It’s been a long time.
Like I noted in my last post, after September my body finally began to go through the throws of operating on only one ovary. My hormones took a steep nose-dive. I went from fine to apathetic and melancholy.
It was tough. And it got tougher.
I pretty much bottomed out.
Throughout the last three months, I found myself slipping in and out of waves of feeling dead and numb and hopeless. Nothing sounded good. Everything felt scary. And I wasn’t at all myself.
(Hormones are a real and serious bear.)
And naturally, the worse my symptoms got, the less I talked to Jesus. I resisted more, feared more, rolled-over more, day by day. Because “I was tired,” “work was tough,” and “I didn’t really have time.”
So there I was walking into a season of celebration, counting down to marriage, and this stupid thing was wrecking me. Even the pain began to creep back. And this time on the left side of my pelvis. Which is my good side. Which really made me want to hit the panic button.
After my last surgery in June, my doctor suggested I monitor my egg count every six months or so to be safe. The start of the new year just so happened to be testing time.
They say testing the levels of a certain hormone (AMH) in a female’s blood during a certain small window of her cycle can give an indication of her egg count. It’s a common-enough test that it comes with an explanatory chart with target levels per age range. It’s easy. You get your magic number, you find it on the chart and you go from there.
A week after testing, I found my number wasn’t so magical.
In fact, it was less than half the target number for women over 50.
Unsettling? Yeah, it’s not great.
When it hit me, I rolled into a ball and cried about it. Let me say, I’m blessed beyond what I can articulate, having a man like Trev by my side. He’s an immense support and encouragement to me—even when his jokes are lame and poorly-timed. If it turns out my number isn’t some fluke, if it means what it says, I will never feel that I am even a little bit disappointing or that I’m any less valuable. That’s a big deal. (Sidenote: I wrote Nice to Meet You two weeks before I re-met Trev. Sort of crazy. Just saying.)
Anyway, I drove home that night with that number on my mind. It’s a strange thing watching your deepest desires and your biggest fears smash into each other all at once. A crappy feeling, really.
But Jesus has this habit of blasting light in dark places.
I came home to a note on my bathroom sink. It was from my sister. And it was no coincidence:
I was just praying Blessings over you + your hubs + your future + your babies + wanted to share this with you…
“When you see what I have in store, it will ease your mind + lift your heart; you will flourish like the grass! The Eternal’s power will be clearly evident to His servants.”
(from Isaiah 66:14 – The Voice)
Guys. Come on.
Here was Jesus again—busting down doors to get to me. Storming the scene with that particular and radical love. Just like two years ago. Just like this entire story. Just like He is.
And what really brought me to my knees was the reality that this time I was so out of touch with Him. I was playing my silent-and-in-fear game. The one where I hide like a roley-poley at any hint of uncertainty. And just plain act like an idiot. You would think I’d have learned by now. That God’s immense care and pursuit through chronic pain, four surgeries, and a cancer scare would have cured me of self-reliance for life.
Boy oh boy am I human. One of the extra-fickle ones.
Still, He shows up.
And of course, it didn’t stop there. The next day Jesus made noise again. Even louder.
It was Sunday morning and Trev and I were greeted in the doorway of our new church by a sweet red-haired woman. She shook our hands and noted our names and told us there was going to be an accordion in the band today.
I smiled big to sell my phony excitement. I told the next usher I was doing well too, even though I wasn’t—because I had decided the truth was a drag. And I was new there so nobody would know any different.
As we transitioned into worship, I was relieved to find myself removed. Worship is how I best connect with God. I feel like it drops me square at His feet—so when I’m tired and afraid and feeling like a failure, it’s an emotional place to be.
And we all know how I feel about that.
So I stiffened-up and stayed cozy and stoic.
But then one of the guys on the worship team grabbed that stinkin accordion. With the rest of the band quiet, he pulled air into its weird, boxy lungs and gave life to the first notes. And as they swelled into being, I recognized them immediately.
I pulled my watery stare up into the rafters and in my mind yelled at God.
What are You doing?
It was, of course, the only song on the planet that could have dissolved my composure so quickly. An old hymn reworked by King’s Kaleidoscope. One I had known and loved for years, but had never hit dead-on until that moment.
“Come Thou Fount”
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy unchanging love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the throne of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
It’s a song about a dissonant soul caught dead in an onslaught of grace, a prayer for a heart re-tuning, a humble recognition of mercy unceasing and God’s stop-at-nothing resolve to bring us home. And in that moment, it read like a massive, cosmic love note: “I’m not done yet.”
It was another lightning thing from Jesus. There’s no denying that.
I don’t know why He’s doing this. Simple math would say He should have walked by now.
But I’m starting to get the feeling that my inexcusable tendency towards choking on fear and self-reliance shines a billion-watt floodlight on God’s ever-present pursuit.
So I’m here to broadcast.
Because I believe what Isaiah 55:9-11 says. That God’s ways are far beyond ours—and that His words do not fall without accomplishing what He intends. I believe what Romans 8:28 says. That God can and will make everything into something good and beautiful when we say yes to Him. And I believe what Philippians 1:6 says.
That He will finish what He started.
Fun fact: He’s writing this same thing to all of us. It’s not a message sent only to church-goers or to the instagrammers with the perfect “Bible + coffee + Jesus” pic. It’s not even limited to those with the most radical testimonies.
It’s just here, relentless and real-life. For us and after us because He loves us.
So much so, that He will plop us in front of floor-to-ceiling speakers, crank the volume to ten, and hit “play” even when we’re content to be deaf.