OPINION

Smile, God Loves You: Healing is no easy task

Tiffany Chartier
Special to Texoma Marketing and Media Group

The afternoon summer sun sinks into my back like a heating pad trying to ease sore muscles. I want to fluff my blouse and force a breeze upon my skin, but I know all my focus is needed to get to the end of the driveway and back.

A shallow pant burns my chest – hotter than the sun – a lodged coal craving to be set loose by a deep breath. How could one week prove to make my lungs so fatigued? I stop to gather myself before I become too dizzy. Thankful for the cane, I pause, remembering over week ago I walked briskly upon this same drive with running shoes laced and a playlist blaring my favorite workout songs. I never imagined myself fighting for a good breath and a solid step. But one-week post-surgery for an unexpected issue has left me standing in the driveway waiting patiently upon myself - waiting for myself to catch up.

I collect the mail and tuck the pieces inside my waistband, praying they do not slip before I return inside the house. Daily exercise goal accomplished. Healing is no easy task.

Sipping on a glass of cool tap water, I nearly forget about the mail now stuck between elastic and hot skin. I toss the bulk of it into the trash, all except a handwritten envelope addressed to me. Opening the card, I fan upon my palm ten homemade coupons a friend created – things to do together once I feel better. God's grace is often illuminated through His children – and I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am touched by the effort and kindness of the hands who made this endearing gift – a gift paid out in memories to come.

So much of my thinking is comprised of memories; this surgery is no exception. Through the sifting of what stirs my mind, certain feelings emerge – nuggets wrapped in varying emotions; but to the core, solid truths remain.

God shows up in our waiting.

God stands beside us.

God remains – stays – in our healing.

God reveals Himself in our times of need. And yet, experience teaches me that I have yet to know a time when I did not need God. He is always present, waiting for me to catch up to myself, even if my faith seems far-removed, tattered and thin.

In the moments my strength fails, I understand my abilities were never meant to be enough – only God can bring me back to myself – to who He created me to be. Only God can set me upon higher ground and release the lodged coals of fear and doubt. Only God can give me a good breath and a solid step to begin again with His upholding and unfailing love.

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).

Healing is no easy task. But to remain wounded and weary is far too much a burden when the hand of God is within reach. And His hand is near to all who call upon Him.

"But as for me, the nearness of God is my good …" (Psalm 73:28).

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.)

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.