The smaller, the better

Well, I had my surgery and came out with all ten toes. It just so happens that the podiatrist performing the procedure read my chart and saw that I was a homeschool mom. It’s what I listed as my profession. He homeschooled his boy before it was popular, back in the 80’s. Right away our conversation put me at ease. I came out of it not feeling much of anything. I fell asleep on the couch in a painless wonderland of surgery drugs. I woke up about 6 hours later in horrible, intense, extreme pain. My God, how could a silly foot hurt so bad? But it did. And nothing made it feel better. Fortunately, my husband kept the kids entertained so I could roll around in anguish without interrupting the household routine. I can happily report that the worst of it is over and I will less and less pain from here on out. It did leave a bad taste in my mouth for some upcoming surgeries I’ll be getting this year and thought I would write about what gets me through those times.
A few years ago I had a hysterectomy. Shortly after a very dear Sister in the Lord had the same procedure, complete with a Monarch mesh sling placed under a prolapsing bladder. The experience was supposed to be a fairly simple physical procedure, but it turned out to be so much more. Having an organ removed from the body is terrifying, more painful than all of my kidney stones combined, took months to heal, but I grew close to the Lord in ways I couldn’t put into words. I shared this with my Sister and she seemed to know just what I was talking about. I had lost a piece of myself in every sense of the word, but gained so much strength. We’ve stayed friends all these years simply because of the love and support we shared. We have different lifestyles and different beliefs, but she’s amazing and I sure do love her.
The world can be a lonely place. I’m not supposed to “want” to be a closed up person, but I have found during times of surgery recovery of all places, not everyone has the same path to walk. It’s not just surgery. Recently I have been struggling with personal conflicts and handling people I love with extreme care. I reached out to a friend, after my mama of course, and found that we aren’t meant to be the same. There are so many different types of people and styles and spiritual walks, yet we want to fit in and please others and do what we are supposed to do.
The thing is, I am no longer under the law. No one is- no one.
I have learned that I am good with smaller groups of close people rather than bigger groups of more broader relationships. I can’t be myself in bigger groups. I am loved by the Lord, I am a forgiven woman, and I have a very small circle of people in my life who I trust more than anything. They have shown themselves to have the love of Christ and some of them are not even professed Christians- yet. Some of them are, but they are not church ladies. Church ladies(who are men too, but it’s just a general term for those who have gotten a little off track) say that everyone is loved by the Lord, but they sure don’t give the love of Christ. I recently read an article in ESSENCE magazine about what it’s like to be a pastor’s wife. Most of them want out so badly because of the life that has to stay hidden in order to be “loved” by the congregation. Should any of them be honest about how they feel, what’s going on, or say that it’s okay for us, individually and as a whole to get help, they would be forced to leave their church, for the sake of church “peace”. Some of them are forced to leave by their own husbands after they refuse to put up with infidelity. They go to the other church women who tell them to let it go, for the sake of how the church looks, yet they crumble and suffer in silence. The Lord says to bring these matters up and to do so in love, but without expectation. I have failed miserably in doing much without expectation. Thank God for forgiveness.
It’s great to be different because I don’t have to be afraid to speak my true fears and feelings. I can be myself in this journey. I have a group of people who love me more than anything. It’s quite small, but they would kill for me. Every place I live and every year older I slowly add to that group. They don’t love me because I agree with them. They don’t throw backhanded jabs at me because I’m different (I’m not stupid, I know when a jab is being thrown my way, usually after I have tried to confront a problem head on, unsuccessfully) It wasn’t until I experienced the depth of loss that comes along with the cross that I became accepting of people. Everyone, and I mean everyone… even those who don’t like me. I would love to see all of them in heaven one day.
I want to be free all the time like the way I feel free during times of surgery recovery. It’s such a lovely place of no expectation. I have always envied those who don’t place expectations on others. It’s a characteristic gathered from Christ.
Again, a late night rambling session. This time I write as I recover from a nasty, bloody, infected, toe surgery… I am almost tempted to post a picture, but won’t do that to you. I text one to my mom and she was horrified, but my sick sense of humor had a good chuckle. Now my Dad calls me “9 and a half”. Anyway, thank for reading. Love you guys… all of you… even if I don’t know you… even if we once didn’t get along… have a good night folks.
Love,
Jackie

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