Wonder Woman and Back Surgery

I really thought I had nipped it in the bud this time! Have you ever been certain you had finally reigned in that sinful habit or those renegade thoughts only to find them unearthed in a shallow grave? This was my story in September of 2017. The Wonder Woman complex is what I call the sin of pridefulness that makes many women believe they have to carry the whole world on their shoulders while working, folding laundry and nursing a baby all at once. I had been down that road of self-sufficiency before. I submitted my faults to the Lord and sworn to do better…but there is nothing like 2 months spent flat on your back to remind you that you may still have a couple of skeletons in your closet. 

My world quickly went from vertical to horizontal in a matter of days when I discovered I had a collapsed disc in my lowest lumber. I found myself deeply impaired, lacking the ability to walk, drive, pick up my kids, cook or do much of anything else.  My initial response to this news was to just keep pushing through. I treated my acute back pain like anything else in life: If I just give it the old college try I will eventually conquer it, right?
So that's what I did!  I just kept trudging along waiting for deliverance from my pain but changing nothing about how I operated. I would rally my entire might to lift myself out of my car. Once I found myself upright, I would stand there with my head lifted to the sky for a moment, as if to beg God for one more ounce of strength.  For any normal woman, this would be a sign that somethings gotta give but not for me! Besides Wonder Woman had just come out and I was ready to defy the odds with sheer willpower.
Have you ever given it your all but will power just wasn't enough? I finally came to a point that putting one foot in front of the other was no longer sufficient and it was there that I broke. The fatigue of chronic pain and the emotional toll of being helpless, finally had it's way with me on the side of a road in South Dallas. I sat there in my car crying big ugly tears. There was a man parked in a black truck and I could tell he was looking but I didn't care. My tears came from the depth of my soul where I usually store them away so no one can see, they erupted from my hiding place and I couldn't quite figure out how to turn off the faucet.
It was in that state that I cried out to God pleading for him to answer. It's not that I hadn't prayed for God to alleviate my pain before, I said my prayers and asked for relief every day, maybe even every hour. Even still, it was a passing prayer, maybe one in which I just spoke the name of Jesus as my prayer. This time I came to God exasperated from not hearing his response. I couldn't take it any longer and the veneer of self-sufficiency that masked my prior prayers fell off as I sat and wept that day.
It was in this moment that felt like the still small voice of the say- "Go to the doctor RIGHT NOW, emphasis on RIGHT NOW." That was all the permission I needed to let go of the helm I was so desperately trying to steer. I crumbled like a toddler held in her father's arms as I looked for God's approval to stop trying to fix my pain and get help. It took several days and 2 failed attempts to return to work for me to let go too, but I eventually got there. From then on it was a whirlwind of diagnostic tests and appointments.  enough I found relief through surgery and I couldn't be happier that I stopped when God told me to stop.
Maybe you are going through something, where you feel the weight of the world crashing down on your shoulders. Sometimes our trials feel like a boulder that we fight to push uphill; with every passing second and each slip of the foot, it's possible, that boulder could crush us with its great force. We often wear our hands to the bone while making little progress. When someone steps in and says "let me help," we cling to the success we've had; we point out how far we have come with the bolder and with the end in sight we feel that a victory may be cheapened by accepting a helping hand.
What I learned from my back surgery was this… accept that hand. Help does not make you weak, help signifies that you are strong enough to realize your own limitations.

Christen Jacobs is a wife and mother of 3. She earned her Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2014. She has served as the youth coordinator and small groups coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas Texas. She has a passion for exegetical teaching and has had the pleasure of speaking at various conferences and teaching Bible classes. Christen and her husband are inner-city missionaries who work to equip every member to sow seeds for the kingdom through helping individuals and churches respond to the great commission. Christen’s ministry passion is empowering women to be curious readers of the word of God. She also has a strong emphasis in engaging generational and cultural differences, as she has a background in missions traveling extensively in Asia, and Latin America. She enjoys writing her blog, cooking, dancing and cuddling up with her family and Netflix.