Current Theme

July 18, 2016

As usual, I have neglected my blog. Mostly because I haven’t even known what to write and partly because I have been writing in my journals. Getting all the thoughts out of my brain and on paper is very therapeutic for me.

The theme of my life right now seems to be suffering. 2016 has been one major loss after the next, as I have written about before. However, in April and May I went through Jen Wilkin’s bible study on 1 Peter in prep for the Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference in June. What a timely study making me enjoy and cherish the Word of God on a deeper level. The conference was amazing. Hearing Tim and Kathy Keller, Kathleen Nielson, Jen Wilkin, and John Piper speak, among others…wow! Meeting Rosaria Butterfield and Nancy Guthrie and Don Carson and Jen Wilkin…oh my heart! And the Getty’s. If you know me in person you have heard this 100 times already. A whole weekend of worship with them, my favorite group, meeting them…esp Patrick the Piper…my soul was satisfied in Him! Meeting all sorts of wonderful women from around the country who love Jesus and His Word and sharing the journey with one of my best friends made it a highlight of my life.

Then, I came home and started memorizing and studying James, basically because it was another study by Jen Wilkin and I really appreciate how she sets up her studies. And, what do you know! The theme of chapter one has been trials- not if I face them but WHEN I face them. At church our sermon series has been on the Minor Prophets. Last week as I showed up a total mess and cried thru the entire service, my pastor started teaching on Zechariah. More comfort for suffering.

I am baffled by God’s goodness to His people. I’m baffled by His goodness to me. I just had surgery in March that was pretty extensive, including getting rid of the current endometriosis my doc could see among other things. It went great. We were very positive with the treatment I would continue, it would give me relief and prevent the disease from growing for a while. Well, here we are four months later and it’s baaaaaack! I was admitted to the hospital over 4th of July for two nights and had a lot of testing done to make sure it wasn’t any new problems, and to try to get things under control. Neither my doc nor I want to do another surgery right now because it will be too much trauma for my body. So, we are trying the next best thing to surgery. Lupron is a chemo drug that is used for hormone related cancers sometimes and it is putting me in menopause so that my system is shut down. Sorry for the TMIšŸ™‚ The goal is to give my body a break and to keep the disease from spreading. It has been very scary and has had lots of side effects, including making my symptoms way worse as the body shuts down. Anyway, I have not been happy.

I cried my eyes out in the hospital as I would have never expected my life to be like this at age 30, and this was the first hospital trip I didn’t have my grandma to call and discuss all the different factors with her. She considered herself a medical expert. Oh how I miss her so much. But, my grandpa discussed things with me and prayed with me along with friends who came in to visit. God provides.

My body has been going crazy with everything and this year has also triggered major depression of my struggles with bipolar. So, many factors are at play.

I am not writing this post for everyone to have a pity party with me. I have had plenty of those the past several weeks and they aren’t productive. I am writing this post to show that God can be trusted with the promises he gives believers in His precious Word. I have fought to be independent and right now that is just not happening. I am blessed to be living with a family from church who loves me and is letting me rest and just have a safe and stable place to heal. My friends and family have come along side me and have made it safe to cry and laugh and be really honest about how I am doing without fear of being abandoned because I am too much trouble. I even have a hashtag now that they remind me Ā I am allowed to be needy right now… #beaburden. I am not good at letting others help me. The way people constantly txt, call, send messages to me to laugh and encourage and just giving me company while I can’t do much is overwhelming because it points me to Christ, the Provider of my needs. He has made His presence known even when I refuse to acknowledge Him and try to figure out my problems by myself.

I am really having a hard time accepting all that has gone on this year and the things I will continue to have to deal with. But, there is a reason I have Isaiah 55 tattooed on my wrist. God’s ways continue to be higher than mine.

I know I don’t handle my circumstances in the best way, but I am a work in progress and pray that whoever has read my post to the end will be encouraged. God LOVES you. What he says is true. You will have trouble in this world, but Christ has overcome it and will not leave you alone to fend for yourself. He just won’t. My hope can’t be in health, or people or money. There is no guarantee I will ever get better. People who love us die, like Grandma Jane, and some people abandon us in our time of need. I can’t work right now so my hope can’t be in getting rich and doing whatever the heck I want. My hope must be in Christ alone. He is the only person who will not get up and leave, and he is eternal. He is my salvation. He will hold me fast. He loves me!

