It was a hard December for me, y’all. I wish I could tell you my faith held strong and didn’t waver. I found myself questioning God (again) and wanting a different life. I ended up smack in the middle of a health crisis that wasn’t planned (are they ever?) and was FORCED to give up normal.
For about 25 years, I’ve struggled with endometriosis. I’ve mostly managed the symptoms with over the counter pain meds, but ultimately decided taking upwards of 10 Aleve a day some days during the month was not healthy for my liver. 😥 I researched effective treatment options, and ultimately came across the Center for Endometriosis Care in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Ken Sinervo is one of the nation’s top doctors for endometriosis excision, which is the gold standard for treatment and really the only way to remedy the problem.
In early December, my mom and I traveled to Atlanta and I had surgery on December 5th. Surgery went well. I basically was eaten up with endometriosis and Dr. Sinervo was able to excise about 98% of it. The first few days after surgery were pretty routine. I slept a lot and was recovering. But the Thursday afterwards, I ran into MAJOR complications. After multiple tests, CT scans, x-rays and SO MUCH DRAWN BLOOD, I had to have a second surgery on December 15th. I was in the hospital for 22 days and in Atlanta for almost 4 weeks. (We packed and planned to be in Atlanta for a max of 5 days.)
Perhaps I’ll share more details later on, but for now you guys need to know I was VERY sick. Several life threatening events manifested. My mom and the nursing staff had to care for my basic needs. I could barely eat from being so nauseous. They had to force me to get up to walk. And as much as I wanted to write and post on social media, looking at my phone was less than appealing. I just wanted to sleep and escape my reality.
I found myself saying and thinking some of the same things I said while I was going through my divorce. “Lord, just give me my life back.” “Why did this happen to me?” “My life will never be normal again.” I cried almost every day. And even though in the long term, having this surgery now was the best thing for me, I questioned over and over my decision to have my endometriosis excised. Dr. Sinervo repeatedly assured me I would run into major problems down the road and even given the current complications, having the surgery was the best decision.
I had AMAZING care while in the hospital in Atlanta. I cannot give enough positive accolades to the entire staff at Northside Hospital. My nurses were knowledgeable, empathetic, kind and considerate. They made me feel like I was their only patient. The techs were equally as amazing; never once questioning or pausing at a request! They went above and beyond to make sure my basic needs were met and I was comfortable. The orderlies (that transported me for tests) always came with a smile and heated blanket. They did their best to crack jokes, make me laugh and make the best of my very bleak situation. And my doctors… So amazing! Dr. Sinervo prayed with me repeatedly and held my hand and prayed as the anesthesia put me to sleep for my surgeries. At one point I had to go two and a half days without food and all I wanted was a grilled cheese. So as soon as I was able to eat, Dr. Sinvero brought me a grilled cheese he personally made himself! What doctor does that?!
For 22 days, the Lord took away my normal day to day. Even as I type this, my daily routine is fully altered and I’m not yet fully independent. My brother in law spoke truth over me and it resonated like never before in my life. He quoted Psalm 23:2 over me. He mentioned one interpretation being the Lord physically pressing my head into the green pasture, forcing me to rest. And that is EXACTLY what happened to me beginning on December 5th. I was incapable of caring for my basic needs. My fast pace, exciting and busy life came to a screeching halt. All of the sudden my cottage, my career and my hobbies became unimportant. All that mattered was my health and rest.
2017 is unique because this year I turn 40. I planned all these amazing events during the year to celebrate this monumental occasion. For January, I booked a solo retreat to Jackson Hole at a super cute B&B at the base of the Tetons. I wanted pause to reflect on my life thus far and do some life planning going forward. That trip? Not happening. Canceled. What’s interesting is that just prior to my surgery, I felt a nudge from the Lord questioning my motives behind the events for my “Year of 40.” I also felt a bit of angst the week before my surgery. And I got to thinking, did I REALLY consult the Lord about my Year of 40? Did I ask Him if He wanted me to have the surgery? And my honest answer is no. I just moved and acted on things because I wanted to and thought they were best for me. (See the emphasis on the “I and me” in the last few sentences?)
Do I think the Lord is punishing me with these surgical complications? Absolutely not. But do I think He’s trying to show me His will and plan? Definitely. I do think I often get wrapped up in things of this world and lose sight of His direction. I still don’t know what He’s teaching me in this current season, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will consult Him with EVERYTHING going forward and not just some things. I also think He’s giving me a season of pause to reflect more on Him. It has been HARD to pray while in the hospital. Therefore I’m SO grateful for the many of you that carried me in prayer. Please know the Lord heard your pleas and sustained me.
So what’s next? For the next few weeks, I’ll be staying with my parents to fully recuperate. Luckily the flexibility of my job will allow me to work from home rather than hopping on an airplane. So I fully expect to be making lots of phone calls, crafting lots of emails and presenting A LOT via webinar. My customers are amazing and fully understand the magnitude of my situation. Some called, texted and prayed during the course of my 22 day hospital stay. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.
As for my cottage, I’m obviously a little delayed, but the show is absolutely moving on! I am completely confident the Lord placed me in Louisiana for such a time as this. And I’m already seeing His hand in giving me my cottage. I’ll be sharing a story soon about a new friendship the Lord began blossoming in the 1970’s all because of the cottage. Renovation updates will be starting up very soon. Please know I greatly appreciate your patience.
Going forward, I would be grateful and honored to receive your continued prayers. I need prayers for recovery and strength. It will be a long while before I’m at full capacity. But every day I’m a bit stronger and the pain is a bit less. I’ve shared how extremely Type A I am, so to have to relinquish my full independence and control has been hard. Rather than constantly planning, I’m currently just doing today. I’m lying in my green pasture in hopeful expectation for the glory of the Lord to be revealed.
Has there been a time in your life when you’ve been forced to lie in green pastures? How did you cope? I would be grateful if you would share lessons you learned and things the Lord taught you in your journey. If you feel led, please share in the comments below.