“It’s Only Brain Surgery!”

I was only 19-years-old when I first met a neurologist and a neurosurgeon.

I remember their names to this day: Dr. Brian Robinson and Dr. James Geissinger, both of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. You see, these men changed my life. They removed a brain tumor from my Daddy and enabled him to live almost forty years longer. I am forever grateful to them.

Recently I met my second neurologist and neurosurgeon.

It’s been many years in the interim and honestly, I think if I’d gotten to choose, I would have just passed on such new acquaintances. However, I believe that these two young men are brilliant and caring and worthy of treating my sweet husband’s brain.

Brain Surgery.

Why do those words carry such weight? Because it’s dangerous, intricate, and life-altering (in one way or another). And yet, it is also miraculous. I know this from experience with having Daddy back for many years after his tumor was removed.

Even I have been known to use the idiom “Well, it’s not brain surgery!” meaning, of course, that whatever you are attempting isn’t anywhere near as difficult and delicate as what Neurosurgeons spend a lifetime preparing for and executing. But what if it IS brain surgery?

I’m counting on the miraculous in the next few weeks.

Mike will have brain surgery October 1 – inserting a permanent shunt to relieve pressure on his brain from built-up cerebral spinal fluid (NPH – normal pressure hydrocephalus, though there is nothing normal about it).

We are hopeful. Full of hope. Because honestly, it’s been excruciating watching parts of my beloved diminishing before my very eyes – mobility, balance, cognitive problem solving. He says he wants his life back…

Both Mike and I believe that Nothing Is Too Difficult for God.

‘Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too difficult or too wonderful for You—Jeremiah 32.17 

So maybe I should be saying “It’s only brain surgery!”

What are you facing today that seems delicate or difficult, scary or surprising?

Oh friend, you are not alone. There is One who has experienced all such emotions and knows your heart. The One who will draw close and comfort, encourage and heal. Will you turn to God in these times of uncertainty and great concern?

Perhaps this liturgy will help – Mike and I pray it together for each medical procedure. Please pray it yourself or pass it along to someone you love.

A Liturgy for the Morning of a Medical Procedure

Intercessors: (read boldface font)                  Patient: (reads regular font)

Intercessors: You designed our bodies, O Lord, with wondrous capacity for regeneration and healing. You give wisdom and knowledge and skill to those who by long training in their professions learn to diagnose and treat ailments of the body. And you, by your Spirit, sometimes effect miracles of healing that even the most skilled of practitioners cannot duplicate.

Patient: Today, as I submit myself to this procedure, I ask, O Lord, that by all means your care toward me would be manifest, for I am utterly dependent upon you. Give to my body immunity and vitality that I might recover quickly. Give me strength and health to resist complications. Give to my medical providers wisdom, skill, and insight. And by your Spirit, transcend even what body and medicine at their best might do. Where it is needed, bring the healing of your own touch to bear in my mortal frame.

 Be merciful, O God.

Show your goodness to me, and to those who share my concern. Be now my physician, my mender, my healer. Even in the midst of this procedure, let me rest in you.


As I approach this procedure I acknowledge my own fears at the possibility of outcomes I cannot control.

O God unshaken by any circumstance, be now my rock and my refuge.

Still my racing thoughts. Speak peace to this gale-storm of my insecurities. In the midst of my concerns, give me grace to receive without bitterness the presence and support of friends who, seeking to ease fears they cannot understand, might utter unhelpful things.

Give me also grace to trust, to rest my trepidations in you, for your purposes and your presence transcend all possible outcomes.

Whether the end result of this procedure brings news that is good, bad, or uncertain, nothing that is essential or eternal will have changed.

My great hope is secure. Let me rest in that.

At the end of this day, I will still be your child, utterly dependent on you, utterly loved by you. At the end of this day, my life will yet be hidden with Christ, even as it now is. I will remain an heir to the promise that this imperfect, mortal body, though it faces temporary decline, will one day be swallowed up in a glorious immortality.

We pray for good outcomes from this procedure, O Lord.

We ask for good outcomes, pleading that you would be mindful of our mortal frailties,

But we know that regardless of the tidings to come, you are tender and present and sovereign over all circumstance,

and what is more you love us fiercely and eternally.

Therefore I will trust you to lead me well along the paths of any wild and perilous country. You are my shepherd. This day will hold no surprises for you. Let me rest in that.

Amen.       ©2017 “Every Moment Holy” Douglas McKelvey (Rabbit Room Press)

Thank you for your prayers in the days ahead.

under the mercy, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2018 Lucinda Secrest McDowell        www.EncouragingWords.net 


  1. mimionlife on September 19, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Prayers for you all.

