Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sellout (05/26/11)
TITLE: Surrounded by Grace
By Sandy Ott
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“It doesn’t seem like seven years have passed,” she reflected. Her mind wondering back to the moment after three long days in the hospital when the neurosurgeon announced, “It’s not a tumor, it’s an Arachnoid cyst.” A wave of relief rushed over her, quickly followed by a state of confusion.
“It is quite large, almost 7 centimeters in diameter behind your left eye,” he continued as he cleared his throat. “I see no need to remove it at this time”, he asserted with a distracted air which alarmed her. “It would be risky and after reviewing old scans of your sinuses; it has been there a long time, most likely since birth. Your brain has accommodated it,” he stated with some certainty. “You don’t appear to have symptoms as result other than an occasional headache.”
For the last seven years she has carried around the knowledge that she has a large bubble of cerebral spinal fluid in her head the size of a softball. She agreed with the doctor, no need to create problems where none seemed to exist. She never even would have known it was there had she not been involved in an accident at work and had a full head CT as a precaution.
On this beautiful spring morning, sun brightly shining as she walked to her car, she noticed even the minutest of details. Tiny flowers blooming by the fence with bees buzzing around them caught her eye. The playfulness of a squirrel as it runs through the uneven blades of grass glistening from the morning dew. New leaves of brilliant green and bright buds bursting with color that adorn the trees as this season of growth and renewal begin anew.
“How things have changed,” she thinks to herself. “Thank you God for showing me the wonder and beauty of your creation. You are mindful of all you have made; I know you care about me too”, she whispered reassuring herself.
The promises she made that first restless night in the hospital resulted in a complete turnaround in her life. She poured out her heart to a God she had previously all but forgotten and He surrounded her with grace. Many challenges have presented themselves in the days since she decided to ask Christ into her life. Some were battles within herself, struggling to walk away from “friends” made her feel like a sellout. It was as if she thought herself better than the party buddies she had spent much time with.
Grappling constantly with the desires of the flesh, the routines she had come accustomed to and the new life she was seeking warred within her. She knew this transformation was not going to be effortless or immediate. It took a couple of months to cultivate the courage to seek out a church where she and her family could be nurtured as part of the family of God. The ongoing arguments with her husband didn’t help. He did not accept this new idea in the beginning. They each thought the great chasms of conflict that scarred their marriage needed to be dealt with first but in truth; they needed to seek God so He could help heal the relationship.
Now, as she drives to see another neurosurgeon, she reflects back on the blessings she has experienced in the last seven years. God helped her see during her moments of pleading with Him that it wasn’t that she was of higher value, God loves us all the same. As some people she severed ties with insulted her “new enlightenment” or labeled her a hypocrite she eventually began to comprehend that not everyone recognizes or responds to God the same way. Nor would everyone accept the changes she was making with God’s help. Her priorities had changed, theirs had not.
Today she needed reminding of all she had learned about who God really is; concentrating on the His love, His power, to know without an inkling of doubt that all things are in His control.
Today she is standing firmly on His promises knowing He alone will provide the strength needed without worry of what tomorrow may bring.
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