So much of life is about learning to let go. For me, these past two weeks in the hospital have been a refresher course in…letting go…
Turning the care of my covid-positive husband over to someone else. Putting our collie in the kennel. Letting go of the beverage that has sustained me through a lifetime of highs and lows—Diet Coke. Keeping up with family and friends on social media. No internet connection. Even writing. The mouse died. I’m helpless without it.
My hip replacement surgery on December 5, 2021, seemed to be successful. I could walk again—almost without pain—almost without crutches. Then infection roared in with all the fervency and cruelty of an invading army. Abruptly, pain returned, lameness returned, and I had to let go and go to the hospital for emergency surgery. They opened up the recent surgery site, cleaned everything out, and placed me on intravenous antibiotics. Within two days I went from walking Savannah and cooking for Alan to maneuvering between a jumble of lines and tubes. I let go of normalcy.
After the surgery, they have me a little machine to carry around that quacks like a duck. It’s kind of comforting. Like keeping a pet in my hospital room. The machine is attached to my wound and sucks out the infection matter. It has a pretty circle of rotating green stars at the top. Then one of the nurses pointed out that two stars that had left the circle and were twinkling on their own. “It only lives for seven days,” she said. “When all the stars leave the circle, the machine dies.” Letting go…
The one thing I didn’t let go of was…God. Through the pain and confusion, He was there for me. The first night after the surgery, He gifted me with the song of a nightingale through the early hours. It was God. There are no nightingales here.
On the morning I read and prayed my favorite Psalm, Psalm, 27, He provided a miracle. I could have stayed in the hospital for another two months. Many people with an infection like mine in a joint replacement do. But my infection numbers plummeted. I went from intravenous antibiotics to pills and was told I probably would not need another surgery and would be able to go home soon. It was God. The surgeon who did the wound and hip joint cleaning expected me to stay in the hospital for at least another month.
Letting go is never easy. But never let go of God.
“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army—of infection or any other horrible thing—may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. In the time of trouble, He will hide me. I will sing praises to the LORD. I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27.
Learn to let go, but never let go of God.