Good Morning Gorgeous,
It’s a brand new day. A fresh new start. A new day to rise and allow Jesus to gently remove the things that need to go.
He is gentle and loving as He prunes and cleanses and delivers us..
The thing is we have free will. Even after we submit our lives to Christ, He won’t come into areas that we won’t submit to Him. If we have agreements and covenants with unforgiveness, past trauma, addictions, numbing activities, busyness, idols in our life etc… those areas will remain in turmoil until we submit them over to Jesus.
And even though it can be painful to be pruned, when you heal and learn to receive God’s best over satan’s counterfeit, you open up yourself and your life to receive that abundant life Jesus promised.
You participate in the sweetest exchange when you trade unhealthy coping strategies and idol worship for Jesus’s light and easy ways.
My Nia had surgery yesterday. It was not an emergency and it could have been put off a little longer, but her pediatrician and her surgeon were in agreement that the sooner, the better.
She has had an umbilical hernia since she was born and many cases clear on their own by age 5, so we’ve been watching it and waiting to see if it would heal on its own. And each year at her physical, the pediatrician would check and tell us that of it didn’t heal by her 5th birthday, then surgery would be the best route.
The thing is, Nia LOVES her belly button. Like LOVES it! Ever since she was an infant, she has held onto her protruding belly button as a comfort and to fall asleep. Every nap time, every bedtime, every long car ride, every snuggly movie night, whenever she is relaxed, you can bet she has her hand on her belly.
Soooo… we make the hard choice. Close the tear in the muscle wall now when the doctors are saying it’s the best time and help our daughter through the grieving process. OR let her keep her belly button as is and get surgery later. The doctors are okay with this option, but they both say sooner is better and there are risks as long as the hernia is there.
So, the best option was pretty clear and we scheduled surgery. We explained everything to Nia weeks before the surgery. We explained that we loved her belly button too and she wasn’t getting the surgery because of the way it looked but because it was important to keep her safe and healthy. She understood, but oh was she saaad.
We explained how the surgery would hurt for a little while as the stitches healed, but then her belly would be strong and healthy.
And this got me thinking about how this whole process with Nia parallels our spiritual walk with Jesus.
Just as Nia chose to have a surgery that meant grieving a loss, but the end result would mean restoration to her body, we also can choose to allow Jesus to prune away the parts of our lives that need to go.
Nia holding onto her comfort item was no longer healthy or good for her. Yet, learning to stop that well developed habit and turning to a new healthier comfort will take time.
For our spiritual walk, that’s where Holy Spirit comes in to help and give us power to leave the old painful patterns in the dust and run towards the things of the Kingdom.
Sometimes these things can even be our motives and deep parts of our heart. My prayer for several weeks has been more of a deep groan to the Lord. I’ve found myself crying out for Him to purify my heart, sanctify my motives and make me pure, and He laid on my spirit the perfect prayer. It was a prayer from King David in Psalms, and its been my continual prayer to God for weeks now. “Lord, create in me a pure heart.”
Nia’s surgery was a total success! Here she is on the way there. It was about 5:45am, and she was quiet and a bit nervous. But, she was willing to go and let go of her belly button.
Next, Chuck signed her in while we waited. Then, we all sat and waited together. Her surgery was at Galiano Children’s Hospital, and every part of the process was above and beyond amazing.
After registering, we went upstairs to the pediatric surgery section. You first enter a room that serves as your waiting room before, during, and just after surgery. You can imagine this room is where parents are a bundle of nerves!
But God is a God of details, and every time one of the kiddos have had surgery, Teri has been there to help with the wait. Teri works at the desk in the waiting room. She is the first face you see upon entering. She explains how you’ll receive updates. She is there to usher you into the consult room with the doctor when the surgery is over. And she is so fun, kind, calm, reassuring, informative, and just so empathetic to the situation that parents are in as they wait in her room.
Here she is yesterday dressed up from head to toe to celebrate Christmas in July!
And to top off her awesomeness, she makes good, strong coffee! She is the one who served me the coffee straight from Jesus when Bentley had his arm broken. Here’s that miracle story here:
After waiting a bit, it was Nia’s turn. This hospital runs on time and so efficiently! We were called back even before our scheduled time. Here’s Nia getting her vitals.
Next, she dressed in her hospital clothes and she visited with her nurse, her doctor, her anesthesiologist, and finally, the child life specialist who explained from start to finish along with pictures of everything that would happen to her from start to finish. She even gave an extra breathing mask to “Mr. Whiskers”. The hospital allowed her to have her own blanket and stuffed toy from home the whole time even in the operating room.
And then, it was time for her to go back. I leaned next to her and prayed aloud for her, for every staff person in the room to be guided by Holy Spirt, and for successful surgery. I kissed her and watched a team of doctors push her bed down the hall. Chuck and I watched all the way until they turned the corner and then back to wait with Miss Teri in the waiting room.
We fueled up on more coffee and then we sat staring at the surgery doors…
About an hour later, Teri brought us into the consult room and Dr. Hebra told us all about the surgery and how it went. Her tear was larger than he expected, but the repair was routine and all was well!
We went back to see her and we were right there when she woke up.
The first thing she said was, “Mom, look behind you and you’ll see a screen with my heartbeat.” She proceeded to tell Chuck and I about each of the things attached to her. They put her IV on her hand after she had fallen asleep, so that was new to her. She looked at her hand and said, “Wow, that’s so cool!” She was interested and amazed by the whole process. She never cried at all. She didn’t cry before the surgery or after or even back at home.
After a little while in recovery, she was discharged. Even discharge was fun at Golisano! They wheeled over a vending machine!
And then Nia got the choice to have me carry her or ride the wheelchair. She chose wheelchair.
And she perked up FAST!!! Here she is on the ride home and then helping me cook later.
God is good! He will guide you to all the right places. He will have you lay down things that hurt you or no longer serve you, but He will do it with the gentlest of Hands. He will help you to release what needs to go while giving you better things. Things that lead to wholeness, completeness, restoration, and healing.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for coming into our lives and being patient with us as we learn to release to You the things that we cling to so tightly. Lord, reveal to us things that have kept us blinded, bound, or that are just not longer good for us. Lord, sometimes its things that were only meant for a season. Jesus, deliver us from all that needs to go and help us to open our hearts up to receive all the abundant, full living you have planned for us.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Blessings and bravery as you release old things!
Vanessa and Nia
And if you came across this post and you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, may I encourage you that by choosing Him you receive eternal life in heaven, BUT ALSO abundant life NOW. Following Him is the most precious adventure you have ever taken!! All you have to do to get started is to pray and receive Him as Lord. The Bible says to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and believe with your heart the precious gospel message that Jesus taught. Repent of your sins which means simply to ask Jesus to forgive you and then choose to walk away from them and go in the New Direction that God is calling you to. Confess or speak that you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for you, that He was resurrected from the dead, and ascended to heaven. And that you recieve Him as your Lord and Savior. That you are sorry for your sins and you recieve His FULL and complete forgiveness for every wrong you’ve ever committed. And that you are choosing to follow Him now and leave the ways of the world behind for the things of Jesus!!! And if you mean that with your heart, you are saved and set free to live a new life free of sin! The Bible says you are now a brand new creation! Old things have passed away and new things have come!!! The Bible also says that all of heaven rejoices whenever a person is saved!!!! Just imagine the party being held in heaven on your behalf right now!!