This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Monday, Sept 15, 2020.
I am about 6 weeks out from having surgery to remove abdominal adhesions from surgeries I had back in 2006 and 2011. You may have seen me out running again. I have also started flipping tires around my backyard. I can’t throw those tires with quite the force I could 2 months ago, but I’ll get there. I thank God every single day to be back on my feet and I am also thankful that I feel just a little stronger each day that goes by.
The surgery I had in 2006 which caused the adhesions in 2011 and again recently was a weight loss procedure. I have lost 130 pounds since 2006 and I am honestly healthier, in better shape, and weigh considerably less today than the day I graduated from high school back in 1993. I am scared to think about where I would be today had I not had that surgery 14 years ago. I honestly do not think I would be able to be the pastor at Wayne Street had I not made that decision. I doubt that, at 45 years old, I would be healthy enough to keep up with the pace as well as have the needed energy to spin all of the plates to be in an organization like this church I love so much.
There are two reasons I am sharing this with you.
First, it was a tremendous risk I took in 2006. I knew the risks, had them explained to me in amazing detail. I was terrified to have the surgery, which was much more involved in those days than weight loss surgery today. I took a risk, a big one.
However, my life would have been much different today had I not taken it. It was that risk that has led to some of the best parts of my life now in 2020, which certainly includes my health, which by now would have been abysmal. In consultation with my family and lots of prayer, I decided to take the risk of the surgery and in making that decision, I accepted the fact that it may not go well. In fact, I had to sign a legal death waiver to have the surgery. I also had to have a physical (which I failed in embarrassing fashion), a psych evaluation (which I assume I also failed), and a series of blood tests where I had to have 17 vials of blood drawn. These helped me clearly understand the risky nature of this choice.
Thank God, this choice panned out for me. Not all risks work out like this, but this one did. I want all of you to think about that when approaching life. Nothing – and I mean literally nothing – in this world is without risk. It is in taking the chance that you get the chance to live outside of your comfort zone. You get the chance to live forward rather than live without movement. We are so risk-averse in our culture, but I want to encourage you to take calculated risks. Make sure you know the potential benefits and costs, but know that if your goal is just to be safe all the time, there is a world out there that you may be missing. That is what taking that risk in 2006 taught me – sometimes you have to take a risk to live into the life God wants for you. I am blessed everyday by what the risk brought to me.
But there is a second reason I want to bring this up to you. I have twice gone through abdominal adhesions, and it is nearly guaranteed that it is going to happen again and will continue to happen for the rest of my life. If I evaluated my experience of surgery based solely on the adhesions, then I would regret having the surgery forever. My whole life would be different because I would see December 28, 2006, as the date of the biggest mistake of my life because that will doom me to the worst experience a person can endure every 6-10 years.
But I don’t see it that way. Yes, I would not complain if the adhesions never came back, but shedding that 130 pounds has given me so much of my life back. I wouldn’t go back and change anything even if I could. So even if you take a risk and there are some difficult experiences with the choice, don’t allow that to turn you into a risk-averse person. Don’t be down on it, make sure you see the whole picture, especially the good parts. For me, there has been much more good than bad, even though the bad was really bad. I am thankful to be where I am today.