Surgery: Working Through Hidden Hurts

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Almost two weeks ago, my right side and back throbbed with pain. I suspected it was a kidney stone. Past experience revealed nothing would ease the pain, and I’d have to grit my way through it. The low-grade fever concerned me. The pain worsened the next morning.

I debated. Should I go in to the doctor? I opted for peace of mind and was able to get an appointment that same morning. Sitting on the exam table, I fumbled my words, feeling stupid for being there, certain he would tell me to go home and rest until the stone passed.

ImageAfter a test and pressing gently on my very tender side, he decided blood tests were needed. The tests he’d run in-office verified I was not dealing with a kidney stone. He said it could be something intestinal. Or, it could be my appendix.

I did the “obedient-girl” thing and had my blood drawn. That afternoon the pain decreased to almost nothing.

“X’s” appeared as I marked off things on my to-do list. Even the fever was gone. Kids came home. We wrestled through homework. I cooked dinner for my guys to eat before heading to karate that evening.

Life as normal.

At 5:15, my phone rang. It was the doctor’s office. I mentally crossed my fingers, praying he would say it was nothing. Probably an intestinal bug wreaking havoc in my abdomen. I moved out of the boys’ hearing. Just in case.

“Your white counts are up. The chance you’re dealing with appendicitis just increased. You need to get to the ER tonight.” My stomach dropped.

Appendicitis?

Who gets appendicitis in their mid-forties?

I do, apparently.

Taking a deep breath, I shuffled my priorities. A friend came to stay with the boys. Hubby and I headed to the ER.

Long story short, after more tests, they decided my appendix would need to come out. Pronto.

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How many times have I dealt with spiritual appendicitis? That something inflamed within my spirit causing tenderness to an inner wound? When it festers, the pain intensifies. The fever rises as the heart-hurt deepens.

Some wounds will always be with me, ratcheting up the pain every so often. But sometimes, there are hidden hurts that must come out. The pain inflicted—accidentally or not, by another—is the result of bitterness or past hurts I’ve clung to.

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They can be surgically removed by Jesus, if I am willing to lay myself on the operating table. If I’ll release my grip on the hurt. Forgiveness is often the tool I must offer the Father so He can begin healing my spirit.

Sometimes, what needs to be removed are unmet expectations toward God or people. When I hold tightly to those expectations, disappointment inevitably follows. Because people will fail me sooner or later.

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And God . . . well, He doesn’t work according to my expectations. He operates with the plans He knows are best for me. If I can relinquish those expectations to His care, I find healing more quickly.

I’m fortunate. My healing process has gone well. I’ve slowed down and re-evaluated some things in my life. I’m healing physically.

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When unexpected pain—physical or spiritual— rears up, diagnosing it and dealing with it early helps recovery to go more smoothly.

What about you? Have you ever had emergency surgery? When has God removed something from you that ended with good results?

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Surgery: Working Through Hidden Hurts

  1. Not emergency surgery, but my 9th grade year (during spring break – a week before track started) I had chronic ingrown toenails removed.

    Toenails were growing horseshoe shaped, curling around inside the flesh and growing back up toward the center underside of the toenail.

    Took them a bit to get them out. I had suffered from them for several years up to that point, bearing the pain. Played soccer for 6 years that way.

    I spent spring break on my back with my feet elevated.

    I missed 3 days of track because the doc said I couldn’t run until he could check my toes. Haven’t had a problem since.

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    • Gabe. Isn’t it amazing how seemingly inconsequential parts of our bodies can cause so much pain, discomfort and inconvenience? I’m glad they didn’t slow you down for long and that you got back into track! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I’m so glad you went to the doctor early, my friend! What great insight to compare this incident to our spiritual lives. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

    Take care!

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    • Thanks Jackie! I’m glad too. It could’ve been so much worse. I guess because I’ve dealt with hidden hurts (and probably have a few to deal with), the analogy came to mind. 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  3. Hey, sweet girl! So thankful you are healing. I heard the same thing: “You’re white count is high … 17K.” (Hope I’m quoting that number correctly) And yes, God has definitely had to do emergency surgery on my heart … bitterness toward my parents’ divorce. Praise God, it’s healed.

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    • Hello to the only other person I know who had an appendectomy in those unexpected years (like how I avoided the age thing? 😉 ). I’m glad you came through yours okay!

      Walking through your parents’ divorce had to be painful. I’m so glad that God has worked healing in your heart for that wound.

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  4. So thankful you are healing. As I go through my day today, your post will be with me. I have some things that need to be surgically removed…spiritually wise. Ouch! Thank you my friend. I am praying for continued healing. Blessings.

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    • Thank you for the prayers, Gail. I’ll say a prayer for you as you bring those things to the Lord for surgery. It’s never easy, but the freedom is always a great benefit after “surgery.”

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  5. Beautiful thoughts.
    Five years ago I had increasing pain through the day. I got in to the doctor’s before he left for the day. He sent me across the street to the hospital for tests. By eleven that night, I was in surgery for appendicitis. Initially, the lap surgery was worse than regular surgery. Anesthetic usually bothers me afterward, but the gases used to inflate the abdomen really did a number on me. I was up and around a lot faster. Today, two of the three scars have disappeared. No fun, but it’s in the past, and (lovely thought) appendixes don’t grow back.

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    • Wow, Terri. I’m so glad you made it through. And the fact that two of your three scars are GONE gives me hope. 🙂 What a relief that they caught early for you. I had lap surgery too, and for once, I wasn’t affected by the anesthesia. Or the gases. Shocker of shockers. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Dearest sissy,
    I’m so glad you are healing. I just have to tell you that I love your analogies.
    They always make me think past the border to which I normally think. You are such an amazing writer.
    Love you!

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  7. We’re so glad you are on the mend. What is it about being put on forced “bed rest” that gives us time to listen to God? I’m so glad you’ve shared what you’ve learned. We all the richer for it.

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    • Thank you, Wendy. It feels good to function “normally” again. I guess sometimes God has to take me out of life as I know it to get through to me. Thankfully, this time out didn’t last too long. 🙂 And thanks for your kind words.

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  8. What a beautiful reminder, Jeanne! I’ve been through multiple intense surgeries. The last time God showed me the verse about being “Still and Know that I am God,” but the part that he showed me was the phrase after that…”that his glory may be revealed/shown through His mighty power.” It made me sit back and realize I needed to be still so God can work. Sometimes we get in the way of His display of power and glory, in the way of His mighty intervention. That really struck me.

    Thanks for this beautiful post!

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    • Michelle, I love that verse too. I hadn’t thought about it in relation to surgery. Being still can be difficult, but necessary for the healing process. Thanks for the reminder that part of the beauty of stillness is that God can display His presence through us. And we get the blessing. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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