"As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more. My mouth will tell of Your righteous deeds, of Your saving acts all day long - though I know not how to relate them all."
I have been covered by God's mighty hand since my youth. My great grandmother prayed for my family. I vividly recall her sweet 89 year old arm wrapped around my waist as a young elementary aged child visiting her in Florida for Easter. Psalm 23 was the first scripture I ever memorized and to this day, I recite it in King James Version when I am very much in need of reminding my soul of God's protection.
Less than two weeks ago, I had my ninth surgery in less four years. I had a spinal fusion from L4-S1. I don't care to unpack the details at length, but suffice to say - it's no small surgery. I prepared my mind and body through prayer and healthy eating prior. I surrounded myself with my sisters in Christ in my bible study and asked for intercession. As such, it was a successful surgery. I was off morphine by the end of day two. I was off percocet by the one week mark. I am able to manage pain (which honestly feels very similiar to pre surg. pain, without the chronic nerve pain down my leg) with Tylenol and Ultram. I am doing very well.
Reading through Psalm 71 is pretty amazing stuff. If you haven't spent some time in the word praying for yourself or someone you love, I highly recommend that you do. It is full of affirmations from King David, that God has been his refuge in the past. It is an honest plea from David's heart asking for the same favor yet again and in it, David shows his true feelings, by asking God to not "cast me away when I am old; and do not forsake me when my strength is gone."
I relate to David in a myriad of ways. This temple of mine has been through some stuff, shall we say "renovations". I have had to start over more times than I care to mention, and I have had to deal with the mental anguish as well. I have battled doubt, fear, insecurity and self inflicted shame. I have had to humble myself more times this past few years, than I would have ever imagined. (again, I will refrain from details...they ain't pretty).
And yet.... my mouth is full of praise to God. He has been with me in the middle of the night with pain. He leads me with His staff towards the things I fear and every single time, raises me up again. My desires are somewhat carnal, I confess. I desire very much to be a crazy active old person. I desire my grand-children and great-grand children to see me and know where my hope and strength come from. I want to hold babies on my hip, push strollers at the zoo, and host Christmas! I desire to ride the Make a Wish 300 miles/3 days again next year. I desire to walk (not run) another half marathon.
And you know what? In the midst of these pain filled years I have done many amazing things through Christ. I have biked over 3,000 miles in the past two years. I have run three half marathons. I have grown closer to the Lord, my husband and my children. And I have such respect now for my body. It's an amazing gift. Sure, I am heavier than I would like to be. I am working on it... I just keep having obstacles in my way. Sure, I am stlll learning which foods best suit my body. And sure... I have challenges every day, but like the Psalmist, David says in verse 14 - "As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
I studying to be a Holistic Christian Health Nutritionist. I am learning so much about the healing power of foods and I will continue to press into the One who can save me, again and again. I will continue to declare His goodness - with my lips of praise; my mouth will tell of His righteousness; my tongue I will confess my fears and how He has overcome them all. Join me in sharing the goodness of God. Ask Him to bring folks into your life and into your circumstances so that you tell of His great deeds. Share God with others. It affirms their faith in God and it reminds your own soul of who He is.
Rock on and often - cheers to good health!