top of page


Soul Surgery

About six years ago my family and I were in Branson, Missouri for a spring break mini-vacation. Despite a few hours here and there with gallbladder attacks for me, we had an incredible time together. It even snowed! We stopped to spend the night at my parents' home in Springfield, MO, and while there I experienced the ultimate of all gallbladder attacks. Things took a turn for the worst, or rather a turn toward the emergency room. Long story short, I may have traveled to Missouri with a gallbladder, but I ended up leaving it there as emergency surgery saved me from a near tragedy internally. Emergency surgery made for a memorable finale to Spring Break 2014.

Once I returned home and had recovered, I made an appointment with my primary care physician, which happened to be a naturopath at the time. I knew everything on the inside was going to need some proactive attention in order to get things back into order. After we had visited for awhile and the doctor lowered the boom on what dietary changes I was going to need to make for a few months, he asked if there was anything else I needed to discuss. At that moment I pulled out the CD that had been stashed in my belongings before I left the hospital in Springfield post-surgery.

"Would you mind looking at see if there's anything scary I need to know about?", I asked.

With a smug smile on his face, Dr. Robbins replied, "I suppose. What is this?"

I explained that the surgeon, whom I don't recall meeting, had uploaded all of the data and details from the emergency surgery and had just sent me on my way from that hospital with the instructions, "Carry on as usual. Without that gallbladder, you should be much better now."

You may be wondering why I had not, over the months following my surgery, bothered to pop that CD into the computer and see its contents myself. The truth is: I prefer to not know what is being done to me if it has the potential of being painful. When the phlebotomist goes to draw blood for the occasional medical test, I look away. When the dentist seeks to fill the cavity, my eyes are closed. Don't show me the needle. That's not necessary. Just do what you've got to do. The less I know, the better we all are.

I didn't want to take the risk of loading that data CD into my computer, only to see gory details of the removal of my own organs! What if they had decided to include photos? What if there were concerning details that would traumatize my otherwise routine experience with an outpatient surgery? What if the risk of cancer was included in the post-op comments from the surgeon?

Nope. I didn't want to expose myself to such anxiety. At least, not without a professional nearby who could read through all of the heavy medical jargon. The words that seem so scary but really aren't fatal. For all I knew, from deep beneath the anesthesia, that surgeon could have removed all of my vital organs. I had submitted myself to his care but had no power or knowledge to exercise any authority in the matter. I was in pain and he knew how to get rid of it. While I was "under", the surgeon was calling all the shots.

Do you ever feel like you are "under", spiritually speaking?

Do you ever feel like you are "under", spiritually speaking? The hits keep coming. The pain is excruciating. The emotional struggle is depleting your strength. And one day you just surrender to the Surgeon. You really don't care at that point what He does. You just need and demand relief.

I think we've all been there a time or two (or five-hundred). Life has a way of producing seasons. You can be in a beautiful season of health and wealth, heavy laden with peace like a river and joy like a fountain. And then a few sunrises later, the season of peace and joy is muddied with sorrow and pain. Why must life feel like this sea of emotion, crashing in and rushing out in waves?

Let's talk about what the Holy Spirit desires to do when we submit to His surgery. Over these next few weeks we will dive into the O.R. of His care and re-discover the health and wellness that can be embraced on the other side of soul surgery. Won't you join me for the journey?


Soul Surgery is Entry ONE in Sanctuary's blog series, which features the writing of our founder, Bridgette Tomlin. Have YOU ever felt like you were "under", spiritual speaking? Like God was probing through the recesses of your soul? Share with us in the comments below. And share this post with a friend who may be facing a little soul surgery herself right now and could use some encouragement today.


Bridgette Tomlin, founder of Sanctuary, is a wife, mother of two girls, and 'minister of the et cetera' alongside her husband, Chresten from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She loves a great cup of steaming hot tea, the blessing of quiet spaces where she can think now and again, and the art of a handwritten note. While she's a vocalist, speaker, writer, and administrator, Bridgette's heart is fully engaged in connecting every woman to their God-given call and gifts with authentic candor. You can follow her blog from their ministry site.

Featured Posts
Follow Sanctuary
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
bottom of page