Today I have surgery. It will be the second in two months. Just days after I got engaged, I had major gum surgery. And now just days before my 30th birthday I will have another.
I won’t lie… I have had my share of pity parties off and on over the past couple of months. Among them being thoughts of:
“I have battled this front tooth for 22 years, since that dreaded day when I was 8 years old and went outside in that ice storm… Isn’t that long enough?”
“I have waited my whole life to be engaged and now I can’t even smile about it.”
“I am in LA for my 30th birthday this year and able to celebrate with friends, but now will be unable to smile and laugh and be my normal self.”
The overarching lament? “This tooth is stealing my joy.”
My fiancé is by far one of the most positive people I know. In all my wallowing, in all my sadness, (oh, did I mention we can’t even go home to celebrate Christmas with my family? cue one more pity party), and in all my defeatist moments, he never fails to encourage me, lavish grace upon me, and point me to the truth I know in Christ.
I am so grateful for him, and I am so grateful for that truth of which he reminds me amidst the lies I am told by Satan – that God has me in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16), that in my weakness He is stronger (2 Corinthians 12:9-11), and that every day, in every moment, and in every circumstance, I have the ability to choose joy (James 1:2-4, 1 Thessalonians 16-18, Proverbs 17:22).
I just started reading this book called Happiness is a Choice. I haven’t even gotten past the forward and I am both convicted and encouraged. Author Paul Meier, M.D. quotes Abraham Lincoln:
“Most people are about as happy as the choose to be.”
Today I may have surgery. But today I have a choice. Today I can choose to be happy. Today I can choose joy. Today I can choose “notes” that are holy and pleasing to God. After all, our lives are but a song with the purpose of bringing glory, praise, honor, and worship to Him.
“Let the notes I choose be your favorite tune, and Father, let my heart be after you.” – Needtobreathe, Garden
This song, Garden, by Needtobreathe is a song about the time Jesus was about to be crucified, and He goes into the garden to pray. Matthew 26:39 tells us “he fell on his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'”
I have prayed to God to take this infection away, to save me from having to have another surgery. Yet I know His plan is best, and that He is working out all things in my life to bring glory to His name (Romans 8:28). So while He has not chosen to take this cup from me, I will choose to sing. I will choose joy.