This week my daughter invited me to play with playdough together. I created a clock out of playdough, all the while fearing that I may not be able to do that in two weeks, and I was praying that someday, I will be able to create a clock with playdough again. I know that surgery is in my future, and surgery can change an easy task into a difficult (or even impossible) one.
I remember the day, shortly after my first brain surgery, when the speech therapist instructed me to draw a clock. I told myself that would be easy. I drew a circle and started writing numbers. 1, 2, 3,… Wait a minute. Something is wrong. The three didn’t belong there. (It was in the 2 o’clock position. I had written the one where the twelve was suppose be). I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t know how to correct it. I felt helpless. I wanted to quit then, but the therapist told me to keep trying. So I just wrote the other numbers on the clock, knowing that they were in the wrong spot). I remembered that the long hand was supposed to point to the twelve and the short hand to the seven. Since I knew I had already messed up the numbers, I tried to be smart with how I drew the clock hands. I drew a long skinny hand to the twelve. I knew that short hands are often wider than long hands. I drew I tried to draw a wide short hand pointing to the seven, but in my efforts to make it wide I accidentally made it longer than my long hand. I was so frustrated that I just pushed the paper back to the therapist and told her I can’t draw a clock.
Fear says, “You don’t want to be that weak again.”
But I might have to be. This week, we had an appointment with the neurosurgeon. He explained that tumor has migrated from my speech center into motor skill for my right hand (which is why I have had some tingling in my right hand.) His hope is to go in, remove the tumor, and leave the part of the brain that gives me function of my dominant hand. We have scheduled this surgery for August 15, 2016. Hopefully, I can continue to play with playdough and all the other things I want to do with my hand.
So yes, I am afraid. I want to live for my family. I want to teach my daughter big things like God loves her all the way down to the small things like how to create with playdough. And yet I fear that the brain tumor could take that all away from me.
But I also know that my God will use whatever happens for good. And He reassured me of this while we were waiting for the doctor. I was reading Christine Caine’s book Unashamed (highly recommended) where, God reminded me that:
“Trust has to grow…trust grows slowly. But here’s the great news. God knows how to grow trust….”
“Do you know what he uses to grow our trust? He uses the very tool that the enemy uses to try to stop us. He uses our fear. Fear exposes the limits of our present capacity—but not our potential capacity.
“Think about this: When you come face to face with fear, do you know what you are looking at? You are looking at the very next place where God is preparing to build your trust” (page 160, emphasis added).
And I could keep quoting Christine Caine, because she has learned that God uses the hard things in life to heal us and strengthen us. We are both stronger, because of God’s healing work. And we trust God to continue to work.
And so, whether I can create with playdough or not, I will praise God for this coming surgery, because I trust God that my family and I will be stronger after it. I might not be physically stronger, but I will have a stronger faith.