“I am the captain now.”
These are the commanding words I imagined my pancreas saying to me as it reared its ugly tail and stared me down. Clearly, I was in a state of delirium from unrelenting pain, nevertheless, this encounter felt very real. I had seen previews for the movie Captain Phillips and pictured my pancreas in the role of the hijacker Somali pirate (same accent and everything!) who famously looked at Tom Hanks and threatened, “I am the captain now.” Immediately, I told Tyler of my crazy vision and he drew this hilarious illustration to bring the story full circle.
For the last year my pancreas has been the captain of my body. A captain that maliciously hijacked my ship, wreaked insane havoc and took captive every aspect of my life. I only have three days left with my wretched pancreas- Thursday, November 6, is my surgery date (see the post “Oh, happy day!” for surgical details) and this captain has made it crystal clear that he is not going down without a fight. But, guess what captain P?! It’s almost time for you to walk the plank and be thrown overboard, never to take over this ship again. Farewell, Captain! I’m ready to take back the power and confidently proclaim, “I am the captain now!”
Although… I wish it didn’t have to come down to this; I wish I wasn’t losing a vital organ at such a young age, trading one chronic disease for another; I wish I didn’t have to choose to walk further into pain and suffering (even though it’s for the best in the long run); I wish there was another way, an easier way… In spite of all the pain and suffering, regardless of how much I hate this pancreas of mine… I wish it would work, I wish I could keep it because… I really do need it.
In light of everything just said, I want to make it abundantly clear that I serve only one, true Captain. A Captain who reigns over every aspect of my life, directing my ship down a path of righteousness and protection when I trust Him as guide. A Captain who loved me long before He knit me together in my mother’s womb. A Captain with great purpose and plans meticulously laid out before the beginning of time. The Alpha and Omega, My Redeemer and Friend, The Lord of All is the only one truly in control of my life. Regardless of what the forces of evil may bring upon my physical body, they cannot and will not defeat me when I have The Lord of All safeguarding my soul. As my surgery date approaches and nerves begin to creep in, I mediate on the beautiful promise found in Psalm 121 and find peace that passes understanding.
“I lift my eyes unto the hills- where does me help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you- the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm- he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
This will be my last blog post for quite some time. My surgery will take 6-8 hours and I’ll spend the next few days in ICU. Once I am stable enough, I’ll be moved to a private room for about two weeks. Even once I leave the hospital I will be dealing with major pain and needing serious recovery time. If you’re interested in keeping up with my journey over the next several weeks, follow me on Instagram or Facebook as I will be sure to have someone post on those accounts.
I would love to express my pre-surgery thoughts to you in some poetic and beautiful fashion, but honestly, I’m not even sure how I feel. My posts typically flow naturally as I let my fingers fly and my heart suddenly appears on the page. Today, however, I think God is telling me to stop talking and start listening, to be still and know that He faithfully hears the song of my heart even when I’ve forgotten the lyrics. The Great I am knows exactly how I feel, what I need, and how to provide. He is indeed My Captain, both now and forevermore.