Thursday, June 23, 2016

OPEN HEART SURGERY




~Written By Angeline M Duran Santiago

The lights are extreme.They're hot and so powerful I have to keep my eyes closed.
Cold. Colder than cold. The room is a human refrigerator and I can't get out.
Someone dressed in white gently places their hand upon my shoulder. "Are you alright?" He asks. "You're going to be okay. Just relax."
A beeping sound fills my mind and His Words resonate once again. "You're going to be okay."
Open heart surgery has begun. The cutting tools lay on the tray, cleaned, disinfected and ready to cut away every layer of skin that needs to be cut in order to get to my heart.
"Oh, Lord," I try to cry out, "How did I get here?"

I'm waiting to fall asleep but realize no one has placed an IV on my arm to anesthetize my scared mind and body. "Wait!" I want to cry out. "I'm wide awake! I am going to feel everything! You can't start surgery yet!"

His face. I see His face turn towards me once more and He smiles. "It's okay. I am here with you. I will never leave you alone. It's going to be okay."

As His words come to an end, my mind is bombarded with a million rewinds of my past.
Multiple screens turn on and memories begin to play. Memories that are vivid and real. Memories that don't just speak out loudly, but memories I begin to feel.

 


Every heart break. Those moments in my life as a child where I was hurt and torn apart. I see those scenes where I was tormented in school and on my way home. I relive the painful details of things that happen in most families, the misunderstandings and the arguments. I see my mom's tears and I want to wipe them away but my arms can't move. I see my little brother helpless on the bed and I can't bring him back to life. I see the many struggles my mom went through, alone. Moments with fake friends, people trying to use me and get over come to mind. I relive loneliness and experience emotions I thought were gone. I see moments where I felt unwanted and unloved among my childhood peers. I hear the laughter and I'm the one they're laughing at. I see the dates I had in my youth and how practically every young man I dated only dated me to try to get inside my pants, even the Christian ones. I run. I run and I don't know where I am running.

The movies are filled with nightmares. I want to die over and over again. This is my life I am looking at, my past. I hear someone telling my mom I've lost my mind and need to be put away in a mental institution. "I'm not losing my mind! I'm just so broken up inside!" I see scenes of my life as I begin to get older and it seems everything and everyone around me is cheering for my fall. Against me. So few on my side. Oh, how reliving this is hurting.

Open heart surgery has begun.

 

I didn't want to be here, but here we are. Lord, layer after layer of my life has been exposed as You cut away and break away. Lord, it aches to have to relive what I can't change. It bothers me to listen to the words others spoke against me. How I've been lied to! Lord, they stopped me from moving forward. Dear God, they took so much away from me, from my life and my purpose. Did you see that, Lord? Why didn't you stop it from happening?

Open heart surgery has begun.

"I'm removing the past so you don't have to live there anymore. I'm taking apart all those broken areas in your life that you've been holding on to so that you can make room for healing and my love to fill you. I'm cutting away every damaged portion of your life, the hurts, the words, actions against you, things that happened in school, at work, and even things that were done to you by those you trusted in church. I'm doing a new thing." I look into the eyes of the One speaking to me. He is operating. I am opened to Him and cannot hide. "Lord, no! Don't look at that part of my life. I am filled with shame and disgust! Please turn away!" I cry out. "I have to see it,"He responds. "If I don't find it, I can't take cut it out from the root."

Open heart surgery is in progress.

The beeping in the room has turned to crying. I hear the wails of my past when I cried out to God that He would let me disappear. I hear the cries of my family asking God for a miracle, and Lord, you were silent so many times. I listen to voices I wish I had never listened to before. Men that tried to hurt me. Women that pretended to be my friends. Decisions I made without taking the time to seek counsel or wait for the right moment. Lord, I've lost it all! I'm stuck! My life is such a mess. I hear my failures spoken out into the wind. "God, please stop this!" He looks away. "This too must be exposed. Every area of your life, every corner in your past, in your heart, everything must be removed. It is the only way to make all things new."

Open heart surgery is almost done.

 I don't know if He is stitching me up or not. I've become numb and I can no longer cry. The sounds are over and the freezing room has become warm. I look for Him, He who has seen me in all my ugliness and all my pain, I look for Him. "Close me up," I whisper. "Don't leave me here to die."

He draws near and silently looks at me. His hands are placed ever so gently upon my opened chest. I see love pouring out of Him, healing, and beautiful colors coming forth in the shape of words. New life. Love. Healing. He gets closer and lifts me up, embracing me in a warm embrace of healing love that pours out of His entire life and pours out into my life. His love, His presence begins to close where He had cut away when surgery began. 

Open heart surgery is over.
My heart has been made new.
The past is gone and all things have been made new.
I am in You, Lord.

 


Why have I written this?
I write not only because of my life but I know there are also many who are still hurting from things in their past. We have confessed Christ and walked into this new life in the Lord but the past seems to keep showing up in our lives and reminding us of so many failures, defeats, and painful moments. So, have we truly given it all to the Lord? Have we truly surrendered every corner and every crevice to our Healer? 

I know so many out there are struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide. I can see so many that feel abandoned even by God. I know there are many that are feeling helpless even as you go to church and sit there every week, not sharing your burdens and your fears. But, I wanted to remind you that God not only cares enough to remove every hurt and every painful memory, He is restoring and making all, I mean all things new- If you and I allow Him to do so.

He knows what you're going through right now. He know what is in your life that doesn't let you go forward. He know the few dollars that are left in your bank account and how you are worried and anxious about your bills, your rent, your car and your next meal. God knows your physical limitations, your stress, your anger and your thoughts. So, then, today, allow your life to be placed in His hands. With me, allow Him to set you forth and down on that operating table and allow God himself to cut away, remove and then heal what needs to be healed.

 
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