For CBC: an update on the back

One of the greatest things about being a pastor at Calvary Baptist is the inquiries and concern for one another that are displayed weekly…and even daily.  Many of you have been asking about my back situation and I’d like to take the time to answer some of the most frequent questions:

  • What did the surgeon say?
    • Monday, October 18, I consulted with my surgeon, Dr.Isa Canavati, about the future concerning my back.  What we decided was to schedule another spinal fusion to address the additional disc compression.  Pending insurance approval, it will happen yet this year.
  • What will the surgeon do?
    • Lord willing, Dr.Canavati will remove the “old” hardware (only 13 months old) and replace it with new hardware that maintains the original fusion and fuses the next vertebrae up.
  • What are you going to do with the “old” hardware?
    • Well, I asked if I could keep it.  I thought since I already paid for it once, it might be neat to have around.  Maybe I’ll turn it into a key chain, a necklace or some sort of spinal-grunge-bracelet.
  • What do you think about having another surgery?
    • Ha!  I’m not too excited about it at all.  I have been reflecting in the Psalms in my personal bible study and am certain the Lord will lead me and guide me for His name’s sake.  It’s hard for me to get my mind around, but I am focusing on Christ, His grace and how I can be strong in my weakness.  His grace is sufficient.
  • Will this solve the problem?
    • Oh, if you could only see my films.  It appears that the third disc up is also faltering.  Dr.Canavati did tell me that I just “can’t keep doing this” – at some point I’ll be all fused up and will just have to live with it and through it.  I am praying that this surgery will allow me to move forward in a somewhat “normal” state – which would really be encouraging because I don’t know if I’ve ever been there before!  Ha!
  • How can we best pray for you?
    • Please pray that I consistently yield my desires and anxieties about this procedure to the Lord.  When I am tired, hurting and not careful, I begin to think thoughts that really overwhelm me.  I consistently encourage myself to “take every thought captive” and attempt to get adequate rest which helps considerably in the handling of chronic pain.  Your prayers are always coveted.

I hope this puts in one place some of the answers to questions I regularly receive.  Let me say this, I am encouraged by your inquiries into my health.  Even tonight I prayed about how the Lord can use this chronic pain to somehow minister effectively, not only in my life, but in the lives of those to whom I minister.  I want to demonstrate the grace of Christ in my life and I pray to do that as we converse about the pain, the surgery and it’s effects on ministry and life.

Question: What is the most difficult trial the Lord has allowed in your life?  What encouraged you the most in the middle of that trial?

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