February 13, 2018
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message).
Friend to Friend
After a long and tenacious conversation with the orthopedic surgeon, I finally resigned myself to the fact that shoulder surgery was in my near future. I had managed to separate my shoulder – and a Southerland does nothing half way. Oh, no! I even looked it up. And I quote, “Surgical intervention when treating a separated shoulder is very rare and only performed in the most severe cases.” I was a severe case, which was evidenced by the amount of pain I was in, but refused to admit. I had endured said pain for 10 days until I finally gave in and went to my general practitioner who promptly sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I said, “Fine! I will go, but I am not having surgery.” Famous last words.
The surgery was scheduled and all of the necessary tests were run. I asked my prayer team to pray. I asked my sister’s prayer team to pray. Our church was praying. We were ready!
Dan scheduled time away from the church office to take care of me and had even arranged for us to stay at a friend’s cabin for a week. Our son, daughter-in-law, and their four beautiful children were living with us at the time. The kids ranged from 9 years old down to one year of age – great kids – but still kids.
As Dan and I drove to the hospital, we talked about how good God had been to work everything out in such a beautiful way.
Remember that statement.
When we arrived at the hospital, I was checked in and prepped for surgery. The kind nurse with the nice sleep medicine was just about to give me a sedative when the lab technician stepped into the room and said, “You might want to wait on that.” I did not like her tone of voice.
The head nurse read the blood work report, looked at me with sad eyes, and broke the news. “Mary, your potassium is way too low for you to have general anesthetic.” Surely I had heard her wrong. “What was that?” I asked. She repeated herself and the news slowly sank in. No amount of begging or pleading changed her mind.
I got dressed without a word and headed for the nearest exit. Dan was saying something about this being God’s plan and that I wouldn’t want to be in a surgical room if God didn’t want me there. I didn’t want to hear it! I had a plan and that’s all there was to it!
Being the mature believer that I am, I cried like a baby all the way home. And then I got angry! They told me to quit taking all of my supplements two weeks before surgery and I did. Potassium is one of those supplements, so this flaw in my plan was their fault!
It took me quite a while to settle down. And then I began to ask God what in the world had happened and why? Silence. Well, there must be some important reason – like the doctor was too tired or some evil nurse planned to take me out. Nothing.
I finally gave up – and that is when I heard Him whisper, “Mary, when are you going to learn how to fully trust me, to rest in My perfect plan for your life, and just be held?”
I honestly did not know the answer to that question. I have been a follower of Christ for so many years and still don’t have this lesson learned. I have come a very long way from when I was an insecure and timid believer – but not far enough.
I finally took a deep breath and prayed, “Lord, please forgive me for my lack of faith in You and in Your plan for my life. I don’t have a clue why this surgery has worked out like it has, but I trust You. I just simply choose to trust You. I know You love me and have only the very best for me. So instead of trusting men and circumstances - and even my most well thought out plan - today I trust You.”
The lump in my throat and the knot in my stomach both dissolved. My heart settled and my soul was at peace. Two weeks later I had the surgery … and everything went beautifully. God’s plan may very well have been to remind me that when I trust Him, His perfect plan will always rise. I have to learn to celebrate when my plan doesn’t come together – but God’s plan does!
Father, I want to trust You, but my faith is so weak. Please help me learn to rely on You instead of on things I can see and touch and feel. Teach me how to step out in faith, trusting You to make a way for me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now it’s Your Turn
I love this acronym for faith:
In your journal, create your own acronym and ask God to make you a woman of faith.
More from the Girlfriends
I think we all struggle with trusting God from time to time. Don’t let your experience determine your belief. Let your belief determine your experience.
Need help? Mary’s CD, Divine Surprises: 7 Habits of a Successful Woman, will help you to become the woman of faith you have always dreamed of being.
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