I had an operation today. It was a minor day operation under general anesthetic. I feel pretty tired, but I didn’t sleep very well last night. This is the third operation that I have had and it’s not pretty. Basically, I have had a pilonidal sinus that has kept getting infected. Today (hopefully), the sinus has finally been removed. The NHS website details it all fairly accurately so you can read about it here: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Pilonidal-sinus/Pages/Introduction.aspx
The First Operation
It started in 2010 and the infection was shown on a scan in 2011 when I was about to start my treatment for cancer. It was operated on in March 2011 – the same time I was having chemotherapy. That was a rough month. I don’t think I ever wrote about this because I was embarrassed by where the wound was. Near my butt. Gross. However, this complicated my hospital visit in 2011 as I had an infection, a weaker immune system, a sky-high temperature, chemotherapy and a blood clot all going on at the same time. You can read more about my treatment and this time at : https://ruthclemence.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/abvd-another-brave-victorious-day/
The Second and Third Operation (3rd time’s a charm?!)
Now almost 4 years later and my 3rd operation on this sinus, I am left confused, frustrated and sore. I had my second operation in October 2014 and the wound had been so small just yesterday. It took what felt like years to get to that point. Last time, the surgeons had to cut and drain the infection and leave the hole open to heal from the inside out. This time, they found an infection when operating (they were planning to just cut the sinus out and stitch me up), so they had to leave this bigger hole open once more to heal from the inside out.
Do you know what that means? Daily trips to see a nurse who will fill it with packing to keep the wound open and cover it with a dressing. Last time, it took 4 months and it never fully healed. This time, the hole is bigger. It means I will once again be subjected to planning my day around GP/hospital visits. This will make job hunting harder (I mean, it is hard enough already) and it makes it harder to write (I am laying on my side, typing between one hand and two being careful not to put too much pressure on the wound).
However, I wrote not too long ago about fully surrendering my plans to the Lord. You can read that here. I felt a little bitter (well, on some days very bitter – I repent of that now) of how I was at home and unable to secure a paid job. To have that sense, albeit false sense, of security. A bit of extra cash. A more comfortable life.
How dare I think that is the goal I should strive toward!
Comfort should not be my goal. Christ should be my goal, and all comfort comes from Him!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
Why should I seek to fit into a world that I was never made for? I would rather be poorer, sick, persecuted and uncomfortable for the sake of knowing the Lord more. When I am in a place where I am forced to rest, to trust, to be loved, to receive grace upon grace and to know Jesus more personally, who am I to try and stop that? Why would I want to try and fight this sabbatical of grace?
Grace in the Incision
There is grace in the incision. There is purpose in my wound. Like Christ’s bleeding wounds on the cross, my wound seeks to give glory to the Father in heaven. Whilst I am recovering, I can write. I can pray. I can know of God’s faithful promises through reading the bible. I can spend more time in peace and quiet reflecting. I can be a prayer warrior – an intercessor – for all of the awful things taking place across the world today.
Grace can – I can’t.
I can do nothing without grace.
His perfect grace freely given for all of us. Yes, you too.
His wounds – our healing.
His suffering for our comforting.
It may be a long few months again. Nonetheless, this time I am going to do things differently. This time, I am going to do what I should have done from October 2014. Fully surrender. Receive His grace, rather than fight my battle to find work. Work is NOT a priority. Christ is. I think we all need to truly experience that reality. I am not saying that bills aren’t important and should be ignored. I am not saying that we should all quit our jobs. I am not saying we should sponge off of the state. Nor am I saying that I have given up. Actually, I am saying our priorities need to be Christ. When the Lord is our priority, everything else seems that little bit more bearable.
Moreover, everything is put into perspective. When I look to the cross of Christ and to His resurrection, I am reminded that my wound is momentary. This life is but a breath. His wounds gave me everlasting life for all eternity with God. Knowing this truth and receiving His grace gives me all the grace I need in the incision and in every area of my life.
God becomes more, I become less. Less about me, more about Him (John 3:30).
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9