It wasn’t what we’d hoped for.  It wasn’t what we’d prayed for.  It wasn’t what we had thought could happen.  But here we are, hearing the doctor’s words: “I have never worked on a shoulder in such bad shape.  Only a thin piece of bone was left to attach the replacement socket to.  I had to do bone grafts and we will wait and see if Thad’s body heals around the device and graft.  I did the best I could.”

No, not what we had planned.  Thad’s total shoulder replacement was supposed to be like an advertisement for a miracle drug.  Take this and be healed.  Do this and your life is restored.  What we’ve come to expect in our “Want it now-Get it now society”.  Instant gratification.

Disappointed?  Sure.  Hopeless?  Far from it.  Why? For several reasons.

  1. The same nurse/neighbor who was a charge nurse on the cardiac floor of the hospital when I had my bypass surgery was now working in pre-op and recovery. She arranged to be Thad’s nurse.  What a comfort to have a nurse friend in pre-op – surely a gift from God.
  2. We feel blessed that he made it through his surgery with no incident and all his faculties intact. OK, here I admit I have enjoyed my husband physically, but I fell and am in love with his great mind and soul.
  3. While not much bone was left to work with; there was still something the doctor could do and he did it. Bless the surgeon, Lord.
  4. God has worked with so much less and done so much with so little. Look what he does with me on a day to day basis!
  5. We have faith that no matter what the outcome, there is a purpose for this kink in Thad’s armor.
  6. God is here.

If I am to be totally honest, I felt the light dimming in my heart as the doctor’s words began to sink in.  All Thad’s research, and education had led us to this procedure and we felt in control of the decision and its outcome.  But the outcome was now uncertain.  If this failed, would he lose total movement of his arm?  Would I be able to care for him?  Would Thad accept this possible physical limitation?  How would we cope?

When it was time for me to leave him at the hospital that night, neither one of us spoke of this uncertain future but it filled our hearts and minds.  Maybe from the stress of the surgery, and still needing to care for two dogs and two cats at home, I fell into blessed and restful sleep (Thank you, Lord).   But as a new day dawned I could feel my worries and concerns bubbling up to the surface once again.  How could I face Thad without spilling my concerns and causing him to worry even more than he already was?  I reached for my bible searching for the words that would quiet my mind and lighten my soul.

I found them.

Psalm 16:8 (NASB)

I have set the Lord continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

 I could feel the chatter in my head quiet down as I simply dwelled on this verse.  I must continually set the Lord before me.  Reach for Him in thought, word, and prayer.  God is my right hand.  I rest assured that all is doable, survivable, and can even grow (like the bone grafts!) because God is my right hand.  I need not fear for the Lord is here!

And then in 1 John 1:5 (NASB)

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Within these words I found the light that dimmed the night before becoming brighter and shining within me once again.  I knew that no matter what the outcome of this surgery, God would light our path.  He would guide us, help us adapt, and find acceptance and quality of life in any circumstance.

With His word, in meditation and prayer I find this light clearly and brightly as the lights shown on Thad in the operating room the day before.  With God being our right hand I regain confidence.  I find God lighting and leading the way.  The darkness of uncertainty of this life is no match for God.

God is here and His light shines bright.

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