Hello, Dear Ones! I’m back :). So..the old blog has been bare. I did not run away to Tahiti. I’m alive. Life has been a crazy rollercoaster for a while now. The past almost two years has been wild. I told you about the craziness with two of my Grandmas dying, college stress, Aspergers revelation for me and my youngest son (also Sensory processing disorder), and I told you about my pregnancy last year. I may have mentioned that I miscarried. It’s been so long I’m not sure where I left off but yeah…
Miscarriage & Another Death
Our baby girl died. Hannah Elizabeth would be four months old if she had lived. My husband had back surgery on a Tuesday and I miscarried all weekend into the next week. Hannah’s tiny body came out on Thanksgiving last year. She was too early to bury in a cemetery. So we buried her in a jar in the back yard. We had heard her heartbeat two days before she began to die. We gave her a girl’s name because we felt in our heart she was a girl. My pregnancy was so different hormonally than with my boys. I had no morning sickness. We put large angel wings and a dollhouse on her grave. I still plan to write my loss story later…to help any of you who have also went through such a gut-wrenching experience. Moving on…
A few months later my husband’s Dad died after an extended illness. Michael and Chris were there when Mr. Melvin passed. In a year and a half, we had four close family members die. It was a difficult time. We also had some upsetting events happen to our youngest son. His arm was twisted at church during one of his meltdowns. So we changed churches. It was just a hard and lonely time. A time of feeling misunderstood and forgotten…
Hysterectomy and a Move
We tried to get pregnant again but Chris felt in his heart that we were done. Later, I felt God take that desire away from me….that it was okay for me to quit…my body was done. Hannah’s death helped me see that I needed to get my own health taken care of. So fast forward to recent times. This September I got a hysterectomy (all but my ovaries). I also found out that I have a bladder disease (not a surprise to me but it’s nice to have a name for it)…Interstitial Cystitis. Basically, my bladder can’t tolerate urine. Urine causes me to bleed inside and I always feel like I have to pee…even if my bladder is empty. Also, if my bladder is full I have painful spasms.
So right before my hysterectomy, Chris dropped a bombshell on me. He was offered a job four hours away from the home we had lived in for 15 years. It was a great opportunity and his current job at the time was stressing him out. I was against this at first but after prayer, I gave my full support. The kids had a harder time. We’d be leaving our best friends, our homeschool group, and mainly my Mom and stepdad. Plus, the kids had always lived in our house. On another note, moving seemed impossible because we could not sell our house yet and we’d need a good bit more financially just to afford to rent a place in another city. I told Chris we’d need a lamp and three wishes! It’s funny how God makes me eat my words all the time! Ha!
So as I was getting ready for my surgery, Chris got the call and was hired. I was terrified to go under but I had one of the best surgeons in the world. I hope to write a post on the specifics of the hysterectomy and what to expect for those of you in the same boat. I will keep this part short though. So, I was happy to wake up from surgery.
I had a 6-week recovery before I could completely get back to normal. I had a couple of scares but nothing serious. Recovery went quicker than I thought…though the first week was very painful. I had a month before Chris left for the new job…leaving me behind with the kids so he could find us a place to live. Also, I had to pack up our home while he was away. I still couldn’t lift heavy items. Chris had to go to the ER for a kidney stone right before he left.
The Flu and Goodbye to a friend
Then the boys both got the stomach flu. This was in the middle of packing and trying to find a place for us to rent. Chris would do a video call as he looked at rentals. It was stressful because I was up all day and night tending fevers and cleaning up messes while trying to get ready for the move. The rentals that allowed three animals kept popping off the market as soon as they popped up. Yes, I said three animals.
So if you’ve followed my blog, you know we had four animals: Tessa (our 17-year-old Sheltie mix), Annabelle (our French Bulldog), Chester (our black cat), and then our White Christmas kitten from last year; Snow. Sadly, few rentals accepted pets, especially three. Cats were often not welcome. Four pets were impossible. We had to make a hard choice. It still breaks my heart. We knew that Tessa was too old to handle such a big move and she was already going downhill. She had almost died last year and she was losing bowel control…snapping at the kids…falling over. So we had Tessa put to sleep. We cried a lot. She was like our first kid. After a week of the Flu (which I caught too and thankfully Mom came over with food), we buried our sweet dog.
