Today as I reluctantly glanced down at my stomach I noticed my squiggly scars. They remind me of a four-year-olds attempt to draw a straight line with pinkish-red crayons, yet they also awaken memories of some excruciating battles I’ve fought over these past seven years. I like to hide my scars with oversized sweatpants, baggy T-shirts, and high-rise yoga pants. Praise God for this season in my life that this is fashionably acceptable for me.
To simply say the appointment in December was difficult would be a drastic understatement. I spent four hours with this specialist and walked away feeling thankful for answers yet also laden with a heavy heart as I thought about my future. Dr. Grubb diagnosed me with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He told my family and me that this is an inherited connective tissue disorder and ultimately the cause of my autonomic dysfunction (my POTS). An answer had come my way and I didn’t know what to do with it. He told us the prognosis is lifelong. My sickness isn’t going anywhere. Since this is thought to be a genetic condition, I will deal with its many vast and severe effects on my body for the rest of my life. It was a lot to undertake at once, and I am still digesting and unpacking this information and dealing with the emotional side of this news, as you can imagine. But I walked away knowing my hope and healing comes from Jesus. Whether that healing is here or in heaven–I will remain steadfast in that promise.
The past six months have been painful. There are seasons we thrive and seasons we
I’ve just been surviving.
I got a port-a-cath in August when my feeding tube had to be pulled due to severe infection. The port (his name is Gus) has had its pros and cons. I get IV hydration through the port, and I stay accessed six days a week. Showering and bathing have been straight up difficult. After trying every kind of medical tape on Amazon and at Walgreens (the lady at Walgreens thought I was starting my own pharmacy), Saran Wrap and duct tape are now my go-to makeshift protective method as my saint/angel of a momma helps me get a bird bath (while attempting to wash my hair on a good day). It has been a small struggle, to say the least. Yet, it has given me perspective and gratitude for the small things. Just being able to take a shower on my own–and wash my face and hair without getting my chest wet is a treasure. You don’t think about the things you can’t do until you cannot do them.
I’m learning through my suffering–the more that is stripped away, the more that is taken from me that I once held so tightly–the more grateful I am for the things that once were.
Needless to say, this has been a time where I have felt frustrated. Useless. Alone. Tired. How is God supposed to use me in this season when I can’t even bathe myself?! I have known many a day of only IV saline, antibiotics, Netflix marathons, and my bed. Not many mountaintop days and Instagram worthy posts.
But somehow, I am okay with that. Life is full of seasons. God takes us through the seasons so He can draw us in, whisper in our ear, and teach us something different along the way. He has to get us quiet sometimes to reveal what He is doing. I have learned the hard way that Satan will only achieve the victory over our stories if we hand it over to him.
Today, I just want you to know that Jesus has you right where He wants you. Maybe you would rather be anywhere else than where you are right now. Maybe you’d rather be married, working somewhere else, or maybe you just wish you could change everything about your life. It’s normal to feel that way because pressure persists and pain hurts. But right now, Jesus has you in this season because this is where He wants you. This circumstance will allow you to heal, to learn, to grow, and to mend in a way that will connect you to the heart of Christ and declare victory.
If these “crayon” marks weren’t on my stomach, I wouldn’t be picking up my Bible to remind myself of what God says about me.
“But even the hairs on your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”–Matthew 10:30
God doesn’t care about my ugly squiggly scars. He is up there keeping count of my hair–He is in the details! I love that.
If this doctor hadn’t told me that I would be sick the rest of my life, I would not be cherishing God’s promises with an entirely new respect as I contemplate the lifelong battles I face and the grace he will give me in my physical weakness.
“My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”–
2 Corinthians 12:9
If the pain in my belly and the nausea, vomiting, and infection had not lasted for months, I would not have cried out to Jesus to be my stronghold and anchor like I did all those months.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped, my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”–Psalm 28:7
I want you to know today that Jesus has you right where He wants you. Seasons of pain and suffering and joy and celebration will come and they will go.
But Jesus stays the same through every season.