“It’s Only Brain Surgery!”
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
I was only 19-years-old when I first met a neurologist and a neurosurgeon.
I remember their names to this day: Dr. Brian Robinson and Dr. James Geissinger, both of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. You see, these men changed my life. They removed a brain tumor from my Daddy and enabled him to live almost forty years longer. I am forever grateful to them.
Recently I met my second neurologist and neurosurgeon.
It’s been many years in the interim and honestly, I think if I’d gotten to choose, I would have just passed on such new acquaintances. However, I believe that these two young men are brilliant and caring and worthy of treating my sweet husband’s brain.
Why do those words carry such weight? Because it’s dangerous, intricate, and life-altering (in one way or another). And yet, it is also miraculous. I know this from experience with having Daddy back for many years after his tumor was removed.
Even I have been known to use the idiom “Well, it’s not brain surgery!” meaning, of course, that whatever you are attempting isn’t anywhere near as difficult and delicate as what Neurosurgeons spend a lifetime preparing for and executing. But what if it IS brain surgery?
I’m counting on the miraculous in the next few weeks.
Mike will have brain surgery October 1 – inserting a permanent shunt to relieve pressure on his brain from built-up cerebral spinal fluid (NPH – normal pressure hydrocephalus, though there is nothing normal about it).
We are hopeful. Full of hope. Because honestly, it’s been excruciating watching parts of my beloved diminishing before my very eyes – mobility, balance, cognitive problem solving. He says he wants his life back…
Both Mike and I believe that Nothing Is Too Difficult for God.
‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You—Jeremiah 32.17
So maybe I should be saying “It’s only brain surgery!”
What are you facing today that seems delicate or difficult, scary or surprising?
Oh friend, you are not alone. There is One who has experienced all such emotions and knows your heart. The One who will draw close and comfort, encourage and heal. Will you turn to God in these times of uncertainty and great concern?
Perhaps this liturgy will help – Mike and I pray it together for each medical procedure. Please pray it yourself or pass it along to someone you love.
A Liturgy for the Morning of a Medical Procedure
Intercessors: (read boldface font) Patient: (reads regular font)
Intercessors: You designed our bodies, O Lord, with wondrous capacity for regeneration and healing. You give wisdom and knowledge and skill to those who by long training in their professions learn to diagnose and treat ailments of the body. And you, by your Spirit, sometimes effect miracles of healing that even the most skilled of practitioners cannot duplicate.
Patient: Today, as I submit myself to this procedure, I ask, O Lord, that by all means your care toward me would be manifest, for I am utterly dependent upon you. Give to my body immunity and vitality that I might recover quickly. Give me strength and health to resist complications. Give to my medical providers wisdom, skill, and insight. And by your Spirit, transcend even what body and medicine at their best might do. Where it is needed, bring the healing of your own touch to bear in my mortal frame.
Be merciful, O God.
Show your goodness to me, and to those who share my concern. Be now my physician, my mender, my healer. Even in the midst of this procedure, let me rest in you.
As I approach this procedure I acknowledge my own fears at the possibility of outcomes I cannot control.
O God unshaken by any circumstance, be now my rock and my refuge.
Still my racing thoughts. Speak peace to this gale-storm of my insecurities. In the midst of my concerns, give me grace to receive without bitterness the presence and support of friends who, seeking to ease fears they cannot understand, might utter unhelpful things.
Give me also grace to trust, to rest my trepidations in you, for your purposes and your presence transcend all possible outcomes.
Whether the end result of this procedure brings news that is good, bad, or uncertain, nothing that is essential or eternal will have changed.
My great hope is secure. Let me rest in that.
At the end of this day, I will still be your child, utterly dependent on you, utterly loved by you. At the end of this day, my life will yet be hidden with Christ, even as it now is. I will remain an heir to the promise that this imperfect, mortal body, though it faces temporary decline, will one day be swallowed up in a glorious immortality.
We pray for good outcomes from this procedure, O Lord.
We ask for good outcomes, pleading that you would be mindful of our mortal frailties,
But we know that regardless of the tidings to come, you are tender and present and sovereign over all circumstance,
and what is more you love us fiercely and eternally.
Therefore I will trust you to lead me well along the paths of any wild and perilous country. You are my shepherd. This day will hold no surprises for you. Let me rest in that.
Amen. ©2017 “Every Moment Holy” Douglas McKelvey (Rabbit Room Press)
Thank you for your prayers in the days ahead.
under the mercy, Lucinda
“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”
©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell www.EncouragingWords.net
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!