Jill Stigman

First post: Mar 27, 2019 Latest post: Mar 22, 2020
Here I go again…. Caring Bridge might be a bit much as I’m hoping and praying this is not a long term recovery but it’s long enough to warrant communication. I’m off to surgery again. My seventh one. Three of which are not related to being a paraplegic. This past fall I discovered I have some pretty big issues with my kidneys and bladder. Not emergent but big enough to point to an extremely troublesome future. I struggled with whether to go ahead with it or not. I researched a ton and "interviewed" others that have had this surgery. Long story short, I do technically have a choice but not really. My future will be greatly affected if I don't have it. Of course, something else may greatly affect my future anyway, but if I can do something about THIS situation, I should. I need to keep hoping, planning, living. While I’m young (I’ll swallow that) and healthy (in para world, I’m doing well) this needs to be taken care of. I will enter the hospital March 31st for two days of prep and surgery will be April 2nd. It’s extensive – anywhere from 6-10 hours. I will be sitting up the next day, but will be very weak. I will be in the hospital for about a week, then home for three weeks recovering. Mom (Marvella) will be joining us for two – three weeks, depending on how I feel. Cannot tell you how grateful I am to have her do this for me. She is PURE JOY and a realist. I sometimes struggle with sympathy from others, mistaking it for pity. Mom is all grit. She’ll admit it’s tough, then goes about conquering. She’ll laugh at the crazy and keep moving. I need her in my corner.  Mentally as much as physically.

I will not want company during this time as I will be vulnerable. I don’t want to hide from you in my own home. I want to recover with calm, consistent routine. I will be reachable by texts and phone calls but might not answer – depending on my recovery. Hence Caring Bridge. I, and Kathy Banta, will update this. Please know, I so love your care! I also crave your prayers! What a beautiful thing to know the love being showered on me as I heal and crawl back to be among the living. Not kidding. This is what it feels like - turtle crawling. When I receive your text or message, I may not respond but I will be thanking God for YOU and the beauty that lies in real relationship. I treasure you!

9 years ago, I had back surgery and had a literal “come to Jesus moment”. I cried on my fourth day post surgery, praying to Him. I was FULL of pain…. And the pain was heightened by the questions. What will my mobility be like? Every loss is a new normal to learn. There is always a grieving process with the losses. And the losses never quit so to have several losses so young was suffocating. How long will this recovery be? Will the pain subside? WHEN will the pain subside? I literally couldn’t breathe, completely overwhelmed. I cried in defeat, “I want to die and be done. I’m done.” And the Lord met me in this place. I imagined Him with this expansive, passionate grace and a corner of His mouth turned up indicating the slightest hint of "I know". There was not an audible voice but there was a VERY clear word of, “If you’re willing to die and be done, then die…. die to self and let me. Let me fight. Let me influence. Let me comfort. Let me.” No drama. Just a calm, simple, extremely powerful statement. I breathed deep. 9 years ago, I truly died to self. I’m sharing this because my stillness in this upcoming surgery is a reflection of His word and His existence, proved true in my surrendered refinement. My time is His time. My life is His life. Life is life. It’s hard no matter where we live. We do the best we can with what we have. So, in this, my 7th surgery, the Lord has me. I have no doubt. And through this, yet again, I will draw close to His promised eternity. It will be hard. But I will “let Him” because, without Him, I cannot do. I can honestly say, it is in the trials I grow the most. Things become clearer. I get more focused. I don’t put out the welcome mat for this kind of growth but I do want to keep moving forward. I do want to be refined. In the midst of continued hard things, I’m choosing to be active and aware - no matter the intensity - knowing there is a guaranteed expansion of faith and grace-filled light on the other side. I am "letting Him". 


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