Oh Man, I’m Going Down…When You Think You May Faint…(Part 3 of 5 on Help from Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates

The phone rang mid-afternoon.  Usually ignoring it, I decided I’d better answer it, as it was from our surgeon’s office.

A very matter-of-fact nurse asked for my husband, John.  “He’s at the office. Would you like his number?” I asked.

“Are you his wife?” She quickly inquired.

“Yes, I am.” I replied.

“I’d rather speak with you.  Seems you-wives listen better.”  Alrighty then…

I began jotting down our marching papers for John’s upcoming knee surgery for a torn meniscus. Friday morning came all too fast.  The next thing I knew the doctor was ready to see me, surgery already complete.

Doc smiled and reported the surgery was a success.  He gave me pictures, sending us home with a DVD of the procedure.  (Now there’s a “Future Family Movie Night” if there ever was one!)

For a huge change, I wasn’t fearful of the surgery because I trust our extremely brilliant and gifted orthopedic surgeon. He’s a dear friend as well.  He’s put many of us back together again.

Don’t miss this parallel:  There’s no fear when you trust the one who’s in charge of your loved one.  Hello?…As my friend Liz keeps reminding me, “God’s got this!”

We got John home, on crutches, fed him, iced the knee, and even got him up the stairs on crutches, ready for bed.  I was more than bleary-eyed as John never napped, all day…

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Amazingly, next thing I knew it was morning time and John was about to get up. The next phrase that came out of his mouth is not what you’d want to hear:  “Oh, no!”

Lump in my throat, I could barely utter, “Wwwwhat’s wrong?”

“There’s blood everywhere!” he groaned.

Very official-like, I ordered, “Don’t move!”

I whipped on my glasses, and ran around to John’s side of the bed to assess the situation.  Trying to make us both feel better, I said, “Well, the instructions did say the bandage may ooze.”  Eesh.

Ill-prepared for what I was about to witness, I tried to put on a happy face.  Blood was all over the sheets, all over his ace bandage, everywhere. It did appear to be dried blood, however, not fresh blood. But to me, blood is blood.

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Blind as a bat without my glasses for distance, I can see up-close pretty well.  I guess I kept looking over and under my glasses, getting way too close to the wound.

I unwrapped it and just as the bandage unraveled and fell to the floor, I realized things were becoming very, very dark, as if someone had dimmed the lights.

“Oh man, I’m goin’ down…” I said.  John could tell I was weaving and this time he barked the orders, “Sit down!”

But…I knew if I sat on the bench at the end of the bed, I could crash and burn, fainting head first onto the floor.  So, I pushed it and ran back to my side, hurriedly diving back in bed.  Flat. Whew!

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John quipped, “Well now, we are quite the pair!”

“Just give me a minute, I’ll be fine.”  I said in a rather faint voice, yet forever grateful I did not faint.  What a total wimp…. A tailspin of toxic conversation ensued

Now how funny is the timing of this series on fear?!!!  I had to have quite a conversation/prayer pleading with The Lord. I kept quoting Psalm 56:3 – “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” And Psalm 46:1 –  “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (NIV)

This week, we’ll explore more of Debora M. Coty’s wonderful book, Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolates–Wit and Wisdom for Sidestepping Life’s Worries.  One of many chapters I especially relate to is “Toxic Voices-Detox for Negative Self-Talk.” Another deals with”Soul-Suckers”. I once heard Erwin McManus call such folks “emotional leeches”.   They are those who suck the life out of you. (Bet you’re making a mental list….)

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Debora not only addresses our own self-talk, she addresses others’ toxic tirades. One of a gazillion laugh out loud instances involves a gal who approached Deborah and pretty much pulled the rug out from under her, spewing a not-so-nice venomous statement.

Debora says, “I don’t know why some people think that by blowing out someone’s candle their own burns brighterMy point is that we get enough negativity from the world; we don’t need to pile any more on ourselves.”

She expounds on this in another one of her books, Too Blessed to be Stressed in the chapter called “Can I Hear Me Now?”  She offers tips on how to control our inner soundtrack. (Yes, that book is next on my nightstand.)

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Debora shows us several Biblical characters who struggled with this crazy self-talk:  Saul (See I Samuel 19), Jonah (See Jonah 4), Peter (See Matthew 14), and my future BFF in Heaven, Martha (See Luke 10). Ditching toxic selftalk is thesame principle in dealing with fear.”

She adds, “By remembering what Papa God has already done for us through Christ, we’ll develop miracle memory. He’s defeated the instigator of fear at the cross, and He’ll do it again.”

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“With practice, our miracle memory will kick in, and we’ll automatically default to faith rather than fear when difficulties come our way.”  (Debora recommends journaling our many blessings to boost that “miracle memory”.)

She gives us, the readers, twenty-five emotions that are potential triggers to those toxic voices. (These are found on page 202.) We could spend weeks on this valuable chapter!  Here are just five of the twenty-five to be aware of:  anxiety, doubt, resentment, needing to be right (oh, I sooo wanted to skip that one!), and our biggie: fear.

Bottom lineJesus is not glorified when we paralyze ourselves in fear. And worse, Satan is delighted.  We do not want that!

Finally let’s close with a plaque Debora saw recently. Tell all your friends about this:  “I may not be perfect, but Jesus thinks I’m to die for.”

She adds, “Understand you are wanted,

                                                            cherished,

                                                                    and loved without limits.

 At this moment, you may feel abandoned,

                                                            or forsaken,

                                                                        or betrayed,

                                                                                   but feelings are not trustworthy.

