Fertility Series: Part 1

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There are two main reasons I’m writing this series, which is so very personal and tender to my heart: 1. For me: I’m doing this for posterity’s sake more than anything, so bear with me if this feels long and … Continue reading

NHS – Surgery

Yes, I had appendicitis and an appendectomy.
Yes, I survived the National Healthcare Service and I was in the hospital for 6 days.
No, I did not like it.
Yes, my mama is here taking care of me (with Grant’s patient and attentive care, of course) and I seem to be recovering well, albeit slowly.

I really don’t like talking about it and am ready to be done with the whole experience, to be honest.
Wednesday through Monday I was in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead. Having been woken up every hour of the night with by-the-book symptoms of appendicitis, a neighbor offered to drive us! Praise the Lord! I was examined by a med school student and an EMT in training. It was a little disconcerting for him to be examining me in so much pain, asking questions like, “So should I begin by pressing here? and applying about how much pressure?” I did NOT want to be his guinea pig. Oh, also, I was literally on a cot in a storage room. Seriously. People would come in and out to get gloves, IV bags, etc while I was being examined, each one shocked to find a patient in that room!

Hours later they told me that it probably was appendicitis, but they wanted to get a Gyn opinion and an ultra sound. Oddly enough, many departments in NHS work M-F 9-5. At this point, the ultrasound department had just closed, so they put me to bed to wait it out. When I asked What if it should burst, releasing toxins into the incredibly compact area of my abdominal cavity? They reassured me: If it bursts, we will know…!

Thursday, they operated.

Friday, I was told the surgery was successful. I have two scars: the laproscopic approach didn’t work, so I have the typical appendectomy scar, too. I was detained Saturday, Sunday, and most of Monday. I never saw my surgeon again. I won’t dwell on the negative, but the care and overall experience was sub-par. Please pray for healing, for a full recovery {the woman next to me had been back FOUR TIMES for post-op complications after her initial surgery 8 months ago….} and for restoration.

Mama’s here now! Yay! She arrived on Monday and got to experience first-hand a bit of the NHS with me until I was released. Her timing has been perfect because this is a really busy week at school for Grant!

As for me now, I am still struggling to get up, sit up, stand up, and walk – but I’m doing it! My wounds throb, and daily things have become exhausting: taking a shower, drying my hair, getting dressed may take hours…! But sleep is good for healing so I sleep as much as possible.

A few positives, so as not to end on a negative with NHS:

  • They serve you tea every day, twice a day in the hospital at 10 and at 2.
  • The food is actually really good and you have a full menu to choose from for up to a full 3-course meal, if you so choose (and are able).
  • You are in “wards” which means your bed is one of 4, 6, or 8 in one room. This may seem like a negative, and sometimes it can be, but visiting hours are STRICT! so for the majority of the time you are alone, except for your fellow companions, and the conversation is usually easy and it all makes you feel less lonely.

Your prayers are much appreciated!

Times and Seasons

“Jesus said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.'” (Acts 1:7)

I realize that this was in response to the disciples’ question about the second coming of Christ and the restoration of Israel, not in direct response, to say, my equally important question. But I feel I am in the middle of a season of when and why not now and I find myself pleading with God all the time.

Nothing wrong with that!

The disciples understood this and came from a long line of Jews asking desperately how and when and how long, oh Lord?! Most of the Old Testament is sprinkled with the groaning of people – the Israelites in the desert, the people striving to establish justice through judges, the nation crying out for a king, the prophets lamenting Israel’s wayward heart, the “remnant” of the Babylonian captivity, the revelation of the coming Christ Messiah – the waiting, the disbelief, the confusion, the crucifixion, the three days, and finally the resurrection! There is hope and a promise and salvation as a result of all that, but what a history to have come out of.

So we, too, as believers corporately step into this long line of patiently waiting for the revelation of something to come. There is a powerful spiritual implication for each of us, if we can grasp it, accepting the season of already, not yet.

Today at Hillsong, I was reminded of this verse, and it seems that God is speaking right to my soul: Lucy, it is not for you to know times or seasons that I’ve fixed by My own authority.

There is a purpose.

I am God. You are not. {It’s better this way.}

I don’t need your permission; I have all authority.

I am trustworthy.

It seems to be much easier expelling energy (to my detriment, I might add) fighting the whole thing, but to what end?

He has designed it – any season of waiting – as a time to either struggle against the not-knowing and pout like a child {me, mostly} or to revel in the journey. Do I let Him lead me or do I seek my will, missing what could be something beautiful? Am I stiff-necked, proud, and untrusting or pliable, teachable, and moldable? Do I value the known over the unknown – no matter the cost; regardless of the One who goes before me and behind me?

It is a simple and frustrating question: Do I trust Him?

I want the answer. He wants my heart.

I want independence. He wants my humility.

I want knowledge. He wants my trust.

I want the destination. He wants the journey.

And he gave a cry, saying, “I have faith; make my feeble faith stronger!” (Mark 9:24b) Lord, help me learn to wait.

9/11 Ten Years Later: We Remember

It is strange to be over here in London and look both back and across (to America) as we remember.

A decade ago, my cousin was killed in the Pentagon, leaving his pregnant wife behind. We mourned the national tragedy and personal loss deeply. She has since happily remarried and has had other children, but she’ll tell you that moving on and raising a kid as a single mom was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do. She wouldn’t wish that inner turmoil on anyone– that mixture of grieving over love lost and hoping for new life; a blessing to come and heartache to bear. (I think she’d also tell you that God has redeemed what the locusts have eaten (Joel 2:25a) and God has brought abundant joy and family out of a situation meant to destroy her sense of family.)

I’ll never forget where I was: Mrs. Gonzales’s pre-cal class when someone from the front office told us about it. Mrs. G didn’t believe the aide and continued teaching. Only after both Towers were hit did we make our way to the library with so many others and watch… And wait. That day is forever suspended in time, burned into memory.

In the shocking aftermath we watched our country come together. Neighbor helping neighbor, friend helping friend, American helping American.

I have so much pride in our great nation; it is difficult to be away on days like today, when the rest of the world could not understand. But the distance doesn’t change or waver our hearts. We’re still as present as we can be and we still remember. We are still

One nation under God,
Indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.
Amen.