Yes, that title is spelled correctly and yes, I chose to use it because I thought it sounded cool. But it’s actually relevant too. It’s Latin for “in the midst of things” and that is precisely when (or where) this whole blog shindig is starting.
For the record, I’m writing this mainly for my own benefit. I am in the middle of the most challenging thing I’ve ever experienced and I want to look back and recognize what Jesus has done. It’s ridiculously cool to write and revisit and count the ways He’s showed up. It’s freaking awesome. And encouraging. And I need that encouragement.
But sometimes other people need that encouragement too and that’s the other side to my motivation–that whoever scrolls through my mildly disjointed blurbs might take something away from them. Not because I’ve got this whole “hardship” thing locked down but because I’m stumbling through it and Jesus in his ferocious love keeps helping me on. And by “helping” I mean fully holding me up by my hands like a baby learning how to walk because I am entirely incapable of standing up under this on my own.
Here’s the deal.
I’m 21, on the verge of a B.A. in English from Vanguard University and currently employed at my dream job as a K-8th grade music director at an incredible church in Costa Mesa. And every plan I ever had for my future is falling apart.
In October of last year I was diagnosed with endometriosis, a common and often misdiagnosed female disease in which the lining of the uterus grows beyond the uterus throughout the pelvic cavity causing abnormally painful periods, the growth of cysts, and sometimes infertility. When my pain became a near-daily experience I got surgery to remove the growths that were causing my symptoms. This procedure had been reported to provide immediate relief of pain symptoms in patients.
It did no such thing for me. In the five months since my surgery, my pain has literally doubled and is now with me every single day, leaving me to take multiple doses of heavy pain killers every single day.
After three months of this incessant discomfort, I became angry at God. It had already been a rough year or two leading up to these health issues–and that’s a whole other bag of marbles–and I was pissed that that “hadn’t been enough for Him.”
I was exhausted, disheartened, and broken and I threw it back at Jesus like it was his fault.
The way He loves me blows my mind. As I pouted and asked him over and over when I would finally catch a break, He slowly softened my heart. It soon became clear to me that I had to move to Sacramento–my parents and my new, incredible doctor live in that area–and leave my job and my friends and all my plans behind. “This is the rest you’ve been asking for,” He kept whispering over and over again.
In Sacramento I will receive another surgery. My doctor is extremely hopeful that this will help me significantly. After that, I will be living in my parents’ home where my mother can care for me and I can finally heal and become fully functional again.
It’s an undeniable Jesus thing and I am so excited to see what He’s going to do with this.
But I’m also really scared and really sad. I’m afraid of being alone and losing my friends and never finding relief from pain. And as I watch literally all of my friends get engaged (I kid you not, I am in four weddings this year), I am afraid I will never find love. My deepest desire is to be married and make a family and with my disease I might be facing infertility. And worse yet, what if my pain only gets worse, despite another surgery, and I am faced with the decision to remove my uterus before I’m even able to try to procreate?
These thoughts break me.
Most of the time I’ve got a pretty good attitude about my chronic pain and the complete derailing of all of my plans. But sometimes I lose it. Sometimes I slump sobbing into a chair asking God why I trust Him when He’s letting this happen to me.
But every time He meets me where I’m at and shows me His crazy immense love.
I have nothing. I am nothing. I have no idea what my life is going to look like. Right now every day is navigating pain and trust. I so badly want the pain to be gone, but I can say with confidence that Jesus will not and has not let this go to waste. I know beyond any doubt He has the best in mind for me and He is carrying me through each day and every time I choose Him in the midst of this I’m growing more and more into who He’s made me to be. It is the most wild thing I have ever experienced in my life. And the hardest. And the scariest. And the most emotional. And the most gut-wrenchingly painful.
But I am thankful. Because I see Him in my life like I never have before.
That’s why I’ve chosen to record this. The title of this blog comes from Romans 8:28: “We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
Notice the word “everything” and not only “good” but also “beautiful.” Oh and don’t forget “according to His plan,” not ours.
I am so happy I’m not in control.