  2. Lillian Morley on September 19, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Praying for you and Mike as you walk w/Jesus through this challenging time.
    Looking forward to seeing you at America’s Keswick in October. Had to leave Camp of the Woods earlier than planned but glad God has provided this opportunity to hear your teaching and say ‘hello’ in my stomping grounds.
    The peace of Jesus be w/you and Mike.
    Lillian Morley

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on September 19, 2018 at 7:13 am

      Thank you Lillian for your prayers and I shall look forward to seeing you in October as we study HOPE at Keswick! Greetings to Wayne, hope your 50th on PEI was marvelous…

  3. Cheryl Hunt on September 19, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Cindy, I will be praying for you and Mike and your loved ones daily as this surgery approaches. Thank you for sharing in the midst of your anxiety and pain. Love, Cheryl


    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on September 19, 2018 at 7:07 am

      And thank YOU Cheryl, for being such a supportive and encouraging friend. Sure do appreciate those prayers!

  4. Rebecca Hastings on September 19, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Oh, my sweet friend! I know that God has this (and I know you know that, too.) But I also know that knowing does not make it easy.

    Lord, will you please come in a peace that Lucinda and her family have never known. May they walk each day in a faith that even they don’t fully understand because it is from You, perfect and holy. Give them moments of pure love and joy. May there be a confidence in the healing of Your hand through these doctors. Guide the doctors with Your wisdom in every step, that Lucinda’s husband would come out of the procedure already feeling relief. And may October 1 mark a day in their lives when they see You, feel You and walk forward in greater things than they can even imagine. Thank you Lord.

  5. Carol Nicholls on September 19, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Oh Lucinda, thank you for this post! Wendy Coy’s husband Phil has been standing in faith against a brain tumor. I have a granddaughter-in-law whose father has a brain tumor. Jesus’ people are being fiercely attacked. My grandson has lost his kidney function. All men of God I will gladly pray with you for your husband. As we join together there is strength and hope for our bodies, our loved ones and the defeat of the enemy! We will see the Lord in the Land of the living!


    Carol Nicholls



    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on September 19, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Thank you Carol, for this powerful prayer. I have been praying for Wendy and Phil as well…

  6. crickett on September 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Praying for you and Mike!

  7. bocelts on September 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Cindy, sending prayer, light, love and healing vibrations to you, Mike and the medical team. Bentz

  8. Jim Douglas on September 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Darn ,so hard to hear about Mike. Please know that we will be praying for a completely successful surgery. Send our love and support to Mike please….praying for you too!
    Also- you are always so kind to remember the anniversary of Cax’s going to heaven…Cindy, I recall Cax telling me several times how she cherished your friendship over the many years ,and she loved to tell me funny stories about your growing up together.

  9. Sylvia Spates on September 19, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Oh Cindy, You know I’ve been through similar experiences. I love your prayers and will be holding you and Mike and the surgeons and medical team up before the Lord. Love to you.

  10. carrieturansky on September 19, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I will be praying for you both during these challenging days! May you sense the strong anchor of the Lord holding you close and keeping you secure in His love and mercy.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on September 19, 2018 at 11:04 am

      Such a perfect prayer and yes, Carrie, we do sense His constant presence and provision…

  11. Terri L Gillespie on September 19, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Praying for you and Mike. May you abide in His perfect shalom.

  12. Jenny on September 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    Lucinda, I get your blog posts and love them so much! I will pray for your dear hubby. My dad had surgery for a brain tumor a couple years ago. Yes, it was a scary time. BUT GOD was faithful with His strength and encouragement through the journey. My favorite song during that season was by Kari Jobe called “You Are Not Alone” and it seemed to always be playing on the christian radio as I drove to and from the hospital. God bless.

    • Lucinda Secrest McDowell on September 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you Jenny for your kind words and your prayers. Great reminder of God’s faithfulness.

  13. Kirsten Panachyda on September 19, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Lord of all- I pray for your healing hand to lay over the hands of your surgeon-servants. I pray for great peace. May all Cindy and Mike know from their years and moments with you rise up in their minds.

  14. Ethel Lytton on September 19, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you!

  15. Michele Morin on September 24, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Thank you for the encouragement of your upbeat “God’s-got-this” attitude, Lucinda. Your husband’s surgery date is on my calendar for prayer!

  16. April Yamasaki on September 26, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Thank you for sharing, Lucinda – I join you in this liturgy and pray that your husband’s surgery will have the very best result. Be merciful, O God.

  17. terrelyn on October 11, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Christ is our Physician and Healer…Axios! He is Worthy of all Glory ,Honor and Praise! Be Blessed.

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