He's Trying to Change ME

It's been eerily quiet around here lately...and not just in the physical sense. Emotionally. Spiritually. It's been quiet. After surgeries just over two months ago, I've been working through some tough things. Things I didn't want to document or discuss or admit to even though they have been consuming me.

The doctor's warn you about the possibility of post-operative depression when extensive or back-to-back surgeries are done. They warn you and they give you resources to combat those feelings if they happen to arise, but they don't tell you how it's going to affect you personally. They don't tell you because they don't know.

And, so, I was warned. I knew what to *possibly* expect. But much to my surprise, I didn't recognize when those feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and frustration began to affect me and every little piece that makes me who I am.

Immediately following surgery, I was in agony mainly due to the fact that I was in a lot of pain and struggling to get any sleep because of it. I was out of it/completely dazed for majority of Christmas break. I stretched, showered, napped, stretched, napped, ate, stared at the TV, and attempted to nap some more. Repeat. Day after day after day. I didn't feel much except for when it was time to take my pain meds again.

After New Years, I moved back into my dorm at school and started to prepare myself for j-term. I was on crutches and still in pain, but I was ready to get back to the school routine and be surrounded by the awesome ladies on my floor again. I didn't have a clue what I was in for.

As the days passed, I found myself internalizing anything and everything. I found myself avoiding my pain med because of the nausea it caused and in turn lying in my bed miserably for hours at a time. When people asked how I was doing, I would quickly respond "I'm good, how are you?!" in a peppy voice with a fake smile plastered on my face.

It wasn't that I had forgotten God's goodness. It wasn't that I had forgotten His faithfulness. I'm not even going to allow myself to blame it on being in pain. The bottom line is that I was looking at my circumstances -- the here and now -- as if they would never change. As if I would never heal from my surgeries, as if I would never be able to study in my favorite place on campus again, as if the friends I'd made would stop pursuing a relationship with me. I allowed myself to be drawn away from the eternal perspective God calls us to have, and that made me angry, bitter, and desperate for an awakening.

On the last night of j-term, I was lying awake in bed praying about my math final the next day. I had done all the work. I understood the overarching concepts. I had studied. In the middle of praying about that test, I was interrupted by something I still can't seem to put my finger on. All of the sudden, a thought hit me like a ton of bricks:

I used to pray that God would get me through the week, the month, or the season that He had me in. I used to pray for clarity hoping He would make my decisions and sacrifices easy. I used to pray for answers and for prayer to change circumstances to fit my desires. I used to pray all of these things, but now I finally understand...

In that moment, I finally grasped the logic that Jesus moves us to when the Bible talks about trials of many kinds, especially in Matthew 10:29 which says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Therefore, do not fear." I finally grasped that instead of "getting through" certain seasons, He wants to use us in them. He wants us to thrive and He wants us to enjoy the journey. I finally understood that instead of clarity and ease, He wants us to learn that fully trusting Him is the only way to overcome anything this world throws our way. I finally understood that instead of explanations as to why things happen, He wants us to simply have faith in His perfect plan.
I finally understand that He's trying to change ME, not the circumstance at hand. In all my muck and mess, He's trying to change ME. Now THAT'S what I love about the God we serve. Instead of brushing over the issue or sweeping things under the rug, He gets to the heart of the issue. He looks at the causes of the hurt...He looks at the causes of the desperation...He looks at the causes of the sin and He seeks to change those things so the causes can ultimately change the effects. He seeks to change all of those things IN us. And when those pieces of the puzzle begin to change, so do our circumstances. Why? Because the way we perceive them is never the same again. Though not without great challenge, I understand all of these things now.
And now that I finally understand these things, I hope that it will be a little less eerily quiet in every last nook and cranny of my life...right down to this little ole' blog. :) But before I make that promise or get to writing and publishing new posts, I just need to say this:
Thanks for sticking this out with me. I'm glad you're here.

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Meghan said...

I love your transparency & your open heart, surgeries are never easy, especially two right after one another! <3 you girl!

Rebecca Jo said...

Such wise heart in such a beautiful young lady....

Jennifer said...

I literally almost cried when I read this post (in a good way). This is EXACTLY what I have been feeling for 3 whole years since we moved from Va to ND and I realized this past year that God wasn't answering MY prayers because it isn't what HE wants. HE wants to change my heart. Which is why every single attempt to find another job elsewhere has failed (literally ever single one). I dont normally comment but this I felt was so close to my heart that I had to let you know that I've been there, am still there, and I know what its like to be in that place thats so dark theres no light. The way I described it is that it happens slowly then all at once. You don't realize it until you're farther down than you ever imagined. I am always here if you need someone to talk to about that kind of stuff! God is going to do amazing things with you, you have such a loving and caring heart Kenzie.

Annie said...

Oooh, YES, Kenzie. I really love the words of James in chapter 1:2-4 - "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

It sounds as if you have begun to let perseverance finish its work in you, and it's beautiful to see. I pray you keep looking for God in the midst of your circumstances, Kenzie, that you see Him ever clearer as you walk through this season with Him. James 1:5 tells us to ask God for wisdom if we lack it, and I see Him growing that wisdom in you!

Tayler Morrell said...

Glad you are starting to feel a little better and I love this lesson you realized.

Ross said...

You inspire me to keep pushing Kenzie! This post really struck a chord with me because it makes me look at my situation with fresh eyes. God is great!

Amanda aka Manda said...

Once again, you hit the nail on the head with what I am battling right now! Thank you for offering a fresh new perspective for me! Instead of asking why anymore, I'll be asking how He wants to use me!

Laura Darling said...

I hope things keep looking up for you! You sound like one strong lady!