You are going to need surgery: a lesson in trusting the Lord
“You are going to need surgery”.
When I heard these words two months ago, I froze. This was the one thing I had always dreaded. Surgery. It was a one day, non life threatening surgery but still, it was surgery. As a doctor myself, I knew exactly what a surgery entailed and it completely freaked me out. Do you know why? Because it meant not being in control, but being at the mercy of other human beings.
As women, most of us have a tendency to want to be in control. I don’t know about you but I love making lists. I love planning. I love knowing or at least believing that I know what awaits me. However, with surgery, they put you to sleep and that’s it. You have no idea of how it will go until you wake up. And I have to admit; it’s a scary feeling. But wait: am I, are we, really in control of our lives? Isn’t it a trick that the devil uses, to give us the impression that we are in control, to take us away from God, and to lure us into thinking that we don’t need him?
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:21)
As soon as I came to the realization that I was not in control, that God was, I felt a big relief regarding my surgery. If God was in control of my life then how much more was he in control of that surgery! I came to see this particularly anxiety-provoking event as an opportunity to learn how to completely surrender myself to the Lord. The doctors made it clear: I had to go through this surgery. Then why not use this situation to grow my trust in God and give him more control over this operation and, ultimately, over my life? Easier said then done!
Do you know the song by Matt Maher “Lord I need you”? It’s a beautiful song that I heard for the first time a few weeks ago. It goes:
“Lord I need you, oh I need you, every hour I need you.”
The first step I had to go through to be able to surrender myself to God was to realize how much I needed him. Not only did I need him to be with me through this surgery but I especially needed him to help me surrender myself completely to Him. Up until that point, I had tried giving him control with my own abilities and I had constantly failed. Ultimately, he is the only one who can give us the strength and the trust we need to be able to tell him “Lord, I give you my all”.
Now, this level of surrender cannot happen without prayer… a lot of prayer. I prayed a lot about this surgery in the weeks preceding it. Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24) So I asked! Many times! And I was expecting an answer. Have you ever been through a situation where you have asked the Lord so many times for something and you trusted that he would answer you and then, he didn’t give you the answer you expected or worse, didn’t seem to answer at all? Well, I have been there. My main prayer was to be healed from the ovarian cyst that required this surgery, for it to completely go away so I would not need surgery anymore but it did not go away. So I kept praying, even more desperately. However, the more I was spending time in prayer, the more I was able to understand how perfect his plan was for my life even if I could not see the full picture.
That’s when a switch happened in my prayers. I was not praying to be healed from that cyst anymore, but I was praying to be able to trust his plan for me and to surrender this cyst and my life to him, no matter the outcome.
One of the things that was stressing me the most was the possibility of losing an ovary as a complication of the surgery. I have two beautiful children but I want more; I was not ready to give that up! Then, I read the story of a girl who was gradually losing her ability to see because of an incurable disease. She told her pastor: “I don’t want God to take my sight away from me”. The pastor answered: “Then don’t let him take it from you. Give it to him.” Wow. This is true surrender. It is a hard and long process but we are not alone in it. When the day of the surgery arrived, I was at peace; a peace that I knew was coming from God. And I had this peace because I accepted to give it all to him, who created me and loves me more than I love myself! I ended up not losing my ovary and am recovering well but on top of that, I learned a lesson that will impact my whole life.
What about you? What area of your life haven’t you surrendered to God yet out of fear that He would take it away? Is it a career ambition? A relationship? A health issue? A sinful habit? Whatever it might be, I strongly encourage you to turn to him in prayer and to give this particular area to him. Surrender completely. Accept that you are not in control but that he is. Ask him to help you do it. And he will respond by giving you a peace that surpasses all understanding; a peace rooted in the knowledge that he has for you “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29: 11)
Katia Dahan lives in Montreal, Canada. God has given her three vocations which she tries to answer as best as she can: being a wife, being a mother and being a doctor. Her family is her biggest blessing. She loves to read, drink coffee, spend time with friends and family, and travel to new places!
She has been and still is so blessed by the Lord that she tries to seize every opportunity to testify of all he has done in her life.