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First Thoughts

An Update from Pastor Heath

Dear First Baptist Family,

Today is the very first day I have actually felt like much and have been clear-headed and medication-free enough to feel I could communicate reliably.

Even though the intense nature of the surgery makes progress hard to judge in the early days and weeks, I am encouraged about where I am. To update you, I’ll first share the most encouraging pieces of information and then pass along some areas where I would love your continued prayers.

I am encouraged that, in the grand scheme of things, I am healing rather quickly. Though my neurosurgeon warned that I should prepare for a longer time in the hospital to recover, I actually experienced a relatively short hospitalization. I am experiencing none of the nerve pain that I was before surgery and hardly any surgery pain. I am also able to move around a little bit more each day. My hearing not only continues to be good but has improved since the initial loss in August. In this regard, I am doing far better than anyone expected. I am thankful to God for these things.

In the following areas, I continue to need your prayers.

During surgery, my doctor discovered an infection at the wound site. That required significant work during the operation and has required treatment with antibiotics post-op. I will need to stay away from crowds until I finish my current round of antibiotics and my wound has fully healed. That is frustrating as it means I will be away from church until late May.

I am also still very unsteady on my feet. This is getting better day by day, but progress is slower than I would like.

I have stitches on one side of my head and staples on the other. This makes it difficult to find a comfortable spot to lie down, which makes sleep challenging. I would appreciate your prayers for sleep.

Finally, I am struggling with spasms. These spasms are predictable after surgery since the removal of scar tissue required my doctor to do more direct work on my nerves than any operation to this point. The spasms could be because the nerves are irritated after a successful surgery, or they could be because the surgery was unsuccessful. The absence of any nerve pain is a good sign at this point, but it is impossible to know. Only time will tell.

That just means your prayers are the deciding factor at this point.

Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Charles Spurgeon said, “Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” Believing that, I would ask for your prayers on my behalf.

As we pray, I am content to know that God loves me, that he is doing good things in my life, and that these struggles will ultimately reveal what many of those good things are.


Blessings in Jesus’ name,

Pastor Heath

Dr. Heath Lambert is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. He is the author of several books, including The Great Love of God: Encountering God’s Heart for a Hostile World. 

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