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2.21.2008

A Laparoscopy Is Like the Sun

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.

7 comments:

Lauren said...

I've never heard that tree analogy/diagram. That's a great way to look at issues. I think I might have to borrow that for my own use!

lifemoreabundant said...

Amen: especially to "God will still be good, no matter what the outcome of the laparoscopy"

It's hard. I know. Sometimes good doesn't mean what we think it means.

Anonymous said...

No way, you have the tree diagram, too?! We've been using that a lot in my Bible study lately. I love that diagram. So applicable. It makes my sin so easy to break down, kind of like Sin for Dummies. I can identify the outward behavior and then go deeper to find the (angry, often prideful) root. And then repent and find rest, peace and joy. Ahhh, relief.

I'm still praying for you. And smiling over another connection. :-)

~Flicka

Katie said...

Andrea, once again you are being faithful to look at your heart, not just your circumstances. Though you don't feel like it, you are becoming a hero of faith.

The Durbin Family said...

Ok, I don't even know you, Flicka, but that "Sin for Dummies" comment made me laugh out loud. Don't you totally feel that way sometimes? Like DUH, how could I not have recognized that before now (regarding sin in our lives that God opens our eyes to see)? It seems so simple, sometimes, and yet so incredibly difficult other times. Andrea, you continue to inspire and amaze me by your fight for faith and trust and a good heart in the Lord. I want to use this tree diagram for some things I'm fighting in my own life--so thanks for sharing it. We'll be praying for you!

gracechild said...

I felt like you did when I was scheduled for my ivf retrieval last year & in the midst of my fear God sent me a friend to ease my fears. I'm glad He's easing you through yours as well. (my comma key isn't working. There's a comma somewhere in my comment)

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked my "Sin for Dummies", Durbin Family! :-)

~Flicka