February 11, 2021 – from Erin
- We met with the surgeon at Vanderbilt and really liked him. He was very personable and patient with all our questions. He feels I have over 95% chance of coming out the other side of this with the only loss being the hearing in my left ear. He feels confident they can preserve the nerve that affects my facial muscles.
- I was also able to consult with the surgical team at UCSD in San Diego for a second opinion. They had the same assessment and the same approach. They also shared the same (if not more) confidence that I should have a very positive outcome.
- We’ve discussed and prayed about it and decided we’re going to move forward with scheduling surgery at Vanderbilt in Nashville. It feels good to have made the decision, but also scary to be another step closer to having the surgery.
- Kate had an amazing birthday weekend – thank you for praying! I feel like I was able to be present and enjoy it without being distracted.
- PLEASE PRAY – that we can get a surgery date scheduled. We’re hoping for late March-early April.
How I’m feeling
Since learning about the Enneagram, I’ve thought I was a 7. I mean, I really love to have fun and I love making everything more fun for the people around me. But recently a friend asked me if I was a 3. At first, I thought it was a really silly question. But as I started to think about it and discussed it with people who know me well, I started to think maybe I could be.
I’ve recently started a new role at work and I’ve found myself working lots of extra hours, not because I’m expected to, but because I want to prove that I was a good hire. I also noticed that I rarely ever sit down to watch tv or a movie without my computer in my lap. Also, in middle school, I bought boxes of blow-pops at Sams Club for 6 cents each and sold them for 50 cents each…so I could raise money to purchase a pure-bred dog…so I could breed it and make money selling the puppies. I was always coming up with new business plans. At any rate, since discovering I have a brain tumor I’ve become increasingly aware of my need to “achieve” my way to the other side of this.
I’ve got a lot of fear about this upcoming brain surgery. So, I immediately reached out to my counselor, thinking I just need to identify the root of the fear, name it, and eliminate it. Surely if I can identify the cause of the fear, I can logically work through it and then it will go away, right?
I’m realizing that’s really not how it works.
I believe God knows I have a brain tumor. I believe He will use it for my good and to encourage others. I believe He loves me deeply. I believe He is with me, right by my side. But, if I’m honest, I’m not sure if I believe He really wants me to give this worry and fear to Him.
I mean, He gave it to ME. It’s mine to carry, right? My duty, my responsibility to figure it out.
How many times have I read those verses that say things like “cast all your cares on him” or “don’t worry about anything” or “bring me your heavy loads and I will give you rest”?
I remember when our oldest was a newborn and Reece’s parents came to visit. My sweet mother-in-law wanted to give me the gift of a full night of sleep. She said she would get up and do all the feedings one night so I could sleep. And she did. But could I receive that gift and sleep? No. Every time he woke up to eat, I sat awake in my bed, crying about how I was neglecting my responsibilities as a new mom.
What is wrong with me? Why can’t I accept help? What am I trying to prove? What do I really think God is asking of me?
The story God is writing is not a story where I’m the hero and he’s the cheerleader. It’s not a story where I continue to struggle and stumble while he pats me on the back.
It’s supposed to be a story of His strength being made perfect IN MY WEAKNESS.
I didn’t realize I had this blind spot. I didn’t know that I haven’t learned to give things over to God and trust Him to handle them. I think I’ve mostly trusted Him to help me handle things. And that’s not the same. This is a new level of surrender. Maybe one I couldn’t have learned another way.
So, I’m certain this fear can’t be processed, thought through, rationalized, conquered, or overcome with any strategy I can develop. I can’t muster the amount of confidence needed for this. And that’s okay. Because it’s not ultimately up to me. I do not have what it takes to trust God with something this big.
But I’ll be okay on brain surgery day because He will show up in that supernatural way that He does. I’ve seen Him do it before. I know it’s real. There’s nothing in the world like it.
And it won’t be because I’ve “done the work.” It won’t be because I’ve done my part. It won’t be because I’m so strong or so resilient. It will be because I’m weak. And His strength is made perfect in our weakness.