Jaime Geideman – Associate Worship Pastor
If you’ve read any of my blog posts over the past year or so, you’ll know that I’ve been enduring through pain in my jaw joint, and was facing reconstructive jaw surgery in order to solve the joint pain. Well, I’m currently 7 weeks post surgery!
On my first day post surgery, I went to use the restroom and the nurse warned me ahead of time…”you may not want to look at your face..” I thought to myself…how bad could it be?? I couldn’t resist and I looked at it, I didn’t recognize myself at all, actually my first response was “I’m a who!!! I’m Jaime Loo Who!!!” I wasn’t all over crazy swollen, but my upper lip, nose and cheeks were swollen in just the right spots to make me look like a character straight out of The Grinch.
I wasn’t highly bothered by it at first, I actually thought it was kind of funny…but I only thought it was funny because I expected it to subside quickly. The first two weeks of recovery were extremely difficult, I was so sick, in so much pain, literally starving at times, I had allergic reactions to medicines, my body could not process the trauma it had endured and at 2 weeks post surgery I realized that this journey was going to look much different than I had hoped for and take much longer, the who-ville look had long worn out it’s welcome and was not so funny anymore.
Now, I’m not one to take selfies normally but I began obsessively worrying about the reflection in the mirror and the reflection through my phone camera. I took pictures of myself or looked in a mirror nearly constantly to see if my face would look more like my real face anymore than it did maybe an hour before.
Every picture I took, every mirror I looked into, every check up appointment I went to day in, day out, week in and week out…it became very apparent that my body was going to take all the time it needed to heal. My surgeon said I could expect to be on this journey for 6-12 months of having that “different” looking reflection.
Easter weekend was powerful for me, we were in the “Reflections” series and Cal broke a mirror on stage to remind us all that we need to stop looking at ourselves, to ourselves and we have to look to Christ, and find our future and our hope in Him alone. (Do you ever feel like the teaching is directly pointed at you?? This one was directly pointed at me!)
It was so symbolic for me, and not just about my current pride induced face-checking craze. You see, I’m a fixer by nature, I’m a problem solver and I like to fix and problem solve quickly, I’m fast paced and constantly in motion for the most part. I started to realize early on in my recovery just how impatient I am. My face doesn’t really care that I’m a fixer or a problem solver, it doesn’t care that I like things done quickly…it works at it’s own pace and I just have to deal and I choose if I deal well or deal poorly. Up until that point I had dealt poorly and like Cal shared in his message, I didn’t want my future to look like my past anymore…
I have patience I need to learn; I have pride that needs to be released, as well as so much more in order to be the reflection of Christ that I desire to be.
Truth be told, I want my face back …But my life…. I pray that my life can be a reflection more and more like Jesus each day and persevering through seasons like this and looking to Him and not myself and allowing Him to teach me through it and grow me through is the reflection I need to care about the most.
Romans 5:3-5a (NLT) – We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
Who is your hope in today? Are you looking to yourself and your strength? Are you looking only at your problems and trials and not to the God that can give you hope in the midst of it all? Look to Him, He will not disappoint!
Last week at 6 weeks post surgery, I said goodbye to my picture journey, I decided to post it online and say goodbye to the piece of my pride that made me want to hide my embarrassing photos to myself. And today, I share them with you.
Join me on the journey to put our hope in Christ and live lives that are a reflection of Him!
**The Profile Picture for this blog was done with a fun app that distorts my face, that is not, I repeat, not a real recovery picture 🙂