THOUGHTS BEFORE SURGERY

Well, here I am, on the eve of my little bit of surgery. I have been trying to get used to the idea, by telling people about it and by thinking about how I will manage without a thumb nail or the top of my thumb, if it comes to that. One of my friends, also a trained touch-typist, suggested I tried hitting the space bar with my left thumb – now that will take some concentration!

I feel very lucky and blessed with the lovely people who have taken the time and trouble to contact me and say they are thinking of me and/or praying for me. In fact I haven’t been able to do much this evening, with one phone call after another. I don’t profess to understand prayer really, although I know God always hears our prayers. Sometimes He answers ‘no’, for reasons we can’t understand. But if we understood everything about Him, He wouldn’t be God …

I am trying to keep a sense of perspective, remembering that there are worse cancers, and worse places to have them, and talking to surgeon daughter about some of her emergency cases, which are very sad. I realise that by comparison my situation is small. But it is still mine, and as people have said, it will be a relief to be the other side of this experience.

Ever since I was given the diagnosis, words from Psalm 139 have kept coming into my mind and holding me steady, like tent pegs hammered in to the guy ropes to keep the tent from blowing away.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, Lord!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand –
when I awake, I am still with you.

There is not one particle of me that is not known by God, and does not belong to Him. And that includes my thumb. I don’t know what the outcome will be, or what type of melanoma this will prove. Of course I am apprehensive, and thoughts and fears flutter in and out of my mind like moths. But in the warmth and steady light of God’s love, the moths of fear shrivel and die, and I am left only with their corpses.

I will probably forget verse 18 in the kerfuffle at the hospital tomorrow, but it seems very beautiful to me that when I come round from the anaesthetic, ‘when I awake’,  ‘I am still with you.’ God doesn’t go away when we do.

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