My Story

My Story: The part where we move to Alaska

 

Had I known a fraction of what was to come as we said “Yes” to God, I never would have made the move to Alaska. How many times have we been in the middle of the pain we are facing and said the same thing?

I already know this is not going to be a chronological account of the last 6 months of my life. I need to work through what is going on at the moment. As I do that, it will weave in and out of the things that have gone on in my life in the last year and a half of “blog silence.” I never intended to stay away that long. I don’t know how it happened, but I do know God wants me back. I have things to say, things that I know you need to hear, things that I need to work through.

I thought about titling this post, “Having a Hysterectomy and other things I don’t recommend your first winter in Alaska,” but it seemed a little long and dramatic. But that is really how my life has seemed since the day we drove out of Fort Pierce, FL for the last time….long and dramatic. I do have to say it hasn’t all been bad. God is good. That is still at the core of my belief, that is still my foundation. But my foundation has been shaken with this move.

I don’t know if I have any other year in my life where I have cried more tears. Possibly during our 5 years of infertility. If that is true then this is a close second for sure. The grief of moving away from our life in Florida of 10 years is unlike any move I have made before. This was the season where we raised our kids, made a home. I was feeling their grief, too….still am at times.

We took 24 days to drive across the country saying hello and good-bye multiple times along the way. All the good-byes had been said. When we arrived I literally thought the hard part was over. After all, we had survived the Alaska Highway! But as our first days in Alaska turned into weeks and then into months, I began to realize the hard part was only beginning.

For years I have suffered from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which means erratic bleeding and even more erratic hormones. Well, it seems the stress and anxiety of the move exacerbated those symptoms. After 2 months of tears, tears and more tears I knew it was time to find a doctor and figure out what to work on first. In short, after a consultation, much prayer and counsel we decided a total hysterectomy was my best option. In the days and weeks to come I had no idea how much I was going to have to cling to the fact that I had a peace about this decision before it happened.

The surgery was a whole other level of grief that I did not expect. After all these parts had given me nothing but grief for years. Why wouldn’t I be happy to be rid of them. But all I could feel was this deep empty feeling that was indescribable. Did I do the right thing? Would I ever feel whole and strong again. These are the kinds of lies that plagued me and sometimes still do. I know the truth. I know God led me to this decision. I even know he led me to this place. But…

I know the “joy of the Lord” is supposed to be my strength, but honestly clinging to the truth is sometimes the only thing I can do. I KNOW my joy is supposed to be IN God and who he is, but when circumstances threaten to choke the life right out of me I feel like I can’t get that truth to sink in no matter how many thank-yous I say, or how many verses I read. I know I’m not alone. You have felt it too. We can’t give up. We can’t give in to the depression and the lies. The truth is real. It is the only thing that will save us.

I’ve changed the look of my blog. If you’ve been here before you might have noticed. I needed to pare it down, simplify. I just need to be me. Be honest. Be real. Just write the words. There is much to say. This life is hard. We all have hard, but we don’t have to do it alone.

The picture at the top of this post is me on Thanksgiving. My son took the picture. I didn’t even know until later. I’m sure what he sees is his mom smiling, enjoying some simple conversation and some good lighting. What’s really going on is deep-seeded anxiety that is preventing that smile from reaching my heart. I am 5 weeks post surgery here. Extreme bladder discomfort has been plaguing me for 2 weeks. I don’t know when it will ever end. I am tired. No energy to even dress nice, do my hair or my make-up. I just want so desperately to feel the smile that is on my face instead of this grip on my stomach that won’t let go, won’t let me fully enjoy myself or the people around me.

That is the truth of the picture, this one moment in time. But I wonder what God sees. I wonder how differently I would feel knowing what he knows. That all of this is working is me a greater good that I cannot see. It is bringing Him glory. He uses ALL of it. If only I could just get out of my own head for 5 minutes and see me as He sees me. And sometimes that literally is all we can do…5 minutes at a time. I have to keep believing He will do the work. He will take my 5 minutes and multiply it in ways only He can do. Until then I just breathe one breath at a time and let Him love me.

