Call it an Adventure

13/01/2013 15:30

A few weeks ago, I had an appointment with a Foot and Ankle specialist in North Adelaide. It was long overdue. Due to increased pain in my feet over the years, I knew that one day I would have to seriously consider surgery. The pain had got so bad last year that Shan and I felt we could not postpone it any longer. Even a half hour walk around the Oval would often be too much as I hobbled around in pain. I knew the hour had arrived.
I sat in the waiting room, watching men and women of all shapes and sizes, most of them elderly, coming in for their appointments. Some limped in, crutch in hand. Others sported a fascinating gadget they rested a foot on, while they wheeled themselves in. Many had a spouse or carer helping them. I wondered if I’d look like them when I next came in.
Before I met the surgeon, I was dreading the operation and dreaded 2013. I knew there would be lots of pain to contend with. I knew I would not be able to walk for several months. I knew my usual tasks around the home would need to be abandoned for awhile. I knew I would be uttterly dependant on my husband and son for even my most basic needs. I knew that any jaunts to the church, my volunteer job, the village, catching up with friends and all else would cease for awhile. I knew I wouldn’t be able to even enjoy a walk around the Oval for ages. I also knew I didn’t want any of the above to occur.
I pushed aside the thought, whenever it surfaced in my mind like the unwelcome visitor it was. Then came the day I met the surgeon. He took one look at the x-rays and told me it was urgent. I had a pretty misshapen bunion that needed fixing. A badly dislocated second toe which required attention. Tendons and ligaments that had to be stitched. Toes that should be re-aligned. Yes, a lot of exciting work was afoot, so to speak!
I called Shan at once. We agreed we should go ahead with the operation. As I left the Medical centre with the paperwork completed, my perspective suddenly took an amazing 360 degree turn. It was like a switch that was suddenly turned on, giving me a sneak peak of a brilliant sunrise while it was yet night.What made the difference? The confidence and hope I placed in an experienced surgeon. He’d told me there was 90 – 95% chance of success. I believed him. I looked forward to being able to have a foot that worked the way it should by and by. Yay! It would be worth it.
There was such a change in my attitude before and after I met that surgeon. Before – I dreaded 2013. Now I embraced it. Before, all I could think of was the pain I would have to endure. Now I could see a reason for the pain. I knew it could herald great gain. Before, I didn’t want my independent active lifestyle curtailed. Now I decided to treat it as a special blessing from God Himself.
Three whole months of not doing what I usually do. But three whole months of a special bonus. Being able to pray, study the Word, read books, spend time in quietness, listen to music, spend time with my family, draw closer to God. Yes a package of precious blessings. Perhaps once the pain was under control, I could even engage in what I love to do – WRITE!
And so….I now dare dub the next 3 months in my life as an Adventure.
And you know, when I think about it, I realise that it’s like the difference that Jesus made in my life. Before I knew Him, I often had a sense of lack. Not that life was difficult. I had a great life as a teenager; loving parents, six caring siblings, many friends, a good school, plenty to keep me going. But I’d often wondered if there wasn’t more to life. I sensed a need I could not place my hands on.
And then I met Jesus.
Suddenly, there was meaning to life. Forgiveness. Love. Hope. Purpose. Direction. Work to do. Fulfillment. Contentment. Joy.
You can picture me in the next 2 weeks lying still, with my right foot uncomfortably elevated above my heart – unable to do much – not even allowed to sit at my computer to have a go at next week’s blog. You can picture me in pain. You can picture my hard working boys scurrying about me – doing the tasks I usually do. (Bless them both! I thank God for them.)

But you can also picture me having an Adventure of a lifetime.

Before I met Jesus, I thought that a good life meant a life without heartache or pain, difficulty or tough times. How little I understood life then. God has taught me different. I’ve found that a painful season (in whatever form) teaches me many lessons. I understand myself and others better. Life becomes richer for it. My soul grows. My bond with Jesus deepens.
Before the surgeon – the focus -  pain.
After the surgeon – the focus - gain.
Before Jesus – the focus - an easy life.
After Jesus - the focus – Letting go and Letting God.

May He continue to make a difference in your life and in mine in the coming Year!

Let the Adventure begin!