It's been an interesting week or so, to say the least.
On 11/9 I went into heart surgery. Ran up the stairs to pre-op instead of taking the stairs, just because I could (and it would be awhile till I could again!). I felt completely prepared to go into what I like to call my "minor surgery". I was able to remain light-hearted with those I met at the hospital that day, from the receptionist who checked me in to the surgical team who would be taking care of me. It was interesting to see them all shocked that I wasn't falling to pieces. In fact, I told my surgeon he was running next year's Marine Corps Marathon with me and the team I've started putting together.
The night before, Ed Hunt had given a very powerful message. One of the important take-aways was to memorize scripture, so it's immediately available to you to fight fear, doubt, temptation, etc. So that night I made sure I memorized Philippians 1:20. "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." I really didn't imagine how useful that would be over the next several days. For almost a week, I haven't been able to read because the pain meds wouldn't let me focus on type. And there were a few times I was in so much pain, or couldn't breathe, and the only thing I could do was recite that verse again and again. I couldn't have been more thankful for the timeliness of Ed's message and that I have been equipped with the Word, even though I haven't had my Bible.
During my recovery, I've been so blessed as well. In the hospital, I often had more visitors then I could handle. I wanted them to stay longer, but I could only stay awake so long against the pain meds. My recovery itself is going unthinkably well. I had surgery Tuesday, was able to move to a chair by Wednesday, was walking around very well by Thursday, and Friday they sent me home. I keep having to remind myself to take it easier, but I confess to getting a little restless. Monday I even made it to church - although I began to realize my limits when I couldn't stay awake during the message. My small group was a little shocked to see me there on Monday night - and it's sort of crazy to think that a little think like heart surgery couldn't keep me from missing church. I have yet to email Todd and Ed, the teaching and campus pastors at Frontline, respectively, but I can't wait to share how their messages have helped me through the past several weeks.
I'm forcing myself to take it easy and miss small group tonight - which pains me, because I love the fellowship with these ladies. Also, now that I'm able to stay awake longer, and read and write again, at least to an extent, I feel like I need to get back into the Word. Which is really what I was looking forward to during this time off anyways. It's been very easy for me, back under mom's roof as I recover, to not make my time with God a priority. I hate to admit it, but I have a tough time standing strong in close proximity to my family - of them I'm really the only practicing Christian. God is not a part of everyday life in this house, so it's an added hurdle for me to set God as a priority in my day-to-day when no one in this house does. Pray for me to have more compassion for my family, and patience as I witness to them. Pray also for my recovery, and that I can recover here. It's been tough to sleep since the surgery, and I'm having trouble eating. I pray that I can use this time to myself wisely and invest in the areas I need to or that I've been neglecting.
All in all, I'm still unimaginably blessed. I could only be this confident going to and from heart surgery knowing I have a great and faithful God, and that He has put many brothers and sisters in Christ in my life.
I should also mention - the aneurysm was 5.8cm when they finally removed it. It was 5.5cm back in only mid-September. It's incredible that I made it to surgery, considering that I'd cave and run occasionally. I thank God for making it clear to me that everytime I had "caved", I got sick or injured and couldn't run afterwards. I find it incredible how well He provides for us, and how perfect His timing is. It's quite humbling to realize your life is completely in His hands. I pray that I am adequate in sharing this incredible testimony He's given me.