Change is in the air

April 26, 2016

I am a bad blogger. I have had lots to say, as usual, but finding it difficult to figure out how to say these things. So much has happened in the last 4 weeks alone. My roommate died unexpectedly, three days later I had surgery (my third in a year), the following week my grandma/best friend died unexpectedly, and this past week I found out a dear friend has brain cancer and a young family member has breast cancer. I also have to find a new place to live…again.

Lots of heartache and loss has caused me to refocus and remember how this life is but a vapor and how my true home is in heaven. A dear family member, who has also had her many battles this year with health, keeps reminding me how we have HOPE! We cling to the hope of Christ and we continue to fight with our bodies and circumstances because we know HE has already won.

I have had such a deep void the past couple weeks not being able to talk to my grandma every day and txt back and forth and play our games against each other on our phones. I tear up when I lift up my phone to call her and realize I can’t. I will have to write another post all about Grandma Jane…but, at the same time, I have SO much to be thankful for.

My surgery seems to have been very successful (I haven’t even had to take Aleve for pain…what???). My doctor means a lot to me and he continues to compassionately take care of me and help me. We are hopeful this surgery and my current treatment will keep my disease at bay for a looooong time.

My mom cared for me at her house out of state after my surgery in what turned out to be a 3 week stay. She is such a hard worker and did so much for me. I got to see all my family for the VA funeral and we had such a wonderful time, even though it was difficult. I am so excited to see everyone in a few short weeks for the Detroit funeral. I love seeing how loved my grandparents are.

While I really do not have anything profound to say, I encourage everyone to evaluate what or who you are placing your hope in today. Everyone will go through very rough times and very good times and I pray your source of hope is lasting.

Katie’s craziness continues

March 1, 2016

I haven’t written in a while. In the past three months I have flown across the country for 2.5 weeks, moved to a new place, been in the hospital and urgent care 3 times, had my doctor trick my body into thinking I was in menopause and now we are tricking my body into thinking its pregnant. My hair has been falling out like crazy, I’m exhausted and still in pain. My pituitary gland is haywire and so I will have to go back on meds for that. Needless to say, this year has been another series of events to trust God with. I can’t run for office or work on someone’s campaign. I can’t report the news on what’s going on in our society. Heck, I can barely work part time. I’m in so much pain tonight that I wish my body would just cooperate. Rest becomes an idol because I feel like I need it so bad. Welcome to endometriosis awareness month. I get discouraged but have the most amazing Doctor and friends and family and church family who cares for me. The Shepherd is so faithful and I love him more each day as he carries me through the hard minutes and hours. Praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

2015

December 29, 2015

Another year is coming to an end. Wow. This one has been a doozy. Full of fun and learning, change and scars. Many scars. Thankful to my Shepherd for bringing me through this year. I’m enjoying the holidays in AZ and am going home to start the year finding a new place to live while trying to manage my diseases. I’m thankful for how God has provided for me this year and know he will provide for my needs next year even though I have no idea how I will find a place and no idea if my current treatment will work. I suppose that is the joy of following Christ. I don’t need to know all the details. I can walk in faith and obedience and trust Him to provide. It will be a year full of surprises! To God be the Glory! 

Sheep-ish!

October 30, 2015

Today may be painful. For me it is. It might be filled with unknowns and sadness, or happiness and thrill. This is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad in it. I will rejoice in the promises of scripture. I will consider it joy to live out my trials as a constant reminder for my need for the Good Shepherd. I will let him break my leg so I must be carried close. I pray I am becoming a bell sheep so he may use me to keep other sheep close to Him. I must be bold in proclaiming the goodness of my Shepherd and my sole sight set on Him. He is both my refuge for rest and my Rock of strength. Surely physical and emotional pain is not too much for the Shepherd. He uses it for His glory. If I was physically and emotionally independent and strong I would have no need for the Shepherd. I pray I only listen to his voice and to not be distracted by voices calling for me that are not His. They will only lead me, and others, astray. Lord, may your peace and joy overcome me tonight. No matter what tomorrow brings, I smile with anticipation because I know the day will be from you. 

Monday ThanksĀ 

October 12, 2015

-My nephew who is 4 knows how to write all his letters. Today his spelling word was “Katie” and it was the best version of my name ever written. 

-I really enjoy my job. 

-I love my church. 

-friends who care for me and put up with me. 

-better from whatever sickness I had last week. 

