Tuesday, August 23, 2011

God Answers in BIG Ways

Like I said in my previous post it's hard to see God's plan for the "bad" situations we find ourselves in but it's truly amazing to look back and see how He had a plan for it all along. I had been praying for quite some time for God to put something in my life that forced me to rely on other people so that I may learn that independent doesn't always mean strong. I am one of those people that never asks for help even when I'm in desperate need of it but if I ever want to experience God's healing I have to let His people help me. My heart was growing harder every day I refused to accept love from others and I knew that no matter how hard it would be I needed to change. This was my prayer one night after I a long day of trying to be strong...

"I've hit emotional rock bottoms where I needed to rely on the strength and faith of other's to pull me through but Father I chose not to because I thought being strong meant doing it alone. I don't know if I'll ever choose to get help when I'm emotionally broken so I ask that You put something physical in my life and make it obvious to me that I can't overcome it alone. I just pray that somehow I learn to open myself up to the love You have to offer me..."

I didn't realize until I looked in my journal after getting out of the hospital that God answered my prayer in a HUGE way. What I had in mind when I prayed was that something like a fender bender would leave me without a car and I'd have to rely on others to get around or I'd lose my phone and have to use other people's phones if I needed to get ahold of someone. I never imagined I would find myself needing help to get out of bed and walk the few feet to the bathroom or having to press the call button to have the nurse get my phone when I dropped it on the floor. I had been in pain for a few days before I passed out but I refused to tell people or recognize it as a big deal becuse I didn't want to burden anyone with my problems. Though my mind refused to let others help me when the pain was unbearable, my body knew it couldn't keep up the fight and I passed out. God knew I wouldn't stop resisting until I physically couldn't do it anymore and He made it obvious that I had hit that physical rock bottom I had prayed for.

*On the days I forget how AMAZING God is all I have to do is look at the beauty of His creation. The vast and colorful skies remind me of how great His love is for me!*

I was forced to rely on others for nearly everything and though I hated asking people to do me favors it it  did get easier. I struggled with guilt after the hospital stay because I felt that I was the reason these people were missing out on bigger and more important things. I apologized to a few people for making them take time away from their lives to help me and all of them simply said something along the lines of, "You are worth every minute I spent helping you and I would do it all over again just to see that you're okay." This is what it took for me to realized that my friends, coaches, and mentors weren't staying at my bedside out of some obligation but they were doing it out of love for me and wanted to help me in whatever way they could. Now I just pray that I never forget the lessons God has taught me through this tough time and to always remember that I'm blessed to have so many people willing to drop everything and be there for me when I needed them the most.

1. Being independent doesn't mean I'm strong
2. Being strong doesn't mean I never need help 
3. Asking for help doesn't mean I'm weak.
4. I have LOTS of people who love and care about me
5. God answers prayers in BIG ways

5. and be careful what you pray for...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Home Stretch

After waiting four days to see a doctor about what caused my trip to the ER I finally had an answer. I did have a dermoid cyst that needed to be removed if I was going to get any better and the only way to remove it was surgery. I was scheduled for surgery the following morning and was planning for at least one night in the hospital recovering plus a week of no activity which isn't really my kind of week.

still smiling
They weren't sure if they would be able to do it laparoscopically, 3 or 4 small incisions, because the cyst was fairly large but they wanted to try because the other option, 5 inch incision cutting through my abdominal muscles, would require a much longer recovery. During pre-surgery I was poked four times including twice for blood and twice trying to get an IV. Thankfully they use lidocaine to do IVs so they're not that bad. According to my nurse my veins are some of the most difficult she's ever worked with and made a joke about how I would have a hard time if I tried being an IV drug user (which I don't plan on being EVER)! After all that was over, my friends were allowed back into the room and we watched shark week until I was drugged up and wheeled off to surgery.The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room FREEZING with a dull ache in my stomach that seemed to get sharper. Getting up for the first few times felt like I was getting stabbed in the gut by a knife and it was excruciating plus I was annoyed that I had to get help to unplug from from all the monitors before I could get up but it got easier.

Finally, after a long night of compression boots and a blood pressure cuff waking me up every 15 minutes, the doctor retold me how everything went (he told me when I was in the recovery room and I don't recall any of it) and said I would probably be able to go home so long as my pulse and temperature went down (my pulse never went below 130 which kind of freaked the doctors out considering my resting is normally around 60). Around noon my pulse had gone down some and they thought letting me go may relieve some stress and in turn lower it further. So I was discharged in time for lunch and went straight from the hospital to Qdoba (all I had for a day and a half was 3 crackers and some strawberries).

I'm now on the home stretch a week out from surgery and can start running again tomorrow. Sometimes it's hard to see how all of this could be for my own good (other than getting out of preseason running and 3 a days) but I know God has a plan through all of this and He is reveling it to me slowly (which I'll save for another post). For now I'm just grateful that all of this is resolved and hopefully I won't have to deal with it again.

*and just to keep the tally going I had been poked a total of 9 times before leaving the hospital*