Earlier this month I had major surgery and I had not wanted to broadcast it especially on social media. I told my immediate family and a few close friends. My mother, as she often does, relayed my surgery news to extended family, as well as, to her church family for prayers. While I know my mother loves and worries about me, I also know that sometimes these broadcasts are for her own need to be the center of attention. Yet as personal as this surgery was to me, she could not know the ramifications of her personal megaphone. Soon, I would see posts from extended family wishing me well and letting me know I was in their prayers for my “upcoming surgery.”
When I saw these posts, bowing my head with closed eyes, I said to myself, “oh no.” And soon other posts started to appear.
“What type of surgery are you having?”
Others were more kind and simply posted, “Praying for you too,” although I knew they had no idea of the surgery or nature of the surgery; but simply, a prayer was rendered. Others privately messaged me asking me about my impending surgery.
The proverbial cat was out of the bag!
I had either ignored their outright inquiries or privately messaged them with my thanks for prayers and limited information.
While I was grateful for family and friends to be concerned (some, just plain nosy), my personal health was my business and I had hoped to keep it private.
In the interest of keeping everyone posted without divulging further information, I posted lighthearted messages about who my husband, “Nurse Vinny Sal” and my PCAs (furry patient care assistants) were taking excellent care of me during my medical leave. This seem to assuage people’s necessity to ask questions openly on Facebook.
Then after three weeks into my recovery from surgery, my husband received an angry and hurt telephone call from his mother demanding why I had not shared my surgery news with her and wanted all the details.
“Why did I have to hear about this on Facebook?!” she demanded.
I did not purposely not call her to share my surgery news nor did I speak to her when she called that evening. (Sometimes, husbands do know when not to hand the telephone to their wives.)
Privately, my reaction to my mother and my mother-in-law’s faux pas was unkind to say the least. I was angry that my surgery had been disclosed to more people than I had wanted to know, and I was angry that I somehow needed to share this information with others. In the end, the hurting wasn’t just felt by me.
Children, obey your parents because you are Christians. This is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother that everything may go well for you, and you may have a long life on earth.” This is an important commandment with a promise. Fathers, don’t make your children bitter about life. Instead, bring them up in Christian discipline and instruction.
(This crabapple tree was my first Mother’s Day present 21 years go.)
Being a parent
As a mother, I know the feelings of helplessness and worry when one of my sons is unwell or hurt. And now that both sons are adults and away at college, I understand how these feelings can become amplified in our loneliness to remain connected to them. I also understand as I grow older those feelings along with the feeling of isolation may deepen as my sons continue to move further independently and create family lives of their own.
I want my children to come to me on their terms. What I mean is that I want them to share with me information, but I trust them to share what they want and know that I my heart and ears are open to them whatever the news. Furthermore, my sons know that as adults their conversations with me are sacred and confidential. Of course, they also know I will boast about them from time to time unless they tell me otherwise.
Additionally, although I miss them terribly when they are away from me, I want my sons to visit me not out of guilt or prompts from me, but because they want to visit me. My Lord feels the same way about me too. My prayers and my daily prayer journal visits are because I love him and I know I will always need him. My prayers and journal writing are my expressions of love for God.
Parents can be overbearing, controlling, impatient, and demanding as we grow up and into adulthood. While my parents were and are all those things realistically and in my perception, I am grateful to them for sharing the good news of Christ with me through my baptism as a baby and education in the Christian church.
Christ taught me love, compassion and empathy to name just a few lessons. And through my relationship with my earthly parents, I will be a different parent to my children. My sons will be a different parent to their children. My prayer is my son’s Christian education and faith in Christ will also carry them throughout their lives too as it has mine.
1 Samuel 3:10
“The Lord came and stood there. He called as he had called the other times: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak. I’m listening.”
We are children of God no matter how old our earthly bodies age. As a woman of God, I must continue to recognize God’s efforts to speak to me, to teach me. It is in my quiet daily moments in prayer and writing in my prayer journal that I turn my attention to God, and say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”
It is in these tranquil moments that I can embrace the One who calls me His own and teaches me how to love and obey Him. God, who sacrificed His own son, so that I may have everlasting life, also taught me the important lesson of forgiveness.
John 20:19-23 Jesus Appears to the Disciples
“That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad to see the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Additionally, I am grateful for family and friends who were and continue to be genuinely concerned about me and prayed for me. God Bless You!
May I pray for you?
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