A Season of Hard

Do you ever go through seasons where you just feel like nothing is going to get better? You of course, know in your head that it will…but doubts creep in and emotions win and you are left constantly feeling like you’re just barely treading water, on the verge of death or great defeat.

I am in one of those seasons.

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I try not to be a whiner. I try so hard to be positive or at least appear on the outside like I have myself pulled together. I put on a brave, only somewhat sincere smile on my face and tell others that “I’m fine. It’s just a season.” But if I am truly honest…I’m not fine. Bear with me as I know this will be a long post. It’s just that I’ve been internalizing so much of this for months and I feel like if I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) then maybe it will help be therapeutic for me. Perhaps you’re in a similar season or a similar circumstance. Maybe we can encourage one another.

Ever since Christmas, my little family has not been able to kick sickness to the curb. My husband and I, as well as our kids have passed sore throats, double ear infections, double eye infections, several colds, two bouts of the flu, and two stomach viruses around. Throw in a crazy spider bite that turned infectious as well as a teething baby…and you get a tiny glimpse into the past few months.

But really…this season (for me personally) of feeling weak, tired, sick, and like I’m slowly just dying on the inside, began about eight months ago. I’ve been dealing with an inward battle with my health. I’ve been really sick and I have many debilitating days where I honestly just struggle to even get out of bed. But as every mother knows, you don’t get sick days or days off–especially when it has been as frequent as it’s been these past eight months.

In August of 2017, I started experiencing really uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms. I constantly felt nauseous and was frequently running to use the restroom. I took about five pregnancy tests because I felt like I had to have accidentally gotten pregnant somehow. Why else would I be feeling so sick all the time? But every time I took a test, it was always negative (praise Jesus, because ya’ll, I am NOT ready for a third yet!). I started rapidly losing weight. I literally worked my booty off for a year after Blake was born to get down to a size 8, and now, after about half that time, I’m back down to a size 8 again. It’s just not exactly the way I would’ve liked to get there. I’ve had more times than I can count that I’ve laid in bed crying, feeling so sick and helpless. I lie there feeling so guilty and broken while I hear my husband in the other room taking care of our kids, making dinner and being super dad while I slowly just waste away, not helping our household at all. He is truly the hero in my home. I would not survive this season (or any season) without him.

So, like any busy, full-time working mom and wife, I ignored it. I continued to just “deal with it” and feel absolutely miserable for about five months before my husband finally convinced me to go to the doctor.

I don’t hate the doctor. I’m not against going to the doctor. It’s just not fun and it’s just not convenient in my already busy schedule. But, when your dear husband (who hasn’t been to the doctor himself since the summer of 2010 mind you) worriedly urges you and then begs you to please take care of yourself and go to the dang doctor…you listen.

Flash-forward to December of 2017…I finally went to my primary care doctor. She told me it sounded like I just had IBS, but to be on the safe side, she ordered some blood tests, a CT Scan, and referred me to a gastroenterologist for follow-up. The CT came back clear and my blood work revealed some idiosyncrasies…but nothing too crazy. I met with my GI (who is awesome by the way) right before Christmas. He listened to me as I described what I’ve been experiencing and indulged me as I asked a million and one questions, before thoughtfully answering each one. His initial thought was that I was experiencing the early symptoms and stages of Ulcerative Colitis, so he ordered for me to have a colonoscopy to verify. He wanted me to stop eating dairy and red meat and if possible, go gluten free and then grain free. So, over spring break (the day before my 27th birthday) I had a colonoscopy. It wasn’t terrible…but I’m definitely relieved I won’t need to have another one for a long time.

During my colonoscopy, my GI took several biopsies. He wanted to see if I had UC, he checked for parasites, and he checked for bacterias like H Pylori and SIBO. When I got my results two weeks later…they all came back within “normal range”. Yet, nothing about what I’ve been feeling or experiencing has been “normal”.

So, once again, I met with my GI to discuss what the heck else this could be. He has now ordered an ultrasound of my gallbladder to check for stones and inflammation that may not have shown up on my CT, and a stool test to check for another bacteria called Giardia.

During this season, I’ve tried to remind myself to keep trusting in God’s plan. A song came on my Elevation Worship Pandora station. The words were literally like someone had looked deeply into my heart at all of the pain and frustration I’ve been facing and then put it into poetic words that reflected exactly what I’ve been praying over these long months.

I know if You wanted to You could wave Your hand
Spare me this heartache, and change Your plan
And I know any second You could take my pain away
But even if You don’t, I pray

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Savior
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything

You know more than anyone that my flesh is weak
And You know I’d give anything for a remedy
And I’ll ask a thousand more times to set me free today
Oh but even if You don’t, I pray

Help me want the Healer
More than the healing
Help me want the Saviour
More than the saving
Help me want the Giver
More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus
More than anything

When I’m desperate and my heart’s overcome
All that I need, You’ve already done
When I’m desperate and my heart’s overcome
All that I need, You’ve already done
Oh Jesus
Help me want You more, than anything

-Natalie Grant More Than Anything

I mean…goosebumps. Every. Time. Tears…every time.

I’m so tired of being sick.

I’m so frustrated at not having answers.

I don’t want anything to be wrong with me.

But, I do want answers. If I had answers as to what this is, then maybe we could move forward with a plan to treat it. All of this guessing and eliminating, testing and retesting is just hard.

I want to feel better and I want to feel like I’m not constantly broken all the time. I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling broken physically, it usually coincides with me feeling broken emotionally and mentally as well. Everything starts to ware on you and your whole being just seems to break down.

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary trouble are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.      -2 Corinthians 4:16-19

I’m trying really hard to remain positive, friends. But it is hard.

Like, really hard.

I’m trying to take each day as it comes. Trusting that the Lord is good and that His plan is perfect…even when I just don’t feel like that’s true. I’m taking each day that I don’t have a flare up of these horrible symptoms as a day of victory and I’m trying really hard not to see my days of sickness as days of great defeat. I’m also just really longing for the day foreshadowed when

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. -Revelation 21:4

This world is so broken and full of things that seem unfair and devastating. But, because of Christ, we have hope. I know that my reality, my suffering, and my eternity does not end with pain. Because of Jesus and His love for us, we have the hope and promises that we will dance, rejoice, and be completely whole again in Heaven. Oh what a sweet, sweet day that will be.

But until that day…would you pray for me?

2 thoughts on “A Season of Hard”

  1. Praying for you. I so understand the “season of hard”. The season of hard for us was a time of pruning, learning and growing in our walk with the Lord. It’s trying, frustrating, even confusing but be encouraged, He does indeed work all things for our good and nothing is wasted in His hands, He uses everything.

    I was so encouraged by -2 Corinthians 4:16-19 in your post…Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary trouble are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    Liked by 1 person

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