I had brain surgery in February 2013. It was a major, traumatic moment in my life and the entire process wrecked more than just my health.
Surgery was a nightmare; the days in the hospital were spent vomiting alone. When they finally got the nausea and pain meds right I started to feel a little bit better. Being on morphine nonstop was part of that.
Being in the hospital for five days after the surgery was hard also; I was away from Abigail and was dealing with her stress about me being gone. She came to visit but because I was so sick half the time her visits were short. I had other visitors too, which was nice. My parents reaction to the entire thing made me angry and so I set strong boundaries what they could do.
I don’t remember how I felt emotionally, physically I was a wreck and really don’t remember a lot.
I do remember this………..
It was the first shower I was going to take after surgery. My CNA was this beautiful, intelligent and empathetic woman from West Africa. She was a CNA at night and went to nursing school during the days so she could provide for her three kids. We bonded over talking about Africa.
She really was the sweetest woman I have ever met. She helped me get undressed and in the shower. Once the water started I realized I wasn’t going to be able to shower myself. I looked at her and said “Cynthia, I can’t.” She looked me in the eye and responded with “Okay Miss Bethany, but you wash your vagina.”
My entire hospital experience was filled with empathy. From the nurses and CNA’s to the physical therapists and neurosurgeon; it was a blessing to be taken care of like that.
The shower experience reminded me of when Jesus and the foot watching. It took incredible empathy on her part and for me I was humbled by it. To care physically for someone who cannot care for themselves is purely an act of grace. That’s the best way to explain it.
I see Jesus all over my hospital experience. In what should have been the worst experience of my life God showed up and His grace covered it all.
That’s something I have to cling to right now as I navigate these murky waters. He was there then so what’s to say that he isn’t now?
This struggle I am in is very real however I am much too stubborn to just give up on Jesus. I really do feel like I know who he is, I mean as much as a human can. It’s the putting that into belief and then moving outward with it. It’s not a complicated as I make it to be. I think too big when really God is in the next right thing, the tears and frustration, the dirt I feel I am covered in and most important he is there in my relationship with Abigail.
I feel his grace in my life so much more now than I ever have, even in my wrestling. I don’t doubt that the last two years have been purposeful. As much as they have sucked I have grown immensely. As I continue to thrash I don’t doubt that there will be more growth.