NOW is the time to overrule your heart with your head.”

Notice Debora says, now is the time.  Not next week. NOW!  What a gift of encouragement you and I have just received. I’m praying we all get this.

Let’s close with an excellent reminder from Psalm 139:15, 17-18:

“You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb…How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!  I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!” (NLT)

I pray you and your families have a Most Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!  And safe travels if you’re in the air or on the road…(Might as well throw patience in there too…)

This week’s chocolate recommendation comes from Trader Joe’s. Try their Dark  Chocolate Covered Almonds. Checkout the description:  “Roasted almonds drenched (love that) in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt and turbinado sugar.”  (Ours have a safe hiding place in the back corner of the pantry.  Shhhh, don’t tell…)

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‘Til next time!

This week’s post is dedicated to our favorite orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Scott Kuiper. I wasn’t kidding when I said he’s put many of us back together again and some of us more than once. As we age, I’m tempted to ask if Louisville Orthopaedic may offer frequent visitor discounts….Scott is blessed with a fantastic family, has virtually adopted our Gordy, and I’ve had a blast with his wife, Mary Jude, in Bible study.  You all have really blessed our lives in so many ways. Hugs across town!

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15 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Friends, Life Lessons

15 responses to “Oh Man, I’m Going Down…When You Think You May Faint…(Part 3 of 5 on Help from Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates

  1. Pingback: When You’re STUNNED about your Valentine’s Day Gift…(A Comical Glimpse of Marriage: The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle) | Worship with Words

  2. Pingback: My Mother is My Travel Agent for a Guilt Trip…(Part 4 of 5 on Help from Fear, Faith and a Fistful of Chocolates) | Worship with Words

  3. Jane Chilton

    You may have had a brief faint spell but my dear you are one of the most faithful people I have ever known! I am often blessed by that faithfulness! Ah & the battle w/fear we all deal w/to some degree. Thanks for the reminder to, in Jesus power, fight the evil one behind fear. Love you dearly!

  4. Diane Young

    I love reading your post Elizabeth. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

    Sent from my iPad

  5. deboracoty

    What a great story to illustrate your point, Elizabeth! I only passed out once – had a raging stomach flu and became dehydrated. I was standing at the bathroom sink and the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor looking at the ceiling with my leg hanging in the toilet. Your blog posts are terrific and I am totally stoked how you incorporate bits and pieces from my books to bring Papa God’s lessons home to all of us. Hugs, girlfriend!

    • Debora! Great to hear from you as always…Our middle son, Gordy, was home last night w/ his fiancee. I gave Lauren your book on fear & she’s loving it. She’d not yet gotten to the cat story in Ch 4, tho’, so I was telling her about it & she read it right here in the kitchen. As expected, she howled. She and I agreed your writing is AWESOME in every way. Great resources, encouragement, full of humor and best of all, lessons from the Bible we can share with others. Can’t wait for your next book!!! Blessings from Louisville!!!

  6. Lynne Christian

    Oh Elizabeth, I’m exactly the same way about blood. When poor Alex had his wisdom teeth out this summer we both almost passed out when we had to change his gauze.

    Dr. Kuiper did my shoulder manipulation a few years ago. Thanks to him I can raise my arm again. 🙂

    Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! I miss seeing you!

    Blessings,
    Lynne

  7. Joyce Cordell

    Thanks for the sound reminders about fear, toxic self-talk, and the like as you continue to help us worship with words.

  8. Bonnie

    Blessings with both of you sweet things!! And thank you for blessing us with the fundamental truth of seeking Him first – in ALL circumstances. Prayers for the Lord’s continued Hand on John’s recovery – and your nursing!!
    A very wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving – His Glory for abundant Grace.

  9. Amy Lund

    Elizabeth:

    Another awesome blog! So sorry to hear about John’s knee. I hope he is well on the mend. BTW, I think I have a torn rotator cuff. Who was John’s surgeon? My internist tried to hook me up with a dr. (who is in Dr. Quill’s office) and they would never call me back.

    Maybe we can get together after the holidays??

    Hugs,

    Amy

    • Lynne Christian

      Amy,
      Scott Kuiper is wonderful.
      Lynne

    • Hey Amy!!! So sorry to hear about your shoulder! John’s had that surgery & so has his Dad. Scott Kuiper did both of those surgeries. He took care of Gwen too when she broke her shoulder as well as my friend Pat from Book Club. We were all in casts or slings or something at one time. It was comical. Scott’s specialty is actually shoulders, altho’ he does everything. He also put Woody back together TWICE: collar bone & ACL/meniscus…Scott’s w/ Lou. Ortho’, same group as Dr. Quill who did my feet. Sadly, I have their phone # memorized: 897-1794. (I should get out more, huh?) Such an “era” we’re in!!? Yes, lunch again post- Christmas would be fantastic. Hugs across town!!!

  10. Okay, so I’m guessing you never planned, even for a second, to be a nurse! Nonetheless, you always take GREAT care of your man, and many of your friends too. Blessings on the Hoaglands this holiday season!

    • How’d you guess the medical field never entered my brain??? When John Jr broke his arm in Fla., we left Gordy & Woody out in the waiting room w/ total strangers & then went in to be w/him. Suddenly John & I both were about to go down & the nurses began caring for us, leaving John Jr. on the bed, writhing in pain, wondering WHO was going to care for him!!! Pityful…. I’m readyin’ to email you for a Starbucks rendez-vous….Enjoying the SNOW today!!! Luv-n-hugs…xoxoxo