-Charles Spurgeon

-my fun family 

-caring doctors 

-Fall in Michigan

-learning dependence on the Shepherd even tho I’m a dumb sheep a lot of the time

-bagpipes 

-my car

-hoodies 

Feelings

September 21, 2015

As I reflect on my day, I have been thinking about how I am feeling. I keep coming back to the conclusion my feelings are fickle. I can’t rely on them both emotionally and physically. Each day, I have no idea how I am going to feel physically. Will I be in pain? Will I be exhausted? Will I have energy to get a good hike and work out in? Will I be nauseous? Will I feel like a 30 year old or more like my 90 year old roommate? I never really know. Then there is the emotional side. Having several chronic illnesses sometimes makes me panic. And sometimes I panic because I have panic disorder and I don’t know why my body panics. And sometimes I get overwhelmed with simple every day stuff. And then I feel great, and happy and ready for whatever happens. My mind plays tricks on me. My thoughts can get out of control. And I remember, again, I can’t trust my feelings.

I’m so glad the Shepherd cares about my feelings, even though they aren’t always based on Truth. He gently listens to and knows my needs. He wants me to express myself to Him and cry out to Him no matter how I am feeling. He loves me and knows me. However, when my feelings, either emotionally or physically, get too much to bear and I lose focus on the Shepherd, I must rely on what I know and not how I feel. I know what I know is true. What I know is God’s Word is true, His promises are true and His character can’t change. If my body hurts a lot, it doesn’t mean the Shepherd has left me. If my mind and body panic and feels out of control, it doesn’t mean the Shepherd is chaotic and lacks order. I have to continually focus my mind and spirit on what the Shepherd tells me in the Bible. I have to be in constant communication with Him. Having people praying for me and reminding me of His truths is crucial.

So, I’m constantly learning and stumbling trying to rely on myself instead of the Shepherd. But, I am a sheep and we literally need our shepherds to survive, whether we realize it or not. 

30

August 31, 2015

Oh my! My thirtieth birthday starts in about 30 minutes. Wow. Dont know how I feel. But I’m glad the Shepherd has carried me thru severe sicknesses, singleness, TWO surgeries, and many other health, financial, and relationship crisis’s. Thank you Lord for my new church family who have already brought me in to love on me. I’m beyond happy. It brings me anxiety but a pastor said, Katie, God has you where he wants you. I’m glad it’s with us. Praise Him. Lots of struggle and hurt this year. My wish for this year is no matter what comes next with my health I will be brave and give all my worries and fears to the Lord. He is my  Hope and Father. source of life and love. I will be glad going into my thirties being active instead of having to rest and be isolated from so much pain. I pray if my pain comes back in year 30 I will graciously trust God will use my pain for him and not let me get bitterly isolated. In year thirty I want to be known as someone who reaches out to others to be the compassion of Christ. I want to be involved with my sweet church family to serve and love them in the good and bad times. May the lord equip me for following his direction. Wow. Year 29 has been rough. If the next year is rough I wanna wave my “Be Brave” bracelet and have my friend throwing Gods promises are so true and to not forget it. What are your goals, dear reader? A new week has come and a new month. What re things you want to work on? 

Scars

August 16, 2015

I didn’t plan on a lot of things this year. I definitely did not plan on having two surgeries 5 months apart. The first was St. Patrick’s Day. The red head awake on the operating room table for TWO hours because all my veins kept blowing. Then, the red and pink head last week who thankfully got a working vein prior to pre op, but it literally looked like a murder scene when my sweet nurses got the vein. I had to be mopped up, sheets had to be changed, lots and lots of blood. As both surgeries went in thru my tummy, I now am recovering with what looks like 5 gunshot wounds and huge bruises thanks to several injections I had to have in my belly too. I’m kind of a train wreck. But, in a way it’s cool. I have battle scars. I am a fighter. I have lived through a lot. These wounds and scars are a tiny glimpse of the severe and often debilitating pain I have lived with for years. They show I am broken and far from perfect. They remind me of my Good Shepherd Physician who has healed me on so many levels and who has sent me amazing doctors who continue to figure things out. 

My scars are a huge talking point for my nephew and niece. My precious babies have to constantly examine them and have made them sensitive to people who are hurting physically. The scars have helped teach these wee ones we can pray to God through Jesus Christ for healing and help. They are a reminder for me to pray for my sweet Dr. V who has become so important to me as he cares for all his patients. 

