The Unexpected Blessing of Surgery

I never thought I would talk about the unexpected blessing of surgery.

I guess that’s what makes it unexpected.

The truth is that being forced to sit on the sidelines and ask for help has been good for me.  It’s been good for my family too, even if they haven’t enjoyed it.

The truth is that God was out to heal much more than a wounded knee.  

When I first was injured, I had no idea I would end up finding peace in the unlikeliest of places.

Note: I originally wrote this post EIGHT DAYS after my knee surgery.  I didn’t share it at the time.  I can’t explain why other than I knew there was more to the story.  There was.  And I’m finally ready to share about it in a series of posts wrenched from my heart in the months since my surgery.  

the unexpected blessing of surgery

Surgery has been a blessing.

Because I can’t, they must.  My kids are much more self sufficient than they were a month ago.  I’ve been amazed to discover that they are capable of every aspect of laundry, even if it’s imperfect.  I’m delighted to watch my kids master the art of throwing frozen stuff into the crock pot.

Even when they don’t need me, they love me.  The morning after surgery, I woke up on our couch downstairs.  There was NOTHING I could do for anyone. I smiled with delight as I listened to each of my boys run downstairs to hug me and see if I needed anything.  Unprompted, unasked, unexpected.

Good enough is good enough.  Before surgery, I spent the very last of my energy getting my house clean.  I knew I would have people dropping by to check on me and I wanted the house to be nice for my guests.  It wasn’t perfect.  It wasn’t even up to my normal “good enough.”  But when the time came for a friend to drop in, my house was good enough.

Lies hurt.  Even the ones you don’t know about.  I put off surgery as long as I could.  It wasn’t just because I’m afraid of needles and don’t look good in hospital green.  I was afraid.  In the days before surgery, I confronted some powerful (and debilitating) lies.

  • My “job” as a stay at home mom involves caring for kids, cooking, cleaning and driving.  When I can’t do my job, I have no value or purpose for my family.  (YUCK!)
  • My husband won’t love me if I’m too needy.  (YIKES!)
  • My kids won’t respect me if I have to depend on them. (EEEK!)
  • My kids won’t obey me if they don’t need me. (BLECH!)
  • If I’m not perfect it’s not worth doing. (O. M. W!)
  • I deserve this. I earned it.  (OUCH.)

Until I ended up exhausted, in tears, in the middle of a freaked out rant my husband had NO CLUE that I was an emotional basket case prior to surgery.  In many ways, neither did I. Somewhere in the middle of my rant, every one of those lies escaped my mouth.  Until they did, I had no idea that they had a stronghold in my heart.

Here’s the good news.

matthew 10 31

The darkest lie withers in the light of truth.

In the light of the truth, my fears just evaporate.  They look silly and irrational.  They don’t stand up to the scrutiny of logic or reason. They certainly don’t stand a chance against scripture.

  • My value comes from God.  Matthew 10:31 says “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
  • My husband loves me.  He is a Godly man.  He vowed to stay by my side in sickness and in health.
  • My kids respect me for who I am, not for what I can do for them.  We’ve taught our kids to respect men and women based on character.  Being unable to cook dinner for a few nights did nothing to change my character.
  • “Honor thy father and mother” didn’t include an asterisk.  Ephesians 6:1 says “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” There’s nothing in the fine print.
  • God doesn’t expect me to be perfect (Romans 3:23).  He’s perfecting me day by bay. (Galatians 3:3).
  • What I deserve and what God desires for me are so different.  They are as far apart as the East is from the West.  (Psalm 103:12) Grace.  Mercy.  Love.

Bottom line?

I would NEVER have expected to view surgery as a blessing.  But I’ve been blessed from the experience.

I never thought I’d be thankful for this.

Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. I definitely think that we sometimes don’t realize that our children/families/husbands are capable of greatness, even without our help! I really related to all the lies you told yourself. This is an excellent post Susan, and I am so glad to have read it today. I needed it.-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted..We Had Words With An Actual Celebrity!My Profile

    • Ashley, I’m so glad my post could speak to you. Yes, our families are capable of so much more than we think they are. They are capable of greatness.

      The truth is that WE are too. WE are capable of greatness far beyond what we give ourselves credit for. All those lies hold us back. It’s true for our kids. It’s true for our husbands. It’s true for (gulp) us.
      Susan Baker recently posted..When you can’t do your job as a mom…My Profile

  2. This is really interesting. I’m glad that you shared this. There are so many other implications of surgery that people sometimes don’t take into account.

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