It’s been sixteen days since I had surgery to repair a hernia in my esophagus. In the weeks since, I’ve had to adjust to a different way of life, including letting people shuttle me around from place to place, since I can’t drive myself very well yet.
I’ve also come to realize that this mirrors my spiritual state. I’m not in the driver’s seat of my life. I guess I mistakenly thought I was. God thought this was a good time to remind me who really has the wheel. Just like he’s been teaching me to let others serve me by driving me places, he’s also teaching me to hand the wheel over to Him, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn.
The day before my surgery, on my daily reading through Proverbs, I hit chapter 19 that day, and stopped on verse 21, sensing a Holy Spirit nudge. The verse has become my theme for these past several weeks:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
As usual, I’d planned everything out before the surgery. The freezer was packed with food for my husband while I was out of commission. I’d scheduled a caretaker to be there for me while Dan was at work. My school was on spring break, so I expected to ignore my students all week while I was zoned out on meds. I even loaded up on lots of juice for me to drink, so I’d have something to “eat.”
But then, my plans all fell through. My ideal caretaker, my mom, was fighting a cold, which turned into pneumonia, and she was busy trying to breathe. So obviously, she couldn’t make the trip to Seattle. Even in my medicated stupor, I realized that I’d forgotten to do some important school work, and some unexpected work crept in as well. At the hospital, just before I was released, the dietitian gave me a list of foods that I couldn’t eat, including most of the juices and fruits that I’d purchased before the surgery. And this recovery period is taking much longer than I ever thought it would, so the frozen food stash isn’t enough for my entire period of convalescence.
I didn’t have a plan B, but thankfully, God had his own plan from the start.
He provided new caretakers, and I could see God’s hand in all of it. Dan managed to get some time off work, and my little sister took time off from her job and drove here to nurse me when Dan needed to go back to work. For awhile, I had both of them here, switching shifts and helping me out when I couldn’t help myself. God gave me just enough strength to do my school work. And Dan has been doing some creative grocery shopping for me, finding foods that are soft enough for me to eat, including items from the baby food isle. I’m also learning a lot about asking for and accepting people’s generosity, since my dear church sisters and friends from the community have been volunteering to help out wherever we need it, including filling in on meals when the freezer gets empty.
It’s certainly not what I’d expected during this time, but it’s a far better plan than mine.
I know I haven’t learned my lesson. I’m going to keep grabbing the wheel, plotting the course, going my own way. But hopefully, every so often, I’ll remember this time in my life, and scoot over to the passenger side to let the better driver take over.
Okay, so I’ll say it: “Jesus, please, take the wheel!”