I Didn’t Die

My first thought when I woke up from the anesthesia of surgery was, “I didn’t die.”

Honestly, I really thought this whole open heart surgery was a 50/50 thing.  And while statistically the odds were strongly in my favor, I still wondered if I would breath my last on January 11, 2012.

Upon my return home I opened up the Bible to Psalm 40, and there, waiting for me, was a verse.  Have you ever had that moment?  The second you read over a verse it’s like angels start singing and your brain cells start to jump around and your skin tingles?  Well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that, but I do know God was speaking to me:

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:3

I’m no singer and my iTunes collection is about 120 strong, so I wondered what a verse like this was doing rooting itself deep in my heart.  Perhaps it was just a joyful noise at this new opportunity at life post surgery?  But as the days unfold, I am realizing it is much richer.

I am reading a book called Redemption-Freed by Jesus from the idols we worship and the wounds we carry by Mike Wilkerson.  Usually I skip the introductions in books, because, in my opinion, if it was worth reading it would have a “Chapter” in front of it.  Since being married, I am highly encouraged to not skip introductions and after reading this one, I wonder how much I’ve missed out on in life.  Still, if I ever write a book you can expect Chapter 1:  Introduction.  I digress.

Within these pages I am discovering true worship, renewed worship, and each day a layer of my heart is peeled back and affections for things beside God are revealed.  But greater than an exposure is a delightful revelation that humans are created to worship.  Mike Wilkerson says, “To not worship is to not live.”  We worship what we live for and broadcast our affections to this world.  It is a constant stream of what we believe, why we get out of bed each morning, what we are really living for every day.  Wilkerson says we’re like water hoses that cannot be shut off.  You can point the water at the grass, the car, the shrubs, but you can’t turn it off.

We are worshippers, regardless of our goals, our spiritual beliefs, our political affiliations; we have chosen something to set our affections on and that steady stream of love will not be shut off during our time on earth.   Our hearts are singing, projecting love songs to something or perhaps someone.

I am a worshipper.  I am constantly choosing where my affections will go.  But now God is putting a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise, and I am humbly learning this new song.  And you know what, it’s not about singing. . .it’s about living.

Recovery 101

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”  Psalm 40:3

Recovery is a beast.  You know that though, because everyone at some point in their life enters into a period of recovery; after babies, after a bike accident, after a hard week at work, after a Jillian Michael’s workout video.  Gatorade even has a drink line called “03-Recover.”  This recover thing is quite popular, even with our economy.  But everyone’s recovery process is different, and here are some things I’m learning about the R-process:

#1  Write down what you swallow.

Yeah, no one wants to overdose on stool softener, right?

#2 Don’t buy a $40 pharmaceutical pillow from Walgreens.  Save the cash and practice pillow origami.

#3  Don’t rent movies of books you are reading. . .you will never finish the book.. . .Farewell the remaining 243 pages of The Help

#4  Write thank you notes to nurses before you forget their names. . .even if you write under a drug induced haze.

#5  Sleep in.  Take naps. . .anywhere.  Favorite nap spot is in a borrowed recliner.

#6  Let someone else put new band-aides on.  Looking at your own wounds may cause dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, hopelessness, bad dreams, asthma?

#7  Take walks.  Even circuits in the parking lot counts.  Avoid snow.

#8  Be true to all “Sternal Precautions”  see pdf for fun ways to participate in the precautions I am taking: Sternal Precuations: Get someone to carry your groceries!

#9  Remember the 10,000 reasons to be thankful to God (see 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman)

#10  Eat cake.

Walk with Mom and Dad across the street to the Littleton Historical Museum on Thursday (8 days post-op).