(read "so I had surgery" here) I have recovered for the most part! I still can't participate in tickle fights, Indian leg wrestling, or bungee jumping. Nor will I be able to stick my luggage in the overhead department on the plane this Thursday (say whaaaatttt! You read me, I am going to Canada!). BUT! I can slice tomatoes again, make cookies (which I made last night), walk around without breathing like a chain smoker, and I can almost wear normal pants. My stitches are almost healed! I must say though, my belly button looks weird. The other night, I asked Loren how a surgeon would sew a belly button back on. We hadn't seen it yet since it had the steri-strips on. Well today, I took them off. And it looks a little lumpy. It is kind of odd and it was bleeding. (TMI? It's a blog so everything is TMI) Anyways, not sure if I should get that checked out.
Last week, I think my heart did some major hiking through the Cascade mountains. I mean, major. Like sweating bullets, weeping, and jumping through miracles. The Lord Jesus is good and I have nothing else to say. Well, I do, but that is all I should say. One of my closest friends, Heather, literally scrubbed my bathroom. When I say the word "literally," it is because I cannot even believe it. I was blessed so deeply that I can't even put words to it. I should stop typing, because words do not give the love justice that I felt. I could not help but pray favor over her, over and over and over again. Thank you, Jesus. A ridiculous amount of grace happened inside my heart..whatever that means, it is what it is. Jesus did some work and I will give one small glimpse:
Sometimes Jesus smacks ya right in the soul through the unexpected. Through the lady you've known for a month and only seen 3 separate times. The lady who has the busiest of busy lives. Someone you would least expect to even care a centimeter about you.
Her words pierced my being like a jagger. And I say that knowing full well I sound like a drama queen. But it's true: a jagger bringing lots and lots of blood out of my heart only to make it clean. We were simply conversing about whether or not to phone the on-call nurse, asking why it still hurts to breathe. Is it possible I have another PE? Things like that. I excused it by explaining that I have become an overly cautious & paranoid patient, that it could wait until tomorrow. (Which, I didn't have another blood clot. But, it was a very valid thing to worry about). And these were her 1st words that penetrated my being:
"You are worth loving. You are worth being treated with respect and honor. You are valuable. You are cherished."
I have said these words (and been told these words) to a multitude of girls on so many occasions that I had somehow & impossibly forgotten that they were true for me as well as every other child on this earth. These words that I so often speak so directly into people's hearts, they ring true for me too. And yet, I seem to forget so easily.
She then said, "Natalie (put your name here!) you are allowed to see yourself with those eyes."
This conversation seemed to be coursing on a much deeper level than a simple call to the doc. A level I had no intention of reaching on that night and in that way.
I responded with thanks and: "These are the times Jesus reminds me of His love in the most intimate ways. When I am physically broken and completely weak."
Her 3rd sentence that pierced me was this: "I was much like you. It is hard to wrap your heart around that simple conclusion of self worth and allowing yourself to be weak and vulnerable. It took my body [being physically broken] to turn my silly heart & mind directly towards God."
These things, this pain, is not in vain. From blood clots to surgeries for random unknown benign lumps to wave crashes to ATV accidents to concussions from headbutting a girl (it was an accident) to so many more things...to a week of recovery from a laparoscopy... they were each used to direct my attention to Jesus. To remind me that when I am weak, He is strong. That I am loved, though I can give nothing.
I know there could be worse things happening to me. Far worse. Cancer, paralysis, death, liver failure, all sorts of junk. All sorts. But I wonder, for those people who have it worse or have it the same or simply have a bad day, (we all have those), are you able to rest in His presence? To rest and know that you are wonderfully made? That YOU are worth it. YOU are valuable. YOU are so deeply cherished. I wish I could look in every single persons eyes and tell them this. Let it penetrate their core like it does mine. You must know this. We must tell each other this. This. Is. Truth.
"With no effort or manufacturing of joy, your beautiful presence and beautiful spirit brings the joy of Jesus. It is not by your strength and it is nothing that you have to worry about creating in your own strength." But it only happens when you rest in His love and let that be enough..only when that happens can we be glorifying for God. Even through our sickness and injury, when we are physically broken (I mean downright stuck in bed for a week or even for months) and immune to strength. When we feel as though we literally cannot go on. That is when He can be and will be strong. So let Him be.
This, I am relearning.
Someone was taking selfies on my phone.
I am seriously dreading the death of all of this life and beauty in my home! Thank you, friends!