First Thoughts

A Health Update

Dear First Baptist Family,

You have been so faithful to pray, and I wanted to write and let you know the latest update after the appointment with my neurosurgery team this morning.

First of all, I want you to know that I feel good. In fact, as I write to you now, I feel as good as I have felt since August 4. I haven’t taken any pain medication, and my constant dizziness and disorientation has become a much more tolerable light-headed, sort of swimmy feeling. That improvement allows me to walk confidently and without help, even if a bit slower than usual.

To add to that good news, I also got a good report at my visit. Everyone is happy with the way I am progressing and healing up. They did decide to leave the stitches in the back of my head for at least another week. They also are continuing my physical restrictions: I can’t do anything exerting, no bending over, no pushing, pulling, or lifting. They want to be sure that I don’t do anything to add pressure to the back of my head as everything continues to heal. I also will continue to be on IV antibiotics until I meet with my infectious disease doctor later this week, but I appear to be doing very well on that front as well.

Even more than that, it has been days since I have had any spasms at all on my right side. Lauren will sometimes notice small little twitches that she calls flutters, but they are passing and hard to notice. I also have had no nerve pain since the first surgery I had this month. I am able to speak, chew, and swallow without any difficulty at all. I realize that I forgot what that felt like. All signs continue to point to a very successful operation.

Even though I still have some restrictions, the doctors did clear me to drive and to return to work at a slow pace. I am so thankful for that. I shared with our team following the visit that I will be in the office a few times this week and that I will return to preaching this Sunday, September 4. I will have to take it easy and won’t be able to walk around the buildings as I always do, but I absolutely cannot wait to be with you. I want to see you, to serve you, to talk with you, and to hear you sing.

In fact, immediately after my appointment, I asked Lauren to drive me to church so I could poke my head in and try to see at least a few of you. After that, we went to Town Center and walked for a few minutes. I am totally exhausted, but it was nice to be someplace other than a bed after a month in my house and the hospital.

After a difficult month, I want you to know how aware I am of the kindness of God to me. I have relief from spasms and pain for the first time in five years. I have restored hearing. I have experienced an unprecedented amount of love from Lauren, my children, and from each of you. How kind of the Lord to use his power to transform a challenging month into a precious gift.

I am thankful.

I am thankful for all I’ve been through and more thankful than I know how to say to look forward to being with you on Sunday.

Blessings in Jesus’ name,

Pastor Heath.


Dr. Heath Lambert has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville since 2017. He is the author of several books, including Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace.

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