I really appreciate centers like this, because they provide normal people to see animals and wildlife up close, study them scientifically to further our research knowledge about animals. However, the reason why I these centers the most is because many of the animals we see inside the SeaLife center are rescued injured or orphaned wildlife that receive rehabilitation at the center.
After some gift-shopping and lunch with the family, it was time to say goodbye to the pretty little town of Seward.
And on to our last stop (where we began): Anchorage.
Anchorage is a very pretty city to photography because even though there are a lot of buildings that make for good “cityscapes,” There is often a view of a mountain in the distance.
My brother’s freshman college roommate happens to live in Alaska, and was in Anchorage, so we had dinner with him and my brother was able to catch up with an old friend. It was also a plus because he knew the city well.
By this time, I was pretty burnt out from all the traveling. However, I did for sure enjoy seeing the puffins, and Anchorage is a very pretty city. Decently quiet as well! Just one more day left!
A weak point of my relationship with God has always been prayer.
…How am I supposed to talk to someone that I can’t hear…?
Dear God… thank you for the food… thank you for my friends and family….zzz
People in the Bible would pray and miracles would happen. I certainly haven’t seen that, nor can I “do” that.
What confuses me the most is prayer with other believers, or corporate prayer.
How is talking to God sincere if everyone in this circle just repeating the same prayer requests again and again? Isn’t once repeated good enough for a God that knows everything? – I still sort of think this way.
I’m so worried about what I’m going to pray about out loud that I’m not even paying attention.
God has certainly been teaching me about the power of prayer during winter break. In Urbana, I learned that “being a prayer warrior matters;” and that when missionaries hear that people are praying for them back home, “knowing they’re not forgotten changes everything.” (Christine Taylor).
Ok. I don’t want to come close to comparing myself to a missionary. They have sacrificed and gone through so much more than I ever have. However, I was recently the beneficiary of prayer, and lots and lots of it. And I felt it.
Last Friday, on 1/8/16, I had “septoplasty” surgery to fix my deviated septum. You can click on the image below to read more details about the surgery.
This will be my update on my recovery, about 5 days later. I have had three oral surgeries before to remove extra teeth (gross, I know right?) and also my wisdom teeth. I would actually say that this septoplasty operation was easier to go through. Unlike wisdom teeth removal where I can’t eat, I could eat almost whatever I wanted after the operation, Friday afternoon. So that’s a bonus.
In short, the aftermath of the surgery felt like someone punched me in the nose real hard with a 3+ day long nosebleed, with sponges shoved deep up both my nostrils. But recovery was already said to take about 2 days, and the 2 days pretty much did it.
I also found out that I always freak out when I wake up from anesthesia. When I had oral dental surgery, I once whined like crazy screaming at my parents to get me a frappuccino or something. This time, I woke up in the recovery room that I stayed at for about an hour and a half. When I first woke up I was screaming and shaking like nuts and asking them to put me back to sleep… LOL. This was also a public recovery/preparation room, mind you. Don’t give me anesthesia, friends. I wonder how I would react to carbon-freezing (I’ve been on a Star Wars kick this last month).
On Monday, 1/11/16, I went back to the doctor’s office and my surgeon/ENT took a look at the result of his handiwork. He pretty much gave a thumbs up, removed the sponges in my nose, and sent me away. Most doctor’s don’t work that fast, but I admire his speed. He’s fast with his patients, but he’s also thorough. An unlikely combination for doctors these days.
Right now, Wednesday morning 1/13/16, there is barely any blood at all, and only minimal soreness in the upper-nose. I’m already working from home doing projects for my help-desk job, and spending time with my family. Since this is a photography blog, I thought I could squeeze in a random photo and connect it to this blog post by saying that I’ve healed enough to go outside and take pictures of birds…? I tried, haha!
I wanted to thank everyone who prayed for me or wished me a good recovery this last week. I was very encouraged to be reminded that my friends and family were praying for me. My mother put my surgery on the church prayer list, and the entire weekend my mom would tell me “hey! so-and-so is praying for you and asking you about your recovery” She was also forwarding e-mails that people were sending her asking about me. We even received a voice-mail at home from the head-pastor.
I received a batch of cookies from a family-friend- Lee-Ching Aiyi. Her homemade cookies are pretty darn amazing.
My Sunday School coordinator happened to be subbing for my class. Auntie Glenda got a card and had my class sign it. I couldn’t be more encouraged on Sunday after missing church.
And I can’t thank my mom and dad enough. They paid for this surgery with their money and insurance. My father stayed next to me in the recovery room when I was going crazy, recovering from the anesthesia and suffering from somewhat of a shock. They fed me all weekend. My mom wouldn’t go to sleep at night until I ate my anti-biotics, and had trouble sleeping because she was so worried about me all weekend. I’m a typical prideful dude and in the moment I am usually very reluctant to accept their help, giving them an “I KNOW” response when they remind me to drink water or eat my medicine. That’s why I’m hoping they can read this and know that I am so thankful for every second and every ounce of care they’ve given me throughout the weekend. Mom and Dad, I know I get annoyed when you care for me and overprotect me, but I am so privileged to have you as parents and I am so grateful for your love this weekend as well as your godly parenting the last 20+ years.
And that is the power of prayer that I have been enlightened with. I had been searching for results of prayer as the one praying, not the one being prayed for. The encouragement of knowing all these people were wishing me well and hoping for a smooth surgery and recovery in Christ. Yes, the prayer was for a result that did end up happening, but the most powerful part for me was knowing that all these friends and family were thinking of me… “hoping” in Christ… for me.
Again, thank you so much for reading my story, and also thank you for praying for me and wishing me a successful surgery and well recovery.
I am still learning and will always have more to learn about prayer, but I know one thing now: don’t underestimate the power of prayer and the different ways prayer can work in our lives. The God we pray to is real, so our prayer should be just as real.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on prayer for all the Lord’s people.” – Ephesians 6:18