Several years ago when I felt God nudging me to write. God was laying upon my heart to share a simple woman’s life as she strives to walk with God day-by-day. I didn’t start the blog as God prompted until a year and a half later. I need to share the events of 2009, for clarity of what I will share in the coming weeks.
In 2009 my walk with God was pretty strong. God and I met daily, shared everything and did life together. I truly felt deeply connected; I could hear God speak. Towards the end of 2009 I was scheduled for a partial colonectomy. I approached surgery day with normal apprehension, yet calm, in knowing God had my back. I joked with the anesthesiologist saying, “I had no desire to be on the Oprah Winfrey show”. He looked at me puzzled. I explained, “Several years back someone appeared on Oprah Winfrey who awakened during surgery completely paralyzed, feeling and hearing everything”. We all chuckled. He assured me I had nothing to dread.
My conversation with my anesthesiologist came out of nowhere. What prompted me to say such a thing? No clue! I did, however, wake up. I awoke during surgery! I could completely feel. I could hear everything; I could not speak; I could not move. I could see, yet my eyelids were completely shut. I was absolutely paralyzed and fully conscious! The conversation of earlier in the prep room had come to life. My heart started to race – unbelievable terror rose in my throat. “ I’ve got to calm down or I’ll die from fright”. I concentrated on breathing, breathing deep, slowly… slowly. The anesthesiologist was desperately trying to cram the breathing tube down my throat. I prayed! I prayed fervently for God to intervene. “God, I don’t think I will survive surgery like this”. “Lord, please, rally everyone that knows me and even some who don’t to pray!!! There was a lot of commotion happening in the operating room. Something was wrong! A trach tray had been ordered. I tried to pray for others to keep my mind occupied; it was impossible. I asked God, one last time, to have people pray. I drifted off. Still paralyzed I felt the gurney move, instantly aware of my surroundings once again; we were changing rooms, Whew, surgery was completed. Why could I not move? I was rolled into the recovery room. I could tell where everyone was in the room. I could hear their conversations. I could see/sense everything happening, even though I remained in a state of suspended animation. The anesthesiologist walked into the room asking, “Is she awake yet?” “No”, responded the nurse. How ironic. I wanted to shout, “I’m awake!!! You just don’t know it!” “I can hear you; I can see you (even if my eyelids are shut).” The anesthesiologist spoke once again, “My biggest fear is she was awake for part of the procedure.” As if on cue, my head responded in a nod – a bobble head nod. I just kept nodding “Yes, I was awake!!!” I still could not speak and my eyes would not pop open; the nurse saw my head move. She quickly rose from her chair, moved to my side of the bed, picked up my hand and said, “I’m here”. She was my angel. It wasn’t long before the eyelids lifted and the mouth could speak. My surgeon walked in and explained surgery had not been completed; she had cancelled it in the operating room. Well, her words were, “we had to halt the surgery!” No one really knows why they were unable to intubate me. I’m grateful I didn’t end up in an ICU room hooked up to machines with a tracheotomy and a long “non–surgery” recovery. I praise God for his intervention and watchful eye. I spent the night in the hospital for observation. All-in-all I was doing well other than I had a hard time swallowing. At 3:00 am I longed for my journal. I looked out at the dark sky, not a star in sight. Lord I said, “I have no idea why or for what purpose this happened, but I know you are in the midst.”
Over the next couple of days I received emails and phone calls from friends. One friend formed a prayer vigil group, “When you return for surgery, we will pray in the waiting room. We will not stop until surgery is finished and you are in your hospital room.” Another friend had a different approach; she was convinced that I was to not have surgery. She knew beyond a doubt it was God who caused all this to happen! God had healed me. She was adamant!!! My friend could not understand why I would choose to go through with the surgery. She questioned my faith; she as much said, I didn’t have any. “How could I not believe God would heal me?” The enemy used those words to set me on a spin of doubt. I was listening to her voice and not Gods. For the first time in a long time, I couldn’t clearly hear God’s voice. I searched the Scriptures for healing; I searched the Scriptures regarding faith, trust and belief. I was on a merry-go-round of confusion, doubt, fear of doing the wrong thing, and being angry. Angry my friend would, so strongly, challenge my decision to follow God’s leading in my life. Angry at me – I could not hear God. I did the second surgery, all went well, and I’ve had no Cancer scares since. The enemy, however, used a well meaning friend to revive my Achilles heel of fear and doubt.
Five weeks after the 2nd surgery, I came down with H1N1 flu. I remember lying in bed one evening saying, “I survived a failed surgery, a successful surgery, and now am going to die from the flu”. I was really ill! My pulmonologist admitted to me, just recently, he wasn’t sure I was going to survive the flu, either. It was a long process back to health. By the grace of God, I’m still here.
The trust and complete faith I had in my hospital room, that evening, at 3:00 am became lost in a sea of doubt. It has been years of confusion and yes, even times of hiding from God. I crave more of God in my life. To sense God’s Spirit deeply, to feel His presence with me once again. I’ve lost my connection to my creator. I’m pretty certain God has not moved, we simply have a short in our communication. The craving has been placed in my heart by God. His Word, the Bible, says, “He gives us the desires of our heart”. The distance I feel is not from God it comes from somewhere deep within. It’s a seed which was planted by the enemy which took root! A root which has been allowed to grow far too long! I have a new cyber friend. Her name is Margaret Feinberg. She is a writer like me. She has written a new book which will be out in the stores on Christmas day. It’s called, “Wonderstruck”. Our journey, though very different, has similarities in struggles. I have had the privilege of previewing 3 chapters of her book in advance; they resonate with my heart! More tomorrow….