Letting Go, Watercolor; Waiting Series Letting Go, Watercolor; Waiting Series
05 Nov

Painting: open hands/letting go

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit” says the Lord of Hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

At the end of my last newsletter, I was healing and thought I was done. But no, after two weeks I went for a follow up appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. The infection was still there and he wanted to go back in and remove the cyst sac and scrape out the infection. So four days later, I was back in the hospital, admitted. It would be overnight at least and he wanted to keep me until the right antibiotic would be found.

Waiting – in the hospital.
First there is the waiting on an empty stomach for the surgery. It was noon before the surgery finally took place. Then I began to see and experience all kinds of waiting:

  • To be able to eat again
  • For a nurse to respond to a call bell
  • For pain to go away
  • For recovery from medication given during surgery
  • For healing to happen
  • For a doctor to come by with his/her prognosis
  • For a prescription
  • For a good meal
  • For time to pass
  • For visitors to come
  • For the okay to go home

In a hospital there is no control - 

  • Of when the doctor will come by
  • Of how long it takes to heal
  • (Sometimes even) Of bodily functions
  • Of all the above

Vulnerability is high and you have to trust the doctors and nurses.

I had a couple of roommates. One who had had hip surgery and complications afterwards. She was bed ridden and needed a lot of help. She was in her 80’s. Physio came by every day just to get her to work on standing.

On my third day in the hospital, I wrote this poem from her point of view as I watched her situation in the hospital:

Stuck in this chair
Waiting for a nurse
“call” bell is dinging
No one responds, no one hears
Waiting an hour
Hoping they get here before I make a mess
Where are they?
Don’t they care?
Can’t wait much longer
…So uncomfortable
Roommates are listening
But they cannot help
Shake my head,
In come the nurses
Lift in position to move me to the chair with a hole.
Too late!
What a mess!

By the fourth day in the hospital, I was pacing the hallway. In the last newsletter I wrote about the difficulty of vulnerability, but I found it became even harder the longer I had to wait. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced the hallways waiting. I was frustrated, impatient ready to cry and realized that this is how I am with God. I wrote in my journal that day as I was waiting for the doctor to come by and let me go home:

“ Honestly, I do not like the lack of control when waiting for You, Lord. I don’t like giving up control. I don’t like the vulnerability in crying – I would rather hide my feelings. I don’t even have it as bad as some people here. Lord, I confess, I do not want to give up my control. I want to feel important and valid. I don’t like being a “nobody.” I confess, I do not like being vulnerable, weak and teary. I’d rather be sunshine than rain. Strengthen my faith that I can let go of control. It’s not about me. What does it mean to rest in Jesus, trusting in him, letting go?”

I am currently working on this painting, “Letting Go,” as I work through these feelings and experience. I started this painting last week at the Art Vocabulary of the Soul retreat, where I shared this journey. Our weekend focus was on God as our strength in our weakness. And he is. And I can rest in that as soon as I let go.

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