I am so happy to return to St. John Studies. When I last notified folks who read St. John Studies, it was four days after my fall. On that date the surgery had been done and I had gone from “fall” pain to surgery pain. Many of you have had several surgeries but at the age of 64, this was my first and following this process has been a real education.
I have not been interested in much except the diminishment of my pain.
Things began to turn around last night. I have a wonderful friend, one of my best friends, who asked that I come to his church today and talk about our friendship at a special ceremony marking the many years of his ministry. I was honored to be asked, but then came the fall.
Now I am in a rehab. hospital for five or six more days and of course could not be at this special service to explain our special connection. I told him after this happened that I wanted to write a statement to be read in my absence and as I worked on it last evening, I began to feel my mental focus return. I recognized that the pain was subsiding and I could put thoughts onto a screen. Hallelujah!
Little did my friend know he was doing me a great favor. He was pushing me down the road to recovery.
There are very few days until the election and before I plunge back into politics in my next post, I know I have to give credit where credit is due. After surgery was over, I was wheeled into a private recovery room on the Trauma Floor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
I was groggy and in deep pain. You surgery people know what I am talking about. I was not scared because God helped me all through the process. But as I lay in bed, a man* came to my room. He gave me his testimony. He was an independent businessman who spent Thursdays of every week going to patient’s rooms on the Trauma Floor at Vanderbilt telling his story.
You see, he had his own fall several years ago. He was trying to remove a window out of the second floor of a home and was trying to jerk the casement when suddenly the weight shifted and he found himself being dragged out of the window, falling nineteen feet to a bricked surface. He had fractures all over his body.
James 1: 2-4. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
He said there will be rough days ahead, days when I would feel so bad that this has happened to me, rough days ahead when lack of ability to do the basic acts of life would cause me despair, days ahead when I may slip into depression.
But then he said this.
“God is here for you on all of those days.” I told him I felt God the night before the fall, right after the fall and I know God was with me during surgery prep, surgery and recovery. In short, I have felt the Holy Spirit all the way through this.
Some of you may say things like “God caused the fall!” No, He did not. But let me tell you God can use my fall to teach some very important lessons to a guy like me: lessons about the meaning of life, lessons about the significance of the minor things I take for granted and lessons about the power of the Holy Spirit.
He then told me about the massive amount of fractures and surgeries he had to undergo and how God walked him through the whole process. I don’t think he had consultations with the medical staff but he echoed what they all said. In approximately three months, I would have a complete recovery. I had heard it from doctors but it was so special to hear it from him.
Here was hope. He had suffered so much more than me and he completely recovered.
You see for me, the medical piece of the puzzle is not enough. I have to have the spiritual piece of the puzzle also. I won’t complete my recovery without God helping me through this.
God will help me through this.
Every day now, I say prayers of thanks for small things, the right foot that is less swollen, my ability to use the sock helper device to put on my sock, I can shave myself, I can taste food and yes, now, I can write.
My first post back on St. John Studies had to be devoted to my best friend and this stranger. My best friend matters so much to me because he kick-started me back to writing: this stranger with his words of hope meant so much because he got me to see the light that was shining in my future. God bless them both.
Romans 5: 3-5
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…”
*I have tried to get the man’s name or email so I could do more research on him but the Peer Visitation Program coordinator has not released his name. I understand why she can’t.