Update On Where I've Been and Where I'm Headed

Where I’ve Been

In January 2020 I had my third heart surgery. Then I had serious issues with my eyes caused by my atrial fibrillation. While that was creating more appointments to my retina specialist, both my knees and my right elbow continued to worsen.

Since the last time I wrote (April 2020), I’ve had three surgeries within three months. I had my second surgery on my right knee in July, a major elbow surgery in September, and a minor surgery to remove and biopsy a small lump on the inside of my right cheek. All this has been quite daunting and depressing.

To add to my already (as one of my specialist put it) “eventful medical record”, I was also having severe pain in my index finger on my left hand. However, I didn’t mention it to anyone because there was already so much going on, that I could tell that I was overwhelming my doctors. And because I had already asked my Father, if it would please Him, to resolve this ailment without the use of medical intervention, I waited patiently, while seeking fervently for His answer.

During about four months of waiting, I suffered silently in prayer, but not alone in prayer. For my Lord Jesus is always with me and ever intercedes for me.

After several months had passed, all my fingers on my left hand and my right hand began to feel as if someone was crushing each one of them, while simultaneously setting them on fire. Also, some of my fingers began to turn blue. So when I was two weeks post-op from my elbow surgery, I shared my excruciating pain with my darling husband, and made an appointment with my dermatologist. She diagnosed me with secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon, that is being caused by another connective tissue disease. She then referred me to a rheumatologist who will examine, run tests, and treat both my Raynaud’s and whatever connective tissue disease is causing it.

For the time being, I’ve been prescribed diltiazem for systemic treatment and relief, as well as a nitroglycerin cream to provide my fingers some immediate relief. I was also told to wear gloves at all times (even while asleep), and to keep from touching anything cold with my bare hands.

Now that the weather here in Texas has cooled off, no one stares at me for wearing gloves everywhere. At first, many people stared and some asked if it was really that cold outside, or if I was taking extra COVID precautions.

I was quite the site up until a couple of weeks ago. Not only did I wear gloves at all times, but I also had a full leg brace on my left leg, a brace and compression sleeve on my right leg, a full arm (from shoulder to wrist) cast on my right arm (then eventually a full arm, telescopic brace), and a sleeve on my left arm. Yes, I got stared at quite a bit. But not by anyone for parking in the handicapped spot. Hmm…I wonder why? (I’m giggling as I write this part.)

Where I’m Headed

Therefore, in order to make the best use of my time with every new ailment and every new specialist (Eph 5:16-17), I’ve been repenting more, so that I may walk humbly with my Lord; neither foolishly running ahead of Him, nor idly walking behind Him (Js 4:17). It’s important to me to repent first of my past encounters I have had with others during my sufferings, that I may not repeat the same sins—sins of trying to be more cheerful or concerned, or apathetic, or…whatever I think might best demonstrate the power of Christ in me; rather than praying Ephesians 4:29 (trusting that God alone knows what the best demonstration of His power is for each person).

I’m grateful to my Father for granting me the freedom in Christ to be able to repent daily. I love being set free to repent because it’s always such a delightful and refreshing time with my Father. Just like a good cry helps the weight of burdens flee, repenting to the LORD and whomever I’ve sinned against relieves me of God’s opposing hand. And I get to once again, be exalted to be nearer to Him (Js 4:6-10); enjoying His perfect peace (Is 26:3-4).

When my Father faithfully washes and renews my mind with His Word, my eyes see clearly; my ears hear obediently; my mind understands humbly; and my heart desires greatly, to follow my Lord into any and all hardships—knowing that like my Savior, I will learn obedience through what I suffer (Ps 119:67-68 and 71; Heb 5:7-8).

I pray for my Father to daily, help me forget what’s behind (failures and successes) and strain towards the good work He has prepared for me in advance, that I might walk in them (Phil 3:14, Eph 2:10).

To God be the glory, forever and ever. Amen.