During the past four weeks, the recovery from my C-section has been going much slower than with my last three surgeries. The past week has been increasingly difficult as my incision has grown red and swollen and too nasty to describe here on the blog.

But finally, I am starting to identify the culprit: A little piece of string.

(Now hang with me here as I get through the medical stuff because I do have a point.)

When the doctor sewed up my incision, he used sutures that were supposed to dissolve on their own under my skin. But apparently, mine didn’t dissolve.

Instead, my body has been working overtime to reject this foreign matter in my body.

At the beginning of the week, a little piece of thread had worked its way to the surface and was sticking out of my incision. Each day, a little more of that white string busted through my incision. Now, about an inch of thread is visible above the skin, and I can trace the red, swollen, irritated path of that suture for several inches underneath the skin that has sealed up over the top.

On the first day of the new year, all of this has me thinking, of course.

I’ve been thinking about the figurative strings in my life.

How often do I add things to my life because they seem so good at the time. Could be a new hobby or a job or a relationship or food or movies or a cooking class or the Internet or even a workout regimen.

Perhaps these things help ease the pain of something bigger in my life. Or they help to heal a wound just like those sutures the doctor put in my body.

But after a while, they start to become the focus of my life. I can’t stop thinking about that piece of thread that irritates me all day long. Likewise, I am spending so much time thinking about the little “strings” in my life that I start to lose sight of the bigger picture. As my old pastor would always say, “The good things become bad things when they crowd out the best thing.”

After a while, I start to wage an internal battle against the “string”, much like my body literally is doing now against that piece of thread. It’s become a part of me, but my immune system is fighting against it, trying to expel it from my body.

I want to hang on to so many things that seemed good at the beginning. But now they are irritating me to the point they have become a distraction. As I start the new year, it’s my prayer that God would show me what interests I should pursue and what strings I need to eliminate.

As for these sutures, I’m going to need professional help. I’m not sure how the doctor will get rid of this thread underneath my skin. I have a feeling it’s going to hurt. But I’m excited to think about it being removed because I know that only after it’s gone, my body finally will be able to heal.

And I have the same type of hope as we start a new year. It’s time to eliminate some strings. Refocus. And get ready for a fresh start.

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