Recently, I had knee surgery to reconstruct my ACL, a ligament in my knee. This is the second time I’ve had to have this surgery. I prayed I was wrong, but that tell-tale sickening pop in my knee told me otherwise. My knee would need some major help. Again.
But once surgery became the official treatment plan, I began having doubts that this was the right thing to do. Especially once I was given the cost estimate. That much? Was my knee even worth it? People do live without an ACL, you know. It’s considered an elective surgery. And I’m pretty sure I’ve reached my quota for expensive surgeries and lengthy recovery plans.
I sheepishly told my husband I was sure he must be thinking, “it’s always something with you, Morgan.” I bet this gets old, always having to take care of me.
But that’s not true of course, he said. He loves me so well, so beautifully. Those feelings of less-than-worthy are lies from Satan that I swallow far too easily. My knee is worth it. My healing is worth it. And if my husband thinks so, how much more does my Jesus think so? My Jesus died for me, soul and body.
I knew there would be pain, financial cost and a long road to full recovery. Lots of inconvenience – for me and our family. I would not be cleared to drive for 8-10 weeks following surgery. But I also knew that if I didn’t say yes, my leg would never be completely better. I would never fully trust that knee to support me when I was working out or running after one of my (um, VERY ACTIVE) children. My injury has already affected my posture and gait, to the point that I’ve most likely got a pinched nerve in my back. Without this surgery, I would never be completely healed, and it would cause a lot more problems in the long run.
I have spent the last few years learning (and re-learning) that it is okay to take care of myself. I apparently did not emerge into adulthood with a strong sense of my own physical, mental and emotional needs. I continually put myself last. I am a chronic people-pleaser. I proactively avoid conflict, often to my detriment. I schedule everything with the illusion that if I do it exactly right, I can get everything “done” (whatever that means), and our family life will run smoothly. I overestimate my physical and mental capabilities, assuming that I can still work as if I’m 20 years old with no children.
Eventually, this self-neglect flared up into anxiety and depression. I am still working to find the balance between glorifying Christ and accepting the idea that He wants me to rest, too.
On the day of my surgery, I had to verify with the nurse, the anesthesiologist, and the surgeon that it was my right knee that needed the repair. I was even given a marker and told to write “yes” on the busted limb. I had to put aside the fears that I’m not worth the cost or effort. And I had to give consent to be cut, repaired, stitched, and healed.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” To consent to be healed is to admit that I need healing, and not just in my knee. My soul needs healing.
I have got to stop believing the lie that I can do all things, by myself. I must let go of the notion that if I could just plan well enough, if only I could make the perfect schedule, if I could just work hard enough, then, THEN I will have no problems. Such notions perpetuate the lie that I am in control of my own salvation. That I don’t need the great Healer. That perfection is attainable through my own power.
Breaking news, self: It’s not. I can’t. I cannot heal my soul using my own will-power, just like I can’t heal my ruptured ACL. But then I’m gently reminded what grace is – undeserved favor. Just like the good doctors and therapists want my knee to be healed, I have a God who wants my soul to be healed.
But, I have to first say yes to accept the help that heals, even though I feel like I’ve been far too inconvenient already.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
Am I willing to admit my own weaknesses and short comings? Are you? To accept them as a beautiful part of our beautiful selves, crafted by a loving God so full of grace? Are we willing to extend that grace to ourselves?
I cried to you for help, and you healed me. Psalm 30:2
So how? What does that look like? These are some areas God has lovingly showed me His grace:
I extend God’s grace to myself by admitting I need help.
Or by adamantly refusing to compare myself or situation to others.
Or by choosing to view the unfolded pile of laundry as just that – an unfolded pile of laundry – and not an indication of failure.
By knowing my physical, mental and emotional limits, and honoring them.
Or by not beating myself for having big emotions – I just need to take them to God.
By making room in my heart, mind, and actions for God to work through my weaknesses.
” . . . ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Friend, are you too a battered soul? A weary heart? An anxious mind? A broken body? Do you need to be nourished and strengthened and healed by God’s grace? Then open up. Lay down your burdens at His feet. I promise, it’ll be okay.
Accept the gift of His grace that He so longs to give you.