This post could be a repeat of my post from March 2019. To quote myself:

I realize that it has been two months since I last posted anything. How can this be? Is it possible that I have nothing to say? No… I think in a way I have too much to say and not enough time to get it all in.

These past couple of months I’ve been busy….

Making a major decision

I’ve been busy with work, preparing for the Chinese meetings, and with doctor appointments… Back in June I finally made the decision to have surgery on my right knee – a total knee replacement. It was a difficult decision. For the most part, I was feeling fine. However, I’d had a spell when my knee swelled so much I couldn’t walk for a few days. My doctor told me that this would happen more and more – without rhyme or reason. Why? Well, for years he’d been telling me I have end-stage osteoarthritis… but I was walking fine, and had no pain, so why have the surgery?

But in June I finally agreed to have the surgery. I was asked to choose between two dates, one in August or one in November. I wanted to put it off as long as possible and chose November. But I also asked the Lord to help me know that I wasn’t making a mistake. He answered that prayer in a rather unexpected manner. In August my knee started aching, in September I had to start using my cane again, and in October I stopped going to the pool after a couple of great workouts that felt wonderful, followed by a couple of days where I could hardly walk. <sigh> Not the answer I had in mind… but I was convinced.

Now I am just a day or so before my surgery. On November 9 I will finally get a new knee and enter into 3 weeks of hospitalization for intensive physical therapy. I’m very thankful for this program where I can focus only on getting better, and on following the physical therapy plan that will be designed for my specific needs, to get me as independent as possible as fast as possible. I will then have 3 weeks at home to focus on getting as back to normal as possible. Though I’m told full recovery can take 6 months to a year, I should be doing OK by the end of December.

So thankful God remains in charge

This whole experience is teaching me how much I need to rely on the Lord for everything. Nothing is taken for granted. I realize that while I have been blessed with one of the best surgeons in the region (every time I mention my doctor’s name, people familiar with the field respond with wow, how did you get him?), a good healthcare plan, and many people at work and in my two congregations who are there for me… this fickle heart of mine still struggles with little fears and what-ifs. And it seems like there are so many.

If that isn’t enough, it seems that the enemy of our souls has been working overtime. My computer died, my wristwatch died, my oven needed a major repair, my iPhone went on the blitz… and everything combined to lead to a major lack of communication that could have, without the grace of God and loving hearts, destroyed a relationship with a dear friend of more than 25 years.

But the Lord doesn’t work overtime – He is NEVER off duty – and I was amazed to see how quickly He answered prayers, preserved that friendship, fixed my oven within 24 hours, and helped me realize that He really is there for every little detail of my life, from shopping for items to take to the hospital to getting my computer fixed (no, I don’t have it yet, but I am trusting Him to get a repaired one to me when I need it – for now I’m thankful to have a laptop from work to use).

All that to say, that quite honestly, while writing posts for you to enjoy have crossed my mind, to be honest, I just didn’t have the energy. Perhaps, with nothing to do but think in my spare time, I’ll be able to prepare several new posts for you that I can post once I have computer access again.

Thankful for our High Priest – Jesus

But until then, I’d just like to share with you a passage that has been particularly precious to me these past few days.

14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

I’ve been realizing through this that Jesus really does understand how I feel. He knows how much I resist change, how much I don’t like being out of control, and that my fears are very real. But He is with me. He too knew what it was like to hurt, to be hurt, to not be in control of a given situation, and to need to utterly rely on His Father in heaven, even when the path ahead looked impossibly grim. He understands.

As I pondered these verses, the thought came to me, it’s OK not to have words when you pray. Just calling out to me is enough, I understand, I’m here…

I wouldn’t be surprised if you too are struggling with something. I don’t know what it is, but as I’ve shared so many times before, we are in this together. So together, let’s take our speechlessness, the feelings that seem to consume, and the unformed what-ifs that hide in the background, and give them to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He has brought us all this far. He’s not going to leave us now.