(Warning… this post is raw and real. If you cry easily, grab the tissues).
It was a week ago on a Sunday. I was in church seated beside my in-laws. My husband was helping in a pre-teen class that week so he didn’t witness the big event. I hit my limit. It was all I could take and something just broke inside of me.
I don’t know if you have ever been there before or not, but it’s not a pretty sight. It’s a place where emotionally you are spent. In what seems like an unexpected moment everything busts loose inside, breaking, and pouring out for all to see (depending on where you are and when it happens). For some it comes out in tears, others in anger, while others bury the pain or emotional turmoil deep within in an attempt to hide or deny their frustration.
I’ve been there before. More than once I must admit. It has happened in times of stress with broken relationships, family struggles, financial straits, but most often when the worries of my health issues press in tightly. This time… once again, it was my health.
To sum it up I had been struggling with on going pain for a little over two months. It had been narrowed down and treated with four different antibiotics. FOUR! I had many tests done and blood work too. As a result of my consistent struggle, I was referred to a specialist for further treatment.
It took TWO WEEKS to get in to see that specialist! The visit was quick and the problem was found immediately. The culprit of my on going misery was… a large kidney stone (7mm to be exact). It would require surgery to be broken up. I exhaled a sigh of relief… Well, at least we knew something, finally. I left the office with hope of a solution to soon alleviate the pain.
When I called the office back after my appointment to see when my surgery would be… I was shocked at their response. I just couldn’t believe it! They said the soonest they could do surgery would be FIVE WEEKS AWAY! I begged and pleaded. I related my excruciating pain and frustration, but all it did was get things moved up by one week.
I resolved that I just couldn’t do it! The pain was too much! I felt like I was in hard child birth type labor 75% of each day. To think I had to deal with this for another whole month was unbearable to even think about. I enlisted a crew of people to pray as I tried to think about other options. There had to be another way. My mind was all fuzzy from the pain. I just couldn’t think clearly. I needed God’s help.
My first contact with others after this horrible news was on a Sunday morning at church. I was in dreadful pain and an emotional mess to say the least. I tried to hide it all under a smiley put together face and pretty clothes, but under the surface emotionally I was bursting from the seams ready to explode.
I thought I would be fine as soon as the service started… more listening and less talking to others would occur which would keep me safe from unraveling or so I thought. I could do this... I reassured myself inside.
Before I could stop it, it happened! It came on me like an unsuspecting storm. It rolled out in short streams at first, followed by a violent down pour of never ending tears that washed over my face. The tears just wouldn’t stop. The more I thought about things, the more I cried.
What did I think about? Well, what do most chronically sick people think about? It’s dangerous to be left alone with your own thoughts on a bad day. The first place I go is not to God saying “Why ME?”, but asking God “Why THEM?”…I felt like a burden.
I had been sick with an autoimmune disease for 9 + years now… which has brought with it many, many side effects, surgeries, and cycles of pain. My family has suffered in my estimation. They didn’t sign up for this. My limitations, hurts, hang ups, and sicknesses have hindered them. They miss out on a lot because of me! They worry too much! It’s not fair!
The negative thoughts persistently flooded my mind as the music continued to play at church. It was carrying me away to an even lower pit… a dark place. I really didn’t want to go there, but I did. A flashback came back to me of a sicker time, a worse day. I wasn’t getting better. I was losing weight drastically, I was dehydrated because I couldn’t keep water down or eat anything, and I had lost all energy to fight.
I remember one night my husband coming into my room to check on me. He was worried. I could tell. It was a familiar expression I had grown accustomed to seeing on his face often these days. I determined this night to tell him that I just couldn’t fight anymore. I didn’t have anymore energy or fight in me. He drew near and I mustered up all the courage I had to whisper it to him. The tears poured recklessly down both of our faces.
I just didn’t know what else to do. My fight was gone. In that moment, with tears in his eyes and a burning passion in his heart my husband stood up and in a sense proclaimed to my spirit as he spoke…
"Don’t give up! FIGHT! Fight for ME!
Fight for your BOYS who love you dearly!
Fight for US! Don’t give up! We love you!"
I listened and took it all in not knowing if that day would be my last. He was right. I needed to fight. If God wanted me alive, it would be for a purpose. If not, I was ready to meet my maker.
Something jolted me back to reality in church. My negative thoughts were still there wandering around. What if? What if I didn’t make it that night? Would my family have been better off? I know it is a horrible thing to think about, but when you are chronically sick and you feel like a burden at times… your mind takes you there.
I’m not talking about being suicidal or taking things into my own hands. But some times on bad days (health-wise) I wonder if my family might have been better off if things would have turned out differently that day.
The minute I went there… to that place I didn’t want to go... God’s presence was felt IMMEDIATELY. The tears rolled down my cheeks even more. He flipped the coin in my mind pointing my heart toward the good.
What if? It was almost as if God was posing the question to me with an attitude. What if you didn’t make it that night? If you believe your life has purpose, which it does then how many people’s lives might NOT have been touched as a result of this happening?
I thought back over the past 5-6 years and my heart filled with emotion. My tears changed in that moment from tears of sorrow and frustration to tears of joy. How many people had come into my life since that day? Wow… SO many!
As I scroll across the last few years of my life many familiar faces come to mind. There are my “Heart to Heart” sisters and “Spill the Beans” gals who gathered in my home to connect on a deeper level with one another and with God. A bunch of crazy teens my husband and I shared with on Sunday mornings for awhile to help them grow in their faith, a new believers Bible study group, a small group of ladies from various churches and walks of life that joined in my home to help a new believer grow in God. I can’t forget my “Sisterhood” sisters, “Joseph” study group at church, or my “Kindred Spirits” friends online just to name a few. There are just SO many people I have been blessed to know and whether they realize it or not, I am not the same for having known them. I am better!
Besides meeting a lot of incredible people over the past few years, I have also had the chance to create some very special memories with my family. I have given out more hugs, stolen some kisses, said “I love you” often, and became more purposeful about family time. I am blessed with every extra moment I have been able to share with my amazing husband and awesome boys. I want my words and actions shared daily with them to reflect the love I hold in my heart. I am truly blessed to be both a wife and mom to these incredible godly men.
|I love this man!!!|
It wasn’t long after that dark day that I actually started this blog once I started to feel better. It was one way I felt I could make a difference. I didn’t want any of the time I laid around sick to be wasted. I wrote “in the midst” of my struggles hoping it would help others to keep pressing forward in God. It was my attempt to live to leave a legacy online impacting hearts I may never meet this side of heaven.
My favorite verse I have latched onto that has seen me through all of the struggles I have faced so far has been this…
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
|Me... on the mend|
after that bad season
YES… I do have bad days and at times they are very bad days, but I have realized that I can’t truly appreciate the good days until I have faced the bad. It brings perspective!
I don’t want to leave you hanging with my unfinished health crisis story so here is the rest of the story… I asked friends to join me in prayer for what to do concerning my FOUR WEEK wait on surgery. A friend suggested I contact the office to see if they could refer me to some one else who might be able to do things quicker, so I did. WOW! You will never guess what happened? That day I got a call that the doctor could squeeze me in the NEXT DAY… less than 24 hours away. Woohoo!
Recently I had the surgery and had some minor complications, but I am currently on the mend. Thank you to all of my family and friends who have continued to faithfully lift me up in prayer. As you can tell from my post, I was weary in the wait, but you carried me through. Prayer, Perspective, and Purpose… Regardless of where you are now, God has a plan!
Trust Him in the good, the bad, and the ugly. He is faithful, friend!
Living to leave a legacy,