I've got some preparations to do for next Friday's laparoscopy. I need to have some pre-op bloodwork done. I need to buy broth and jello and non-citrus juices to consume for my required clear liquids diet the day before the surgery. And most importantly, I need to prepare my heart.
Remember the old three trees diagram? Over the past couple of days, I've been working through one to start fighting my fears about the laparoscopy.
1. heat - I am having surgery to investigate my blocked fallopian tube, and the outcome in unknown.
2. bad fruit - I am afraid of the surgery, of what the doctor will find, and of what the long term implication will be for my fertility. I am afraid of having endometriosis or of having my fallopian tube removed or of something else that will make it hard for us to ever conceive.
3. bad root - I want my fertility, and I fear even the little bit I have being taken away from me. I believe that I've already been through enough and that I shouldn't have to face another obstacle. I don't see the surgery as a potential solution but as another pitfall. I believe that I deserve an easy, happy ending to this trial. I believe that I need to have my fertility in order to be satisfied in life. I am doubting that God is with me in these things, thinking that if he really loved me he wouldn't make me go through this procedure now.
4. consequences - I dread this laparoscopy. I imagine worst-case scenarios for the outcome. I resent when others speak of the surgery in an optimistic way. I don't want the medically-best procedure to be done, but I just want whatever preserves an illusion of fertility for me.
5. the cross - The cross tells me that my status as fertile or infertile does not matter much in comparison to my status as a justified sinner inhabited by Christ (and surgery can't change that!). The cross tells me that God is with me always as Immanuel, so I don't need to fear what will happen in the operating room. The cross tells me that God is for me, that he does not put me through needless trial, and that he can work good out of even the most wicked of circumstances. The cross tells me that I actually deserve an unhappy ending and nothing but hardship, but that I have been rescued from that fate by my Savior.
6. good root - I should believe that God loves me, that he is with me, that he is exercising control over this surgery, and that he is not overloading me with trouble. I should believe that God is choosing the best path for me to have children, and if he does not choose to give me children then I will still be satisfied in Christ. I should believe that God will still be good, no matter what the outcome of the laparoscopy. I should desire God's glory above my fertility.
7. good fruit - I should not fear this surgery but trust God and take comfort in his presence with me and his love for me. I should speak more of my confidence in the sure hope of the gospel than of my anxious imaginings of what might be found wrong through the laparoscopy. I should welcome encouragement from others rather than complaining in my heart that those who are optimistic about the surgery just don't understand what I am facing. I should feel glad that this problem with my fallopian tube did not remain undetected but that God sovereignly led to its discovery.
8. consequences - I will have peace and hope, rather than fear, as I anticipate the laparoscopy. I will not cling to the vestiges of my fertility, but I will cling to my steadfast God.