I am glad God had me resting in his perfect peace before surgery, because I had to cling to it with desperation in the past week.
The pain was more intense than I expected. The swelling was more widespread than I anticipated. And the lack of mobility was more extensive than I imagined. And I certainly didn't expect Robbie to have a bad case of croup on Saturday night.
But the outpouring of love and prayers and meals and childcare and ministry leadership from friends held me up, in the way that Aaron and Hur upheld Moses' hands in Exodus 17. And I did something different this time around than I have in previous health crises:
I don't do that well, y'all. It's been one of the greatest challenges to my faith because I don't like having to rely on or trust anyone but myself. Even God. I could psychoanalyze myself to explain where that came from, but I already paid good money to do that in counseling the year before Lee and I got married so we don't need to go there.
When I had c. diff and had to crawl from my bed to the bathroom because I was so sick, I wouldn't let Lee carry me. And when Norma called to check in and offer to bring a couple of things during that time, she had to verbally strongarm me into accepting help. Other friends - during that trial and others - offered help, and I did my best to graciously rebuff them.
I secretly liked the set-up of my old Sunday school class' meal sign-ups because no one asked if I needed help. If they did, I wouldn't have accepted. They just provided meals - first, when I had back surgery, and later when each of the kiddos was born.
(To be honest, I did - in a postpartum freak-out as I realized we weren't getting meals the first week after Robbie was born - practically accost the gal coordinating them to beg for a meal that week because I couldn't see straight in the midst of the hormones. And I don't think I've ever apologized for that. Caitlin, I am sorry I was such a jerky basket-case that week, and thank you for helping to coordinate meals for us anyway.)
My point is this: (wait, did I have a point? Oh, yes, now I remember...) God didn't design us as islands made of flesh. The Bible is filled with one anothers. I'll be pulling some of my next memory verses from this webpage listing a plethora of those one another verses, like:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord (Ephesians 5:19)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. (Romans 16:16)(Don't worry. I'm not planning on planting any holy kisses on anyone but Lee.)
It has occurred to me this week that I've only thought about one side of these verses: the exhortation to do for the one anothers in my midst. There's another side that I didn't realize until this week: the need to receive from others. On other words, the need to - on occasion - be the one another.
(You can go through old posts to check if you'd like, but I'm pretty sure that paragraph wins the prize for most uses of "other/another" in less than four sentences in Dinglefestland.)
If no one listens, there's no point in sharing songs and psalms and spiritual songs. If no one is willing to move toward good deeds, there would be no point in spur one another on. If no one is willing to receive the acts fueled by devotion to one another, then that devotion would dry up.
We each need to be willing to give to one another and receive from one another for it to work.
Thanks, sweet friends, for giving to me this week with your prayers, comments, messages, calls, meals, gifts, and love. We are thankful, and God has used you to teach me much.