12 Comments

  • April

    Hey Terah,
    Thank you for sharing and please keep sharing. I know God will continue to use you and has already. I am slowly going into menopause. I feel anxious, and don’t sleep well. Sometimes I struggle to get a deep breath in.
    Make sure you take care of you!!!! Your husband needs to do that do and so do your kids. I bet your homeschooling so I ask what are you doing for Terah? I know the blog is one so keep at it.
    I’ll he praying for you. I love you💕
    April

    Ps we never got that second walk on the beach? I loved that.

    • terahlites

      April,

      Believe me, I OFTEN daydream about a walk on the beach! I so wish I could take you up on that again. I’m sorry you, also are struggling through the “changes”. UGH! My husband and kids have been the BEST through this whole thing. If there are silver linings to be found one is definitely how close our family has become in this season of life. I love what God has done there! What am I doing for Terah? Well, honestly I haven’t felt like doing much of anything. I haven’t even wanted to do my hair or makeup. I think my energy needs to come back first. I’ve been feeling better the last couple of days so I will answer that question soon! Love you and appreciate your comments, encouragement and prayers.

      Love,
      Terah

  • Tamara

    Terah,
    I appreciate and admire your honesty and vulnerability. You are in my heart and prayers during this time of hard things. Thank you for sharing your journey out loud. God WILL do much for your “yes”. I have no doubt, He WILL multiply the hearts and lives your words will touch. May God heal and restore your body.
    Much love to you and your precious family,
    Tamara

  • terahlites

    Thank you, Tamara. It has been so encouraging today as people have responded to my words. I feel him healing me already.

    Much love as well,
    Terah

  • DeeDee Lundquist Torres

    Terah, your raw honesty has left me reflecting on my own journey through the big H. Thank you as I need to address some things yet, like accepting the season for what it was and embracing all of it. Your family has always been in our prayers, but I will now PRAY specifically for Terah. You are loved and an amazing lady who is a warrior for God’s message. Hope to visit next year.
    Can’t wait to read your book.

    • terahlites

      DeeDee, thank you for that. I’m touched that my experience has helped you in some way. I appreciate your specific prayers in this area and CAN’T wait for that visit. And thanks for reminding me about the book I will write one day…😉

  • Rena Jarboe

    Bless you Terah. I had my hysterectomy just before we moved to Ohio and MMS. My doctor warned me that it would take time to bounce back, both physically and emotionally. He warned me not to do too much and let myself heal. On top of that we were still trying to complete our house to a degree that would be livable and adjust to completely new (to us) surroundings. We needed to find a church and school for Jen. And yes, I cried many times in the shower – that seemed to be the only place I could do it in private. I feel you pain and will pray for you.

    • terahlites

      Rena, thanks for sharing that with me. I know a lot of grace is needed as I heal….and I’ve given up trying to cry in private! But even that has been good for our family; no secrets and they see me as a real person and seem to share their emotions as well. I know God is weaving this all somehow….it’s just hard to see sometimes. I appreciate your prayers so much. ❤️ Terah

  • Susan

    I’ve heard the more sure you are before a big decision, the more you will need that assurance later. God is making sure you are prepared for when the doubts come. It’s okay to admit you are going through tough times. But be comforted by knowing you did make the right decisions. Banishing the doubt will help. Today is hard- and tomorrow may be too- but you’ve done the right thing. You will emerge on the other side. Be encouraged.

  • Sunny

    “When we arrived I literally thought the hard part was over.”

    Ugh. I got a heart pang from reading that.

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. Love you. God is all over you.

  • Kimberly Kim

    Terah I don’t have words, but know you are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing your struggles in a way that we can all pray to the specifics. Thank you for sharing God’s provision during this. Just thank you for being you and being honest. Wish I could just give you a hug.

  • Lynn mccabe

    Terah, as much as I love to read “your hearts” truth, I hear and feel your pain. Never going through a hysterectomy but memapause and all the ups and downs with that I can only imagine your pain. I know it’s also easy for me to say “ hang in there, God loves you and is with you” but the truth is HE IS,WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE”.
    Your uncle Selden has his life verse, Isaiah 41:10” So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He CLINGS to that verse for dear life.
    You too wil cling to God for dear life, I feel it.
    Love you from a far and in spirit. Lynn

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