It's amazing how easily I fall back into "normal" between each life-altering jolt. Maybe I'm a slow learner. Perhaps I'm not picking up on the "lessons" these unexpected and grind-to-a-halt challenges are meant to teach me. But with this latest fall, broken wrist, and upcoming surgery I'm ready to take a really close look at what it is I need to glean.
I have learned some things from the hard (and often painful) experiences I have faced. I think I'm more compassionate, take less for granted (like having two strong arms for example), enjoy the small things in life more, and enjoy the big things in life more (like a day without pain). But every time I'm up against the wall, I realize I still haven't learned all that I am meant to or need to.
Last night was a long one for me. I spent hours in the dark, pushing back all the fears rising in me and threatening to swallow me up, as I face surgery tomorrow. I know that "perfect love casts out fear". But even as I grow older, I still haven't learned how to rest and be peaceful in that perfect love, no matter the situation. I still wrestle at the onset of these unsettling and unnerving experiences, although I do think my get-to-the-point-of-total-surrender-and-trust times are shortening.
I usually do reach that moment of peace. That moment where I realize there is nothing left but to trust and believe that The Lord will bring me safely through, whatever trial I'm facing. I wish I could say my break-through moment comes faster with each experience, but I can't. I wish I didn't struggle and wrestle with my fears and anxieties with every life-altering challenge I face, but I do! Thankfully, God isn't standing over me with a stop watch timing my process. But I feel sure He is standing solidly by my side to see me safely through every scary and painful moment, and is heartbroken that it takes me so long to rest in His grip.
I have walked closely with The Lord for almost 38 years. I know that these tribulations are not God sent, but I have learned that He does meet me and teach me in the midst of them. Please pray that I will be a better student when it comes to finding peace and calm in the stormy seas of fear and anxiety. Pray that I can feel His strong hand and healing spirit when I am wheeled into that sterile operating room tomorrow. And pray that when the next unexpected challenge occurs (and it surely will), I will clasp His strong hand more quickly with my newly repaired right hand and a peaceful heart.