Two weeks ago I had my neck fused. Many of you know this, but many of my new fans and friends may not. Actually, this was my 23rd surgery, no car wreck, just a joint disease that has been a challenge since I was 23. Despite the physical limitations I have faced, the pain, the tears, I have and still believe I live a beautiful, unimaginable life, and am grateful.
Surgery is hard. Many of you know this, and many of who may be facing surgery are probably apprehensive, scared, and worried. I was, with every one. I have also had to deal with the post-operative depression that comes afterwards. Not to everyone, but to some, and to me, often. Part of it is meds, part pain, part life issues that surround me, but like my approach to everything, this will not conquer me, it's gonna be all right.
Today, after almost two months, my Occupational Therapist worked with me to begin painting again. Not a masterpiece, just a simple piece of art to teach me how my posture and adaptations will change for the rest of my life if I want to keep painting. The neck brace, it will be my new best friend. I kinda look at it at this point as an albatross around my neck but I will mentally deal with that because expressing myself creatively is a must, and I will not allow my physical limitations to conquer me either.
The back brace is a new, and constant friend, too. The collar keeps my neck from bending down, the brace helps my core stay stable. And, as I am told, starting small, with baby steps is what I must do, so I will. I wanted to share these with you, because many of my friends struggle with neck and back pain who are artists. If you know of any art friends who face these same issues, please share my blog with them. I have found limited resources and would love for them to know they are not alone. These are my adaptations, but they just might help you as well, especially if you are healing like I am. The painting is simply a start. I have no clue what it will turn into, but it felt good to put paint to paper and feel connected to the artistic spirit that flows within me.
And in the midst of all of this, life can actually fall apart, or it seems. Tears will flow, fears will become real, but in those moments I stop myself and simply breathe, breathe in God, breathe out everything else. My dear friend Terri Keller knows this, and for us, and hopefully many of you, those moments are what becomes the glue to our sanity.
A few hours ago I checked my Facebook page and my blessed college friend Pam had posted a video for me that made her think of me. This is where I know, coincidences don't happen. Every word of that video I needed to hear, to know, to believe, and there it was on my page. God is like that. To me, it's not about religion, it's about a loving God who knows how to gently reach out is hand, even through FB, and say, "I have you, I love you."
As I researched more about Sara Groves, this artist, her song, "It's Gonna Be All Right" struck a chord, especially the quotes. I felt the two videos simply needed to be shared, for private reasons, and for the simple fact that someone out there might need to know, IT WILL BE ALL RIGHT, in time, in faith, with the support of others. I love all of you, I love that you follow my stories, my journey of courage and healing, but most of all, that you love me for me, faults and all. Stay strong my friends, it can be overcome, it can be done, and WE WILL HEAL!