Life Lessons from Hip Surgery
I’m coming up on my two-year anniversary of when I had reconstructive hip surgery. When I look back on that season, I find myself holding my breath because it was one of the hardest roads I’ve walked since becoming a mother. At the time, we had an 8, 6, and 4 year old and I foolishly thought I would bounce back quickly like I had from previous knee surgeries 10+ years prior. The lessons I learned from this circumstance are ones that all moms need to learn.
Lesson #1: His strength wasn’t perfected in me until I realized I was weak.
It’s safe to say that I definitely thought I was really strong up until this point in my life. It took a lot to break me down and I enjoyed being known as a fighter. It wasn’t until I had to fully rely on help from others that I realized what God meant by 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” It wasn’t until I was too weak to do ANYTHING for myself or my family, that the Lord beckoned my heart towards understanding fully that when I rely on my own strength, then I leave no room for God to show up. But when I see my weakness, then I see clearly my need for His grace, love and comfort. "Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Lesson #2: It takes discipline to heal.
One of the reasons this particular hip surgery was so difficult is because I had to give my joint time to heal before putting weight on it. Due to the location of the repair, that also meant I had to be completely laid flat most of the time to keep the joint from being impinged. Which meant, I couldn’t stand, sit, walk or drive for 9 weeks, AND I had to just lay there. Just lay there. At first, this kinda sounded dreamy, not gonna lie. But after the first few days, the dream became a nightmare. I sat in the living room most days, staring at all the filth on the floors, the dishes that weren’t done, the piles of laundry that needed folding, and the dust building before me on the mantel. I never in my life wanted so badly to do chores. I also couldn’t play with my kids unless they came and sat next to me on the couch. The medicine I was on for inflammation caused my vision to be blurry so I couldn’t even read to them, check email or text without getting nauseated. It took extreme discipline for me to let everything go, so I could lay there and heal. I don’t know what needs healing in your life, but may I remind you that healing doesn’t occur overnight, and it takes discipline to give yourself the time and space to heal. Hebrews 12:11, "Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it."
Lesson #3: People want to help, but you have to let them know how.
When I shared with friends and family that I would be having surgery, the #1 response I received was, “How can I help!?!” People were eager to help us. As surgery grew nearer, their offer to help kept repeating in my head, but I didn’t really know how to let others help. Meals were a given but what else? So I did what I do best; I made a list. I began to make a list of everything I could possibly think I would normally do but wouldn’t be able to do. As I sifted through the list, I realized that all these people that love my family and me were capable of doing so much on my list. All I had to do was share it. You know what happened? People showed up to help because I gave them something to do. I had people sign up to chauffeur me to physical therapy and doctor appointments, people chauffeured my kids to their commitments, people brought meals, people cleaned our house, folded laundry, stripped beds, brought groceries, picked up my kids for play dates, took them to the park, watched them swim in our pool, and the list could go on. People want to help you, but you just have to let them know how. Galatians 6:2, “Brothers, carry each others burdens, and in doing so, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I pray you never have to have hip surgery to learn these H.I.P. lessons:
- His strength is perfected in our weakness.
- It takes discipline to heal.
- People want to help, but you have to let them know how.
May you learn these lessons, nonetheless, so you can be all God created you to be! Ephesians 2:10