Tag: God

Broken

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In Japan, there’s a term called “Kintsukoroi”; it refers to broken objects which are repaired with gold. This way, the flaw is seen as a unique attribute to its history and adds to its beauty.

Shortly after my first surgery, when my small intestine was removed and I was told I would never eat or drink again, I was in ICU and my mom was there visiting. I was obviously processing this grim news and spent most of my waking hours in tears. I was broken in every sense of the word. My mom took me in her arms, as much as she could being that I was attached to multiple IVs and oxygen, and with her head next to mine she whispered to me that she would take me broken over not having me at all.

Although these words comfort me on a daily basis, it still hurts my heart. I’m broken. I have pieces missing. And no matter how far I may come with medications or surgeries, I will forever have the scars that remind me that I am and forever will be broken.

But really, who isn’t broken in one way or another?

I love the idea, however, that maybe this brokenness can make me more beautiful. That gold can be added to these cracks and scars. Who doesn’t like to add a little bling to their life?

Ok, physically I’m not a fan of the scars that have been left on my body. But I have noticed how my being broken has changed me in other ways. I don’t get offended easily – it’s not worth the energy that it uses up. I make sure to spend some quality time with friends and family and I get family photos any chance I can. I’m more patient now. I’ve learned sympathy is a great asset to have. I’m slowly outlining my scars with gold. Making my brokenness beautiful with things I may not have had in my life if my life didn’t take this turn.

I woke up from a dream last week full on sobbing and I whispered “Jesus, I’m too broken. I need you to carry me.” I don’t remember what the dream was, but I’ve been hanging on to those words all week. “I’m too broken. Carry me.”

I’ll never get through this on my own strength. I’ve had to rely on family, friends and my church. Now I really need to let Jesus carry me for the time being and let more gold fill in the broken parts of me.

kintsukuroi

 

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I hurt, God hurts

Something I’ve noticed while walking through this journey over the past few months is that certain people seem to get really unsure around someone who is going through a painful or challenging experience. An experience that someone has never gone through – something that to them is unimaginable often brings out the awkwardness and uncertainty. What does one say to someone during these times?

The majority of people are Encouragers: “Keep your chin up”, “You’re so strong – you can do this”, or “God will pull you through this”. We also have the Silver Liners: “At least it’s not cancer, a heart attack, or insert some horrible ailment that they believe is worse here”. There are the Fixers: “I know someone who went through something similar – they did this and were healed”, “This diet will fix you”, or “Exercise, exercise, exercise!” And, since I’ve always been a straight shooter this last group is my personal favourite – the Realists: “This sucks – but I’ll be here for you and hold your hand”. They allow you to cry it out, and perhaps they even cry alongside you.

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Everyone means well. I really believe they do, but sometimes it’s better to not say anything (in my opinion) than to fill the conversation with awkward niceties because you don’t really know what else to say. One thing you can do is just ask what they need from you. It’s such a simple thing, and if they’re comfortable with you, they’ll tell you.

One of the things that was said to me often that made me upset) was “God is putting you through this for a reason, He’s testing you”. Telling someone this while they are in the midst of fighting for their life is a HUGE slap in the face. HUGE! I 100% do not believe God did this to me. This isn’t to say that I don’t think God will put tests in people’s lives, but there’s a difference between going through a patch of financial difficulty to learn to rely on God and literally being on your death bed. That being said, I still struggle with wondering why God didn’t stop this all from happening. I’m sure I’ll struggle with that one for a while.

I had an old friend message me while I was in the hospital and he brought a different perspective that was beyond encouraging. He said:

I just want you to know that God loves you as much now as He ever has, and the depth of that love is unimaginable. And every time we feel pain, or weak, or frustrated, or depressed, that God sees that and it breaks His heart and He suffers alongside us.

This! This made me think of how I would react if my own girl was hurting or how my parents were feeling while I was laying there in a hospital bed. When your kid hurts, you hurt. When you hurt, God hurts. When I hurt, God hurts.

One last thing I want to share with you today – I remember one night, early on in my hospital stay when my family had gone home for the evening and I was on my own. I was feeling so alone and so scared. I don’t know if it was a dream, a vision, or whatever you want to call it, but I saw/felt God holding me. He was holding me in His arms like I would hold my baby girl. It brought me so much comfort at the time – truth be told, it still does! I knew He was there and that He was caring for me the way I needed in that moment.

When I hurt, God hurts.

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but God…

Before I get deep into my first blog post, let me summarize for you what happened to me 10 months ago. In April 2015, after a couple trips to the emergency room, I was rushed in emergency surgery after becoming tachycardic and showing signs of major abdominal pain. After my first surgery, they had removed the majority of my small intestine, disconnected my esophagus from my stomach and my stomach from the remainder of my intestines. When I woke up from sedation, two days later, the surgeon told me that I would never eat or drink again and that my quality of life was going to be severely diminished. After a few more days, I still was unstable, and so I transferred to another hospital where there was a gastro specialist. 6 days after my first surgery, I showed no signs of improvement and underwent a second surgery. The remainder of my small intestine had continued to die and the surgery resulted in them having to remove the rest of it along with one-third of my large intestine. Although the first surgeon was wrong and I can eat and drink, I can’t absorb any nutrients and I now face a life of living with IV nutrition, deficiencies and constant exhaustion.

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  –Genesis 50:20

This verse has been what’s gotten me through, day by day, for months now. I still have no clue why this happened to me. I still have my “why me” days, and I’m sure I will for a long time to come. I don’t believe that God caused this to happen to me and I don’t think this “happened for a reason” — and in fact I get insulted when people argue with me on that point. I think this is one of the many moments in life that you just have to say “crap happens”. I do however believe that God saved me. The doctors themselves are baffled that I have survived this. And I hope that because it did happen, that it can be used for good – that my pain is not in vain (whatever that may look like).

Those two words “but God” are a turning point in the verse I quoted above. They represent hope that God can take this horrible situation and use it for good. Use it to help someone else. The hope that I find in this verse is what gets me through my painful mornings and helps me get to the end of my beyond exhausting days. Without hope, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the mornings. I would be drowning in despair. I would not be able to do this without my faith in God and the hope that things will get better.

I definitely still have rough days, quite often actually. But when I have good days, I make sure to make the best of them. I try and stay positive, but I allow myself to have my negative days where I throw fits and yell at God. Eventually the reality of it all will become normal and my rough days will be fewer and farther between as time goes on and with God’s help.

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