I joke about being scarred for life for being awake in an operating room for so long, because, well, it was traumatic. But now my tummy is scarred for life, but I’m thankful for it. What better reminder to see and feel these scars everyday and know that the Shepherd is faithful. He has carried me during this physically and emotionally weak time. He loves me. He cherishes me. He wants me. He has used this to prove I am his sheep and my eyes need to be on Him alone. The valleys of life are where the streams of water and growth are. I honestly find joy in these trials. No, not fun or even happiness every minute but joy. I like being able to laugh my head off even though it feels like my whole abdomen is going to rip apart. I love finding the humor of the situation and laughing at myself being more messed up at age 29 than my sweet, precious 89 year old roommate. I love seeing my sister use her nursing skills to compassionately serve me how ever I need, even with the very gross stuff…oh wait, I have watched her give birth:) I LOVE seeing my four year old nephew and two year old niece be sooooo gentle and concerned over me. My nephew telling me every day ” ok, auntie Katie, I have to take you for another walk so your tummy will feel better” melts my heart every time. Hearing all their prayers asking Christ to help me feel better brings me to tears. 

Of course, Christ is able to do all this without such extreme measures. But, I am glad he has chosen this path for me because I don’t think I would be able to see His glory as clear. I’m thankful for all the above examples of His grace. I just pray I use these times of trouble to glorify Him. The pain and exhaustion become hard to bear and I don’t want to lash out at people during those times. I also have to be in constant prayer about my panic attacks. I’ve struggled with panic disorder and severe anxiety over the years and sometimes I don’t understand what triggers it. But, when I do recognize a trigger, or am in the middle of an attack, I have to choose how I react. I try to reach out to others for prayer and saturate myself in scripture so I don’t lose sight that God is sovereign even when my brain seems to malfunction. 

Praise God for his promises and because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Please praise Him with me that I have not been nauseous at all in this post op time. This is a gigantic, enormous blessing. Last time around it was horrible. I have such a huge problem with nausea that I have been in total shock this time has been so different. Pray with me I continue to persevere thru the pain and healing process and that God would have mercy on me with some of my other health problems that have caused lots of pain this week as well. Also, for peace as I continue to wait for more test results on the pituitary gland problems to figure out treatment. 

Thankful

August 10, 2015

I am long overdue for a thankfulness post, especially after the last few days!

-Today, early in the morning, I had my appendix taken out. I was in shock. Went to the ER yesterday afternoon per doctor’s orders and ended up in the OR! Just as I was finally healing and getting strong after my last surgery in March, this was a major shock realizing I have to start over from square one with a whole new recovery. I am still laughing about it and so thankful for all my wise doctors, my sister dropping everything to care for me and my other family members caring for my sister’s family so she could be with me. My church family and friends who have encouraged and prayed over me and the whole goofy situation. 

-being home tonite with the pain controlled and being in my cozy bed. 

-God’s promises in Psalm 91 my sis read to me in pre-op. 

– my roomie and her daughter caring for me. 

-laughter over my dysfunctional body. 

-peace. Not the removal of hard times but knowing God is sovereign and working for my good. Knowing people all over the country have been approaching the throne of Grace on my behalf this week. 

-kind nurses. One who shares my birthday. I was so happy. 

-finally finding a good vein so I wouldn’t be awake on the operating table for two hours this time. And finding that correct vein making it look like a murder scene. Had to change my sheets. Lol!

– George from transport who transferred me from the ER to my room and then again to pre op. A brother in the Lord who was so fun to talk to and made me feel at ease that God was making me into a diamond and chipping away at the rough by pressure. 

-Charles Spurgeon wisdom. 

– moments of rest and focusing on the Shepherd and not panic attacks. 

– a 4 year old nephew and 2 year old niece as my biggest encouragers and prayer warriors. 

– my mommy. Always ready to laugh with me and support me. 

– Enjoyable fiction pointing me to Christ by my favorite authors. 

– did I mention a cozy bed?! 

– my diseased appendix found and taken out early enough to not cause major problems. 

– having my sis and bro and their fam here right now during my health probs. AND my BFF Candace is coming to town and so is my mom. God ordained this timing for amazing support and hilarious fun at just the right time to keep me encouraged and not isolated in pain. 

Thank you, Shepherd, for carrying me through the past two days of whirlwind uncertainty. I am certain you love me and know me by name. You carry me and care for me in ways I take for granted or don’t even care to acknowledge. I love you, Abba, and belong to you!


Living to thrive

My mission in life is not merely survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. ~ maya angelou

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