I’m a week and a half past surgery and as much as I want to move beyond writing or sharing about this chapter in my life, I’m not able to just yet because it’s not quite over. God is still providing teachable moments in this and I feel like it’s not for me to keep for (only) my own growth in faith.
For those who are reading this and missed my post a few weeks ago, I’ll do a quick update. The beginning of September I was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. Appointments and treatment plans have moved along quickly and I’m now on the other side of surgery.
A friend asked me recently how I was feeling and I explained, “I’m ready to be past surgery limitations and be on the go but my body is so achy from some doctor restrictions that are in place…” After I finished my usual, overextended words she quickly drew up her own simple words, “so you’re feeling like you’re energy is back, but your strength isn’t?!”
“Exactly!!” …couldn’t have said it better myself.
And her words are spot on. My energy is there. I’m ready to lift some weights again, get back over to the nursing home to do hair, and take advantage (with a bike ride) of these 70 degree days we’re enjoying here in Nebraska currently.
But with my doctor’s orders (ten pound weight and range of motion restrictions) in place and his timeline in respect—the time is not yet.
I’m gonna give you a quick visual and you can thank me later for the image and laugh! …One of my most important restrictions is that I’m supposed to keep my arms tucked close to my body, no reaching out to the sides.
My doctor, and he’s hilarious, demonstrated how I should keep my arm movements within a limited range. Upon showing and explaining this to my husband to help get the point across of the importance the two of them then concluded that “I need to be using T-Rex arms!!”
So I’ve kept T-Rex arms in mind as I’ve went about my days…did you know you can actually sweep the house using T-Rex arms? Me neither but I learned that!!
Let me let you in on a little secret.
T-Rex arms are not natural. They make a person feel confined. They also leave you feeling stiff and sore from the waist up. Especially after a full night’s sleep in that position.
There’s a reason God allows chicken wing movements. It feels freeing and refreshing! And not so constrained.
Chicken wings aren’t in my care plan just yet though—therefore T-Rex arms it is.
It’s ironic to me just how symbolic this is of the Christian walk.
Chicken wings are like those beautiful moments in life where things feel on track. Our relationships are healthy and whole. Our jobs are appreciated and secure. Our bodies are nourished and thriving. Our faith is strong and vibrant. We feel we can confidently stretch and strut over God’s good blessings.
On the other hand, there are times in our life when our hope spirals out of control as we allow fickle, negative feelings to take root. Our prayers go up but sometimes we wrongly deem them as unnoticed. We feel tied down by undesired wrongs that have happened in our life and we’re just waiting to be released from the burden and trials. We feel trapped or restricted.
By analogy this describes T-Rex arms.
Here’s the solid truth though, over any and all things—God gives us restrictions for our own good and within His perfect timing He leads us to the other side of adversity.
For some of us that heavy load may not be lifted until we’re Heaven-bound. Likewise, for all of us, perfection in every single area and detail will come to fruition when we’re Heaven-bound as well.
The wonderful thing is, however, there’s taming available even in the midst of T-Rex arms…
Consider the way the arms are tucked in close at the sides, no flailing allowed. Now picture Jesus as He comes at your side, wrapping His caring arms around you. You’ve ached for so long that His gentle touch feels welcomed and comforting, merciful and grace-filled. His care is more than enough to sustain. No matter your mindset, His love is humbly fiercer than the pain. His steadfastness eases the harsh mentality. It’s His loyalty that calms the rigid edges.
No doubt, He is more than powerful enough to settle even the unruliest of all T-Rex’s.
Hope in Jesus is key.
And the beautiful thing is—hope is held in our hearts not our arms—whether we’re in a place relating to T-Rex arms…or chicken wings…
Have a very blessed weekend!!