Jon used to call me out-often-on being so negative. I blamed it on my personality type or Enneagram number claiming it was just who I was as a person…..but I don’t think that’s the case.
I think out of fear….and a LONG relationship with codependency…I just sort of felt more comfortable being miserable. It gave me energy. Exhausting energy, but energy nonetheless. I think, if I’m being honest, I didn’t know what I would have to think about if I didn’t have things to obsess or worry over. It didn’t matter if it was an ex or an earthquake, it made me upset. And life seemed to crumble at every turn. Dramatic, I know, but still, it’s how I lived. And I think in a way, it’s just how I coped with some of the things life threw my. way.
When I was diagnosed with the percreta, previa, and gestational diabetes…and Banks was faced with a potential Down syndrome diagnosis, a duodenal atresia, and several other complications…I suddenly had a REALLY good reason to be miserable. I had a hundred different things to obsess and worry over. And yet..for the first time ever, I didn’t have the energy to think about a single one of them in too much depth. Ironically, when my circumstances were the worst they could be, I was suddenly okay with it. Maybe it’s because I made myself miserable so much in my life for no good reason that I was just too worn out to care. But regardless, somehow God used that exact combination to create fertile soil in my heart for new growth.
Last week, I blogged about my counseling session and the importance of pressing into the pain of the past. My brother saw where I had posted on Facebook and asked if every thing I wrote was sad. I giggled because in a way, yes. Everything I wrote this past year has been sad. The titles are sad. The pictures are sad. The subject matter is sad. But, I’m not sad. And I think that’s important to note. Super important actually.
There’s no reason that I should have survived the events of the past year mentally or physically. I know that. But more than that, there is absolutely no way I should be as joyful as I am about life in general, moving forward. If I were an outsider looking in, I would give myself a free pass to mope every day for the rest of my life, but that’s just not where I am.
It might be the counseling alone. Or the combination of counseling and medication. It could be the counseling and medication and support of my family. But I think it’s more than that. I think for the first time in my life, I am seeing the *actual* heart of God, and it is downright sweet. Not only did he save my life in that operating room, he’s giving me an ABUNDANT life to live. And on top of everything, he’s gone out of His way, to bring redemption to every little thing.
In response to the trauma of the hospital, percreta and birth, he arranged for me to reunite with my doctors and a few of my nurses this past week. Not only did I get to see them and hug them, but Banks got to meet all of them too. They held him and loved on me and I have never felt more supported. I’ve talked about her over and over but Alpa Nick is my hero. She’s beautiful and smart and confident and just good. Everything about the woman is good. I told her this last week in a text but I pray that one day I have the same presence about me when I enter a room, and leave it with the same amount of peace (and slight intimidation in the best possible of ways). She’s a gift to humanity and the world does not deserve her. Dr. Scott is the most precious human alive and listened to me so intently in the hospital. She was the only doctor to make me feel seen when Dr. Nick wasn’t around. And y’all already know I am OBSESSED with my home team at Women- Dr. Samples, Dr. Crowe, Emily and Kaleigh and just everyone there. Seeing all of them along with my nurses was the best gift in the whole world. I want nothing more out of life. Jk. But seriously, I don’t know that I have ever been as giddy.
In response to the pain I was referring to in last week’s post? God gave me an all out hug this week over that one. My heart has been mishandled more than once in my life. Nothing “major”, but a big deal to me. And friends, the pain of the past, especially processing that pain later in life, can resurface a lot of feelings of worthlessness. So, God allowed me to FINALLY get in touch with Ryan-my precious CRNA from surgery. Ryan and his team, and my team of doctors, were the only ones I had with me in those moments before surgery. Jon was on his way to the hospital but wouldn’t make it in time to see me before delivery so I was essentially alone. I never wrote about Ryan before, because I never was sure if he actually existed. But, turns out, he does. He loves Jesus and he’s a dad and a husband. He’s smart and he’s kind and good and means more to me than he’ll ever realize. I was told he was the one that essentially saved my life. That means essentially, I get to be me because of him. I get to raise my boys and hold hands with Jon and sing and just “be” because of him. And icing on the cake? I get to know him, too. In real life. And I CANNOT WAIT to hug his neck one day. Not only did he care FOR me physically in the OR, but he cared ABOUT me through everything. He cared about what happened to me-and even came to visit me post surgery. I don’t remember everything he said that day in my recovery room, but I know he said I was his “miracle girl” and that he was “so happy” to see me sitting up. Two statements that kept my feeble body going. Two statements that make me want to live a life worth living.
This week I also got to spend lots of time with Sarah and Liz…two of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. What did Sarah and Liz redeem for me? Friendship. And more than that, they revived a version of myself I have kept reigned in for so long. There were so many other things. So many others. Seeing the final performance of “Grease”, reuniting with the cast from callbacks, parties, old friends, new friends, sunshine, and a much needed break. And I just overflowed with delight as I recounted them all to Ms. Peggy today at counseling. It took everything in me to keep from just bursting with happiness.
And I just want to stay in this space forever.
Granted, I know I won’t. Not fully. There will be more hard days ahead-really hard ones. There will be really difficult seasons. Years. Decades even. But now that I have a taste of this thing called JOY-indescribable look at the fireflies outside and get excited for no reason other than look-at-you-go-God kind of joy-I don’t ever want to lose it. No matter what. It’s the best drug on the planet. And I may seem newly crazy or loud or bursting at the seams with personality lately, but I just can’t hold it in.
I’ve told a lot of people this, but I’ll never shut up about what God has done for me. I’ll never be over this. This isn’t a legalistic religion I found through a write off of John 3:16. This is a real, true, live giving-soul overflowing-crazy joyful relationship that I can’t even adequately describe. And going through all I did this past year? It was the absolute, hands down, no doubt, biggest honor of my life. And I am so excited for what’s next. How’s that for a happy post?
“6 So be truly glad.[a] There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.”-1 Peter 1:6