I’m Floored, but God is Not Surprised
Two weeks ago I asked for prayer as Chuck faced brain surgery for hemi-facial spasms. The good news is that the spasms are almost gone (occasionally reappear but that is expected), so he is in that 50% of patients who wake up and know the spasms are under control.
The bad news is that Chuck has serious complications from the surgery. The surgeon said his condition and subsequent surgery are 9 on a scale of 1 – 10 for severity and dangerous. The surgery was more complicated and difficult than usual and his complications are rare. The surgeon sadly told us that Chuck would be permanently deaf in his left ear. Almost two weeks after the surgery, I wish that was all the bad news.
Four days after the surgery, we drove Chuck from a Pittsburgh hospital to a rehab center in Middletown, Delaware, where he is having therapy to regain full use of his left arm and leg. He has severe vertigo, dizziness and head pain. He slept for about ten days after the surgery, as though he was semi-comatose. The exhaustion is like nothing he has ever experienced. He responded to questions with whispered one word answers.
The good news is that he did not have a stroke, though some of his symptoms are stroke-like. With hard work he should regain almost everything he has lost.
The good news is that over the past few days, Chuck has slowly “come back” to us and is now fully engaged with his treatment. The journey will be hard, but Chuck is a fighter. We are hopeful for full recovery. The doctors are reluctant to give us a timeline.
While navigating this unfamiliar territory, I have often thought of friends who live with much worse limitations, who have no hope of healing this side of heaven, who struggle every day to trust the Lord, to force themselves to move in spite of intense pain, weariness, and chronic illness. Because of the way they live, their struggles aren’t their identity and I have often neglected to acknowledge their battles. Yet without knowing it, they have been teaching me how to respond to this new chapter. I want to hug each one and thank them for showing us how to persevere, to never quit, to find identity and purpose in Jesus, not circumstances.
When tempted to ask why, a voice whispers, “This was not in your plan, but God is not surprised by any of it.” That thought reminds me that the Lord is also not surprised by my fears or deep sadness as I watch my husband struggle to stand up, to take a step.
For now, that is all I can process. For now that is enough because I don’t have energy for thinking, only for caring for Chuck. God’s character and love compel me to rest in His faithfulness just today, no matter what surprises are still to come.
Thank you for praying. Please don’t stop.
In His grip,