I learned to care less about what didn’t matter. (I hope that lesson sticks!) My list of things that matter is much shorter than it used to be. Past decisions, other people’s choices or opinions, plans that don’t affect me, social intricacies, small inconveniences… This doesn’t mean I care less about others around me, but rather that I am careful to conserve my mental and emotional energy for that which I can affect. My feathers don’t ruffle quite as easily as they once did. Computer problems? They look pretty small now. Traffic? Unexpected chores or needed repairs around the house? They aren’t so irritating any more. My “Type A” has slipped, and nicely so.
At times peace and worry warred within me, but peace won out every time. More than one friend commented that she could hear the peace in my voice. I could neither explain nor take credit for that. I began to journal all the “small” miracles that were sprinkled into my days.
- A good friend, a nurse with very particular views about local medical options, raved about the doctor who would be doing my surgery, as well as the oncologist who would be assisting.
- The depth and breadth of care and prayer astonished me. Friends and family near and far encouraged me with gifts, cards, texts, and promises of consistent prayer.
- Just one hour of shopping and $50 yielded four simple dresses I would need after surgery when my body swelled.
- More than one “chance encounter” led to times of prayer with someone who cared.
- I was hit with an intense bout of the flu just two weeks before my surgery. How could that be a blessing? It allowed me to see the gaps in my recovery plan. I learned what to buy and how to prepare for several days of limited mobility.
Then the day of surgery came. It was successful. I had very little pain throughout the entire process, astonishing all my caretakers. Many of the post-surgical discomforts I had been warned to expect simply never materialized. No complications arose. No further treatment was prescribed. I am well, and I am changed.
- I am living more deliberately. I’m more aware of the blessing of tasty food, a soft pillow, a hug from my husband, time to rest and recover…
- I am expecting less of myself and of those around me.
- I asked myself why I wanted to be healthy—to keep living—and I’m acting on my answers.
I don’t take my healing as the promise of an easy future. On any day, life can turn in either direction. The gift of getting to stay alive will not be without its moments of pain. And so, joy can only come from trust every single day. Circumstances, no matter what they are, just don’t cut it. Life changed in a moment last July. That may happen again. I have no promise of a similar outcome. I do have the promise of similar peace. So do you:
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
Next Week: Care More