Sledgehammer

Sledgehammer…or flyswatter.  That is the question for me today.

I took an enormous leap this morning and went ahead and pre-registered with the hospital for my surgery.  And although I am mostly resolved about the way forward, I wonder sometimes if I am not dealing with my medical issues with a sledgehammer rather than a flyswatter.  Sledgehammer: hysterectomy.  Flyswatter: diagnostic scope and ablation and hormones.

Yet when I consider that over the past month, I’ve had maybe three days of feeling decent and yucky pain the rest of the time…when I consider that my doctor told me I am now in the BMI zone considered “anorexic” even though I am not…when I consider the sleepless nights due to pain…all together I find I am walking on the path to healing.  Although I would not have chosen it for myself, I recognize that this surgery is the path God has set me on.

When I have moved past the surgery and am on my way to a recovered life, I will point my praise not just to the doctor, but to the God who made me and who has provided such wonderful medical options for me.

A friend asked me today how I’m handling the mental aspect of preparing for a hysterectomy.  I told her that the main thing I am feeling — especially as I am once again in bed sandwiched between multiple heating pads — is resolve.

Lately God keeps bringing this Bible passage to the front of my mind:

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11)

What does it mean to take on Jesus’ yoke?  As a city girl, I have only a vague image in my mind of what a yoke is — a wooden device somehow used with oxen.  But oxen aren’t the only ones who use yokes in the world.  People use them, too — and this is the image I think Jesus might have been trying to convey:

A person who has to carry a heavy load often uses a contraption like this one to help balance the weight and make the load easier to carry.

When we take on Jesus’ yoke, we are metaphorically taking on his teachings and making them our own philosophies.  The act of doing this results in a reduction in our burdens and rest for our souls.  What are Jesus’ teachings, anyway?  Here are a few of them, off the top of my head:

  • Pray for and bless your enemies
  • Pray in secret instead of trying to attract attention for your own godliness
  • Those who want to be first must put themselves last
  • Do to others as you’d have them do to you
  • Don’t judge others
  • Love your neighbor as yourself
  • Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength
  • Don’t put your treasure in stuff; invest in loving others through your actions instead
  • Believe in the Son
  • Turn the other cheek rather than fighting back
I think a good activity for me these next few days will be to cull the New Testament for direct commands from Jesus.  It would be rather interesting to see them all in one place.  However, even with all those commands, however long they may be, He did sum everything up for us and told us that if we understood that the Lord is One, if we loved Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths, and if we loved our neighbors as ourselves (with the word neighbor meaning any person we come in contact with), then we would, by definition, take on His yoke.  We would fulfill with our actions all the commands God gave the Israelites simply by showing love.
It occurs to me that having this surgery is, in a way, showing love to my family because when I am well, I will be able to give them more of myself. I’ll be able to go, do, and be without searching for benches to rest. Some things I look forward to:
  • Standing and singing in church without wishing they’d call for us to sit down
  • Taking long walks with my family
  • Going on vacation whenever
  • Yoga
  • Taking a trip to the grocery store without getting completely fatigued
  • Possibly (hopefully!) having a reduction in my anxiety levels so I can travel overseas
  • Eating
  • Gaining weight
  • Volunteering at church
  • Helping other women who face similar challenges
I know I won’t wake up feeling totally 100%.  I know it may take weeks for me to recover.  Yet I am hopeful that I will reclaim myself and that God will use this experience to demonstrate to me and to others His grace, His protection, His mercy, and His healing.
Back when Jesus walked the streets of Galilee, physicians did not have the expertise to surgically correct conditions that they now can.  But God had the power then, and he still holds that power today.  I am adjusting to the reality that His way of revealing that power in my life is through surgery.
So…with 872 words, I’ve convinced myself again that yes, in my particular case, a figurative  medical sledgehammer is appropriate…in twenty days.

4 thoughts on “Sledgehammer

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