So I’ll address the elephant in the room right away….my last post, back in September, I said I would begin sharing the journey of my toughest surgery, which is surgery #3 my hysterectomy. Well shocker, life doesn’t go as we plan sometimes. As much as we can “predict” the weather forecast (future) we don’t control it. And the last few months of my life have proven this. See an unexpected storm rolled through my life, an unanticipated season I wasn’t prepared for. I got the “watch” notice of another surgery but never the “warning” for the pain I’d endure these past couple of months.
My “watch” notice came late last fall when I found out I would need another surgery. And if you’ve read any of my other posts you can guess how much of a blow and shock this was. I knew for awhile the pain I was having in the area of my fixed hernia’s (two by the way, yes overachiever I know haha) wasn’t normal. So I began my pleading to doctors that something was wrong. Once again finding myself having to justify my pain, to get someone to just listen and trust that I knew my body. After months of going from one doctor to another I met a specialist in Milwaukee who listened. He went the extra mile to review my entire history and came to the conclusion I would need another surgery (I’ll share the details of this surgery at a later date, promise).
This didn’t come to a shock to me as I knew with all the physical pain I was in that it would require another surgery. So I prepped myself for it, both mentally and physically. And in January I had my 9th surgery which was a success. So I began my recovery and telling myself I was out of the storm. But you see we don’t always have the right forecast, not always seeing the storms brewing in the distance. The warning may not always come in time. We can sense the darkness and feel the chill as the storm rolls in, but we don’t know the impact or power it will have. This is where I found myself during recovery and these past months.
This storm has been brutal; whipping past scars through my mind, old fears surfacing from the shadows, doubts filling my body and pain taking over my heart. I didn’t have time to take shelter, to board up my heart or gather necessities around me to survive this storm. I was left exposed, in the darkness of the storm with no warning. I felt alone, not being able to call out to others for help, pride getting in my way. I didn’t want others to see that I didn’t feel strong, that I once again found myself struggling with why my body failed me and opening my heart only to get it hurt again. So I took cover in myself and buried my head, rather than look to the skies to the One who placed the storm in my life.
You see God strategically places storms in our life. He rolls the dark clouds in, creates the thunderous booms and pelting rain. But He also lights up the dark sky with lightning, so much electricity it takes your breath away with its sheer power. Lightening is unexpected, we never know where or when it’s going to strike. It’s always with thunder, never having one without the other. We all experience these unexpected storms, dark clouds of burden and pain. But in the middle of them there is a light. There is a lesson, a purpose and pure goodness that happen during these storms. Lightning, or these lessons/purposes/good, will always have thunder with it, or our pain/struggles/obstacles. We can’t outrun the thunder & lightning. But the lightning lights up the sky in a way that allows us to see in the dark storm. We just have to open our eyes to see this. If we bury our head, close our eyes and take shelter in ourselves we run the risk of missing out on the beauty of the lightning, of missing out on what God is trying to show us and light up in the middle of the storm.
So when you find yourself in a storm, keep your eyes open and lift them up to the heavens. When you do, you’ll see the beauty in your pain. You will see the joy in your trial. You’ll see just how loving, strong and good our God is. He never leaves you in the storm. And sometimes we don’t get the warning of the storm, sometimes it rolls in so unexpected it wipes us right off our feet. But rather than get angry we didn’t get the warning, what if we turn to the creator of the storm? What if instead of focusing on the aftermath of the storm damage we see the beauty in it? Run to Him in the storm, asking for shelter and strength. He knows the forecast, so why not put our trust in Him to lead us to the rainbow at the end? If we do, He’ll take us to a place at the end of storm we never could have imagined. We just need to lift our eyes & heart to the sky and focus on the light in the storm. God is that light, reaching out to us to take His hand and trust He knows the path out of the storm. So take His hand and let Him guide you out of the storm, sometimes that’s all we can do.