I’m sick of pretty.
More and more lately I feel like our society is trading authenticity for aestheticism. Like we only share the things that pass a certain set of tests.
Is it neutral?
Is it clean?
Is it current?
Is it attractive?
Will people like this?
I’ve been guilty of it and it makes me nauseous. I had a whole different version of this post already published to this site and it didn’t feel right. I had watered it down and dressed it up. A little polished, a little prettied. It was honest enough, but it wasn’t really real this time.
So I booted it. And I don’t care. Welcome to my first act of creative rebellion. (That sounded cool didn’t it?)
Here’s the reality:
Missing an ovary sucks. The transition is jarring. Over the last two months, my hormones have plummeted and skyrocketed like they’re on some Six Flags coaster and it’s really messed me up. I stopped feeling like myself, I became super apathetic, and I basically threw in the towel. If my pain tolerance is substantial, my brain tolerance is somewhere in the negatives. (See what I did there? Dad jokes forever.)
*Uses humor to mask fear, pain, etc.*
After all these incredible things that have happened–after all the things I’ve seen God do in my life through this disease, you’d think I’d have a more steady handle on things when they take a dive. Please do not be fooled. I am a gigantic work in progress.
This new “season of challenges” made me straight crumble for a solid month. Almost immediately. I mean I have nooooooooo idea what to do with the fact that these days I can cry about almost anything. And I can’t wake up in the morning. Oh, and acne. Rampant acne. There’s not one thing I like about this and there’s no quick fix.
Instead of learning from the last round of miracles I watched God dish out, this time I turned inward and flicked auto-pilot on and adopted all of my classic and unhealthy ways of dealing.
So I took a break from the worship team, I stopped wanting to hang with people, and I watched way too much Scooby-Doo. You heard me. 23 and using Scooby-Doo as a coping method. Cute.
Anyway, I pretty much said “not right now” to Jesus for a month. I didn’t want to talk. I was tired, scared, probably upset. This last surgery had me feeling pretty good for a couple months. I chalked it up as the end of this thing.
“Well, that was a nice growing experience,” I smiled and walked off into the sunset.
I kept some distance for almost two months–from Jesus and a lot of people. And I genuinely believe it was the hardest and most hopeless two months of this thing. Work was crazy on top of it and Heidi and I were fighting a ton.
“Not now, Jesus.”
I think I assumed it would pass–that magically my body would even itself out, I’d reclaim my excitement for things, and I’d get social again and show up for Jesus too. Like I’d suddenly crave waking up early to read my Bible and be disciplined.
But it doesn’t work like that.
And as this weird time of apathy dragged on, one of the lies I had started to take to heart was that God couldn’t use my story anymore. In my silence I began to believe I had really done it this time–that I had effectively wiped out any redeemable pieces of these last two years in this wave of self-sufficient stubbornness and blatant ignorance.
Within like one or two weeks of feeling this way, all these things happened:
- My old mentor reached out and told me her brother-in-law, a youth pastor, had just heard some of his students were reading my blog. And they were really encouraged by it.
- A girl I had never met before reached out to me on Instagram saying the same thing.
- A friend from church connected me with a girl even younger than me who was just diagnosed with endometriosis and a couple weeks out from her first surgery to combat it. We even got together, laughed, commiserated, and decided to celebrate healing (because it will happen one way or another) with an adventure in the future.
- Then my boyfriend (another wildly unexpected and insane act of prayers-answered) got the news he was going to be able to move closer to me.
I was knocked square over the head. Here was Jesus being faithful despite my blatant refusal to acknowledge Him. Are you kidding me?
So I finally dragged myself out of my soul-cave and forced myself to listen to worship music. (Highly suggest this by the way. Who cares if it’s forced. Just do it. Worship music has super-powers. Maybe because it straight kicks your heart in the butt.)
Within 5 minutes I was bawling like a sissy in my car and Jesus was touching down like lightning.
“I have not left you. I never will. And I am not done with you yet.”
It felt a lot like that first breath after being under water for too long.
It’s the same old story. God is insanely and unbelievably good–despite my habitual failings and forgetfulness and downright ignorance. For whatever reason He hasn’t given up on me and He won’t any time soon.
I’m back to waking up in pain every day again. Four surgeries dealt me a fun dose of scar tissue that now acts like a demon-bungee cord in my pelvis whenever I cross the length of my house. Or sit down. Or wake up. And sometimes the pain stretches over to my left side. Which is the most scary–because that side has to stay good. It has to.
Even though choosing trust and surrender should be the easiest thing since microwave dinner, I’m fickle and skittish and quick to be downright stupid. I’m human. I’m still rocked by fear. Still in dire need of training-wheels.
The crazy part is Jesus knew that when He said “I love you” first and He said it anyway.
It will never ever make sense to me. But it’s real. And He’s still showing up.
“But He poured His grace over me, and I was flooded in an abundance of the grace and faith and love that can only be found in Jesus the Anointed.
Here’s a statement worthy of trust: Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, came into the world to save sinners, and I am the worst of them all. But it is for this reason I was given mercy: by displaying His perfect patience in me, the very worst of all sinners, Jesus the Anointed could show that patience to all who would believe in Him and gain eternal life. May the King eternal, immortal, and invisible—the one and only God—now be honored and glorified forever and ever. Amen.”
1 Timothy 1:14-17 (The Voice)