Friday, January 22, 2010

Young Adult David Reflects on His Scoliosis Surgery Experience and His Faith

------ Forwarded Message
From: David
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:33:36 -0500
To: Lloyd Hey
Subject: Hello Dr. Hey! Please read!

Hey Dr. Hey. I am excited about coming back in to see you on Feb 1st, just to see how things are healing and going. I have been sharing my story with others because I feel God has allowed me to go through this for a reason and that is to bring glory to His name. People are emailing and sending what I have written to people across the world. I wanted you send you a copy so you could have it. God brought you into my life and I praise Him for it. So here is what I have written:

Before my surgery, I talked about how I came to the realization of just how vulnerable and fragile our lives really are. Before I went through my surgery, I knew that I would go through some very hard times in the future. I knew that there would be pain. December 15th my journey began, one like I have never experienced before. If you have not looked at the pictures of my back prior to the surgery and during the surgery and have read my surgeon’s blog, I would encourage you to do so.

        I cannot begin to tell you how crazy it is to feel your body completely change. The process of having my body adjust to the drastic changes of what it had gotten used to has been at times overwhelming. The first thing I remember saying when I woke up was, “I can breathe.” Over the past years, my spine had become so badly curved in one direction that it was crushing my lung. I had a new perspective on what it was like to breathe and it was completely amazing to me. My surgeon had to stretch out my lung because of how badly it was being constricted. Over the past month, I have had to relearn life. I have had to relearn how to walk, drive, sit, sleep, shower and even write. Your spine is sorta like the epicenter of every function of your body and when it gets moved as drastically as mine did, you have to learn to do things all over again. My organs are even moving inside my body, they are settling in to the places where they were meant to be but could
 not be there because of how badly crooked and twisted my spine was.
        There are several things that I have been learning through all this. As I stated before, I knew there would be pain but I never envisioned it to be as bad as I have gone through. I have learned that pain grows you, it molds you. It gets your attention! My pain was a guarantee but I also knew that if I was all about myself then the pain would always be in control. If I focused on the pain then the pain would be what owned me. Instead of focusing on the pain, I prayed and turned my attention and focus on Christ because I knew He was much bigger than my pain. I have asked myself so many times this past month how people get through life without Christ? I cannot explain to you the peace I had before my surgery. I can remember being taken into the operating room and as they were preparing to put me to sleep, I remember looking up and telling Jesus, “either I wake up in the recovery room or I wake up looking at You face to face and either one is fine with
 me.” I knew Jesus was right there with me, He gave me that peace that I could not explain. Since the surgery, there have been times of frustration. There have been times of depression, mainly because I am the type of person that likes to be on the move. I like to be doing things all the time. I loved working out, going to the gym and playing sports. Lifting weights was a huge passion of mine. I would be in the gym everyday putting up the weights because I loved taking care of myself. Now, all I can do is just take it easy and recover and while doing this I remember the things I would read and Jesus would be asking me, “am I really more than enough in your life?” As time goes on, I feel myself getting stronger and I know that I will soon be back doing the things that I love to do but my perspective has to stay the same and that is that Jesus is more than enough in my life, no matter what pain I go through, He is all I need and all I will ever need.

        I have looked at my surgery in comparison to our lives with Christ. My spine was at a 60 degree curve. Since your spine is the control center for your body, it has a pretty crucial job in keeping you alive and keeping things going. My spine was crushing my lung, causing me pain, making me so uncomfortable in all aspects of my life, nothing felt right. Pretty soon, my spine would have gotten worse and I could have ended up in a wheelchair and on oxygen and who knows what else. Isn’t that what sin does to us in our lives? It invades our lives and starts to take over the epicenter of who we are. Pretty soon we can’t function normally and we do crazy things. Scripture makes it clear that when God made us, He put that longing for Him in all of us, we all have the void that only He can fill. So many people try to fill that void with things that do nothing but crush the very life out of them.
        I remember my surgeon looking at my x-rays for the first time and telling me just how screwed up I was. I remember him explaining to me the problems that I will face in the future and then I remember him saying, “but I can fix you.” Those words were the most precious words I have heard in a long time. As you can tell from my surgery pictures and his blog, he had to move my spine and put two steel rods on either side of my spine and then screw them into the vertebrae along with doing bone fusions. In essence, my surgeon made me a completely different person from what I was. Those rods, screws and fusions have made my spine straight and will not allow it to go back to the twisted and crooked way it had been before. It is going to take time for my back to heal. It is going to take time for my body to get adjusted to the changes my surgeon made but things are new in my life. How true is that when people come to Jesus. Our lives are all twisted and
 crooked from sin. The sin is choking the life out of us and we want so badly for a change, we search and cry out for help. Because of the tortuous cross, Jesus became the steel rods that invaded our lives and changed us forever. He has made us new. There was nothing I could do to help the surgeon while I was on the operating table, all I had to do was lay there and trust him. There is nothing we can do to earn a relationship with Jesus, the barrier of our capacity to have a relationship with God has been completely broken by Jesus on the cross. He chose to make us compatible to Himself. Just like it takes time for me to heal and get used to this new life since my surgery, when Jesus invades a person’s life, it takes time for new believers to get used to the change that Christ has made in their lives. He chose to change their standing with Him and their actions will begin to change over time. Just as I am having to relearn life, new believers have to
 relearn life too. I am so thankful for the people in my life who have walked with me every step of the way through this surgery and after to help me get used to this new life. My parents, family and friends have been amazing!  Which has made me think, we need to be walking step by step with new believers as they come to know Christ to help them with this new life that Christ has started in them. What an amazing journey this has been for me. Jesus has shown me alot and He is still showing me so much. The thing that I have come to realize through all this is that life’s greatest treasure is in knowing Jesus. There is a song by Mercy Me called Bring the Rain that I think sums up what I have been through. It doesn’t matter the pain and circumstances I go through, that will never change who I am in Christ at all. The chorus is what I have been praying to God everyday, “Bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that
 brings you glory. And I know there’ll be days when this life brings me pain but if that’s what it takes to praise You, then Jesus bring the rain.” Jesus has done some amazing things through this journey and I cannot wait to talk to people about it! I know He wants me to share my story and glorify His name through all this and I can’t wait to see how He does it.

Thank you Dr. Hey for your ministry and for being such an awesome missionary! I thank God for you everyday...even when I am hurting. :-)
See you in a few weeks!



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