, I walked over to talk to my childhood best friend’s mother, lovingly called, “Mom Stephanie,” and I told her how the pastor’s sermon touched my heart, how the Holy Spirit had Hannah’s story in my mind for about a month now, and how I’d been studying her story all week long. I also told her about my surgery tomorrow morning, Monday May 13th. Immediately, without hesitation, she grabbed my hands and prayed for me. The room was full of parishioners, yet in the midst of our prayer, in the middle of the sanctuary, next to the pulpit, standing beside the oak wood pews dawned with red and black tweed seats, it was just us. It felt like The Lord was sheltering us. All the noise died down, all of the people were erased from around us, and it was just us and God. I appreciated that moment. Her prayer gave me joy and hope that this surgery wouldn’t be the end of my gift, that God would still use the talents that He gave me of writing and storytelling, and that this would be an added layer to my story that I’d someday get to share with the world of how God moved in my life. Needless to say, I left the sanctuary feeling full of joy and encouragement!
I know today’s post may be a little long, but who’s to say when the next time I’ll be able to write to you. Besides, to be frank, I didn’t want to write it to begin with. However, The Lord wouldn’t allow me to go back to sleep without writing it. I’m not just writing this late night / early morning to tell you of my looming surgery and absence from writing on this blog, I’m also writing to tell you to be encouraged! I know this thing called life may be throwing you some (or a lot) of curve balls, road bumps, and detours. You may even feel like you’ll never get out of the traffic of chaos, and onto a brighter, better highway of life. Just know that detours come for a reason. Maybe the road that you’re headed on isn’t the best route for you to take, maybe the road up ahead isn’t stable enough for you yet, or maybe God has a better way for you to get to where you are going. Either way, I’m learning to try to look at the detours in life as a blessing, and not a curse. If it’s in God’s will, I’ll still get to my destination, just as you will. Whatever that destination is, that dream you’re carrying deep down inside of you, that goal you desperately wish to achieve, or that latest headache or stressful hump that you hope will soon, quickly go away or get better, just know that whatever your detour is, it’s just temporary. You’ll still get to where you’re intended to go. For me, (and maybe even you right now) it just a matter of time having to endure some traffic and detours along the way.
The biggest lessons in Hannah’s story, which I strongly encourage you to read on your own one day, is to pray through the tough times, stay patient in the waiting season, and embrace the detour that life brings, for the end result, or destination, will be so worth the wait and traffic nightmares that you’re enduring today. So, try not to worry about your life’s ups and downs. They may try to get the best of you, as they did me, but you can’t allow them to consume you. Get into God’s word, and start speaking it’s promises over your life. You don’t have to stay singing the worry tune song. You can skip over to the joy and peace tracks. As for me, I’m still going to keep pressing forward, keep praying, keep having faith and believing that all things will work out, that I’ll still see my dreams fulfilled, and that even though I’m faced right now with a surgical detour, my talents and gifts will not die because of it. God will still use me, and get all of the glory from my journey. I have a story to tell, and He’ll make sure I get to tell it!
Until we meet again, I pray that you stay strong in the Lord, be blessed in due season, conquer your fears, overcome your emotions, receive God’s peace from your sorrows, cares, burdens and worries, and that God shows out and shows up for you in a big way. Remember, He’s STILL in the miracle making business. You just have to believe in Him, and speak His promises over your life. In Jesus’ name, I pray for you and ask that you pray for me, my surgeons, my surgery team, that all goes well for me, and for my speedy recovery. God bless you always and forever. Amen.
Sincerely with love,
(Instagram / Twitter: @AndreaGees)
Travel photography by IG user: @christofs70