{.reasons.}

Too much has happened in the last two and a half years…well, maybe the last six years…or is it the last nine years? Too many knots. I guess at every stage in life, one can look back and say “Wow! WHAT in the world just happened?!” or “WHAT was I thinking?!” or “How. did. I. get. here.” And-it is overwhelming! Too much to process, too much for the mind and our emotions to handle, too much pain, too much happiness, too much heartbreak, too much change (whether it be good or bad)…just altogether too much. This avalanche of emotions leads us to cut threads left and right, or unravel knots rapidly. Or make knots…and try to untangle them, yet end up so wrapped up within the knots we just want to scream. All this to say, I am learning to S-L-O-W down. Not everything is one of two extremes: black or white, yes or no, right or wrong, love or hate. So, in an effort to maintain/retain (or is it regain?) my sanity, I will start with today.

Today I hurt. Truth be told, everyday I hurt. I am sure people grow old of asking me, “How are you?” and hearing the same response of, “…today’s not a good day”, or “…I’m hurting”. But would you rather I would lie to you? And, if you would rather this-please just don’t ask the question. I try and not overindulge in my pain and dwell on it too much because right now there is nothing changing it but it is important for me to be transparent. I can lie quite well, unfortunately, about a lot of things in my life, but I am choosing not to do that anymore. So, back to today: I hurt. I feel ugly…more so than usual. I feel fat. I feel overwhelmed. I feel defeated (although I KNOW I am not).

Let’s break it down. (be prepared for lots of health details)

I hurt because…

1. That is the nature of my diseases.

2. My body is going through withdrawals from steroids (my dosage was recently cut in half in the hopes of cutting down the detrimental side effects the steroids cause to the rest of my bod). Withdrawals suck.

3. I had melanoma (skin cancer) removed from my lower back three weeks ago and my bod takes so damn slow to heal that I am still puffy around the surgical site, stitches still hurt like crazy, and I am just plain sore.

4. I have 5 Lupus lesions (bleeding/oozing) on top of my head still. Oh, plus 15 lesions on my shoulders and neck. And 1 on my face. I feel like a leper…

5. I had kidney stones last week (ouch!). Got to party at Cedars Sinai all night. #turndownferwhat?!

6. I had a cyst rupture on my ovaries this week causing an infection in my lower abdomen/intestine…spent a lovely day at Huntington Hospital (cool new ER, by the way Huntington!) getting IV antibiotics and pain meds. Sent home on a week of both. OH and this could also be a sign of Ovarian Cancer? Let’s not go there. That knot is simply too big for today.

I feel ugly because…

1. I hardly recognize myself anymore.

2. I don’t feel feminine (try having a buzzed head for the past 8 months and have people calling you “man, sir”, etc.). Wait-try having people say, “You look miserable; you should really get a wig and cover that up…” Yep-that happened.

3. My bod is doing all sorts of crazy stuff with itself on the external as well as the internal.

4. I don’t have the energy or UMPH to wear makeup. It simply takes too much out of me right now.

5. I feel so ugly internally from all these diseases and dislike the skin I am in because the skin I am in hurts and pains me 24/7. Never a moment without the reminder of how my body is deteriorating and dyin on me.

I feel fat because…

1. All of the above.

2. I have gained a ton of weight because of being on steroids and such heavy meds. I know women aren’t “supposed” to reveal their weight but, Knots&Threads is all about transparency…I weigh 210 pounds…that’s beyond the heaviest I have ever been in my life and it shocks me. But, weight is just a number and praise the Lord I have the medicine and food I need for my bod…imagine those that starve or are left hungry?

3. See above.

4. I can’t fit into any of my jeans. If you notice, I only wear sweats.

5. I love chocolate ūüôā and I am NOT givin up my chocolate.

I feel overwhelmed because…

1. I am! I AM overwhelmed! And anyone would be-we are not “supposed” to go through things such as this. We were not created to go through these things but for many reasons, disease & decay & pain & suffering & death exist in our world.

2. I am super popular with the Medical Billing departments of every doctor, office, and lab known to man (or so it seems. See what I mean about how I go to extremes?!) I am swimming in medical bills, absolutely swimming…or maybe we are at the point where I am drowning. Something needs to change ASAP.

3. See #2

4. Being sick is expensive.

5. I try and put on a brave face, I do embrace the brave-ness my Lord has given me…but I do fear for the future at times and what stunt my bod is going to pull next.

 

Okay…I am tired of unravelling knots of reasons for tonight. So, I am leaving the rest of the mystery & wonder until another day ;).

I will say this…despite all of the above…despite how I may have felt today, or will feel tomorrow, or will feel in five minutes…God is good and there is nothing taking that away.

He is good.

He is good.

He is good.

xo

 

 

 

. h. o. p. e.

Hope has been the theme of my weekend although at this moment I don’t feel “hopeful”.¬†I finished a poem on hope today (see below) and yesterday I received a lovely gift from my sister-in-law (see picture)…a beautiful gold bar necklace with the word “HOPE” imprinted on it.

I would like to share the poem that my dear friend, Nathan Potter, and I wrote together. I have never really written a poem before (wait-do those haikus I had to write in 4th grade count?) and I haven’t had the desire to write one in my adult years. Nathan wrote the first part a couple months ago and felt led to give it to me…he said “Maybe one day you’ll finish it…” It has been folded in half in my Bible since then and I open it every once in a while and read it. I love what he wrote- I don’t know what he was going through when he wrote it but it stirred something in me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until today. Today¬†was the day I put my finger on it and explored this knot in my chest…the bittersweet knot of contrast in grief vs. hope can be a thing of beauty. For me, it is a thing of beauty when my feet are planted in my Creator. In Him, through Him, by His mercy, by His greatness…I have the confidence to place one foot in grief and one foot in hope. Grief that my body is failing me and physically pains me every minute of every single day…yet hope that one day it will be renewed and restored…confidence that one day all will be as it should in my Creator’s presence…no knots will exist then. All that will be is the gorgeous tapestry that He has woven.

Thank you,¬†Nathan, for allowing me to compile this poem with you & thank you, Lord, for instilling in us the desire to create…

.h.o.p.e.

I sat with grief today.

Once mere acquaintances,

we have become old friends.

He is heartsick and slow.

I find it hard not to hate him.

 

But I know he is a 

fair-weather friend.

He will not travel with me long.

Hope reigns.

 

And where there is hope

grief cannot long abide.

There is a greater He than him.

He dissolves the bitter taste grief leaves,

grief is embraced yet not embodied.

I am embodied in Him who is hope.

He reigns.

 

He pushes away the cobwebs grief weaves.

Grief takes my breath away but He fills my lungs with life.

He is greater than him.

He is my hope.