By God’s grace and with the help of family and friends, we got packed and moved to Huntsville. We said goodbye to our besties the Chambers and the Johnsons and to Mom and Kim. It was hard to leave my baby girl’s grave too. Leaving the house, in general, felt like losing a friend.
Again, by God’s grace, we found an apartment that would let us have three animals. It was a true God thing. It felt last minute and I was worried we’d have to live in our van…but God came through as He always does. Leeland didn’t like the apartment at first but he’s warming up to it all. Both of my kids have never lived in an apartment or a rental for that matter. We’re learning to be quieter.
I’ve been overwhelmed by all the changes. Change and Aspergers don’t mix. I want to follow God’s plan though. Jesus has been so faithful. Already, we have a church and they are doing great with Leeland’s sensory and Aspie issues. Michael is playing basketball with the youth. We found a homeschool PE group, and Leeland has a new gym. Traffic is awful and it’s colder here…also there’s a time change. Still, I feel encouraged about this new adventure.
I like adventure. I also like going back home to the familiar after my adventure. The comfortable familiar has been ripped from me but maybe this had to happen. I think I had made it all an idol. I had cocooned myself into the shrine I called home. It’s time to open myself up back to ministry…back to the mission field. The past two years have been painful for sure…along side all the death, I had a personal bout with suicide and depression and at another time thought my marriage and family were going to crumble…plus my eldest was having issues with bullies. Those are stories for another time maybe or maybe not. Anywho, this new adventure is about starting over…being reborn.
My family needed a fresh start. I didn’t have the courage or the resources to give us a fresh start. God had to shake us up and do one miracle after the other to get us here. He provided for us financially and emotionally…just in every way possible. He lined up the events. I had what I needed during and after surgery, we survived flu week, we had help moving, Chris had friends to stay with before God lined up our current apartment…just everything worked out in God’s timing. It seemed super fast to me but then again, I move like a sloth.
Pic: My foot’s on our old home and Leeland is on our new home….all the way across the state.
So here we are…in a new city. The mission is the same: Share Christ’s love. I feel like I can focus more on ministry because my reproductive journey has been sealed and ended….Leeland is where he can make friends and grow despite his struggles. I have hope for Michael too. I feel the freedom to work on my own health and to focus on ministry that isn’t oriented just to my family. So many of my previous burdens have fallen away. Also, all my excuses…I’ve got to get off the sidelines. Lord help me.
A Fresh Start
This blog post is just another step towards starting over. I’ve thought about all of you often. I’d go to write a post and just get discouraged or I was too overwhelmed by life to even look at my blog. I could not get you off my mind though. I’m blessed to have a platform…to be able to share what God has done in my life. Everything I go through is to help others. The lessons Christ has taught me are not to be hoarded. I want to share faith, creativity, and adventure with you…because I think someone out there may need encouragement…inspiration.
I mentioned my suicidal episode earlier (right after my first Grandma died). That was a scary time for me but since then I feel such a strong desire to live. God gave me such strength during my Granny’s funeral, my miscarriage, and my Father in law’s funeral. I haven’t wanted to die in a good while. Right before my surgery, I begged God to let me live and to help me to be more useful for the Kingdom. I don’t want to waste the time that God has given me.
If you get a chance, I encourage you to check out the newest Pilgrim’s Progress movie. It’s a cartoon but honestly one of the best versions I’ve seen. It helped me when I thought my marriage was ending….it gave me the courage to keep loving and hoping. It reminded me to get my head out of the sand and to remember who I am in Christ and what the mission is. I want the things I write to also help others…just like John Bunyan or C.S. Lewis.
I still have hopes to be published and to finish my trilogy. I’m getting started very late in NaNoWriMo but I do plan to participate this year. I was doing really well last year until my baby Hannah passed away. I have not looked at my book since then. That will be my next brave step. I do feel encouraged though…having surgery was a huge leap of faith. I’m scared of doctors and it really felt like walking through fire for me. I was anxiety-ridden. Thankfully, God is faithful even when we doubt and He’s always ready to prove His goodness and love to me.
So dear one, how are you? Do you need prayer for anything? Have you been through any major trials lately? Feel free to let me know in the comments. I love ya and I’m praying for you. Be encouraged…God will never leave His own. You are loved. Let us continue to live this great adventure together with faith and creativity. Don’t give up. Life is worth living and God’s love in us conquers all.
God bless and remember the High King lives!