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.