Fixer Upper

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I struggled this year to overcome the “sick girl” persona that my diagnosis labeled me. There are many things that having a chronic illness makes incredibly difficult and finding a job was one of them. But God has truly given me a peace that passes all understanding. I’m learning that he has equipped me with a different purpose. I believe my purpose right now is to help people who are physically suffering – whether that be through tangible ways, my writing, or just being a friend to those who are written off and ignored due to their disease(s). This has become my humble calling, my ministry, and it is a beautiful journey.

Just when I think I’m starting to shed some of that “sick girl” persona, I found myself back at the doctor for more tests. This week I went to my OBGYN as a result of months of unexplained pain on my lower right side along with abnormal bleeding and other symptoms that were very unusual for me.

After an ultrasound, my doctor called me back before I had even gotten home. I have a large fibroid tumor on my uterus. It is 5x5x5 cm! The doctor thinks it may be benign, but we won’t know for sure until it is biopsied. I am not a candidate to try and shrink it with hormone therapy because of Lyme, since it is an autoimmune disease and could make many of my symptoms much worse. After going over my history, my OBGYN advised me to have a hysterectomy because I have had precancerous cells on my cervix so there is no reason to keep it, either. So, that basically means I will get everything out but not my ovaries to avoid early menopause. Sorry if this is TMI for a blog but you know… it is what it is.

I had to quietly wrestle with this decision a little bit even though we have said our family is complete. I have wanted more children, but we have tried and failed and now we know what the problem was… at least for the last few years anyway. My doctor thinks the tumor was growing since 2011 since I’ve been having similar issues since then. Awesome.

I guess it’s the finality of it that punches. The “this is it” that is the hardest part to swallow. The decision is being made for me, in a way. There won’t be any more months where I think, “just maybe.” Nope. This would make it forever. I won’t be able to have anymore babies. Ever. It takes my breath away a little. “My plan” was always lots of babies and lots of animals, possibly in a big farm house someday.

Basically, just imagine Chip and JoAnna Gaines life from Fixer Upper.

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I’m a tad bit obsessed with that show… (click link to see 28 signs you’re a Fixer Upper addict) 🙂

I’m all of these, but to be fair, I did most of these things before the show. Almost 20 years ago, I was putting broken windows on my walls in college and I even bought a pulpit that came out of Baptist church from the late 1800’s, just because I thought it had “character.” So maybe I’ve always been an antique junkie at heart. But, I have a soft spot in my heart for Waco because that’s where my dad was born and raised, where my grandparents and cousins live(d), and where I spent family holidays as a child. The show has revived my desire for a slower paced life, a big family, and maybe even goats.

I love the idea of something old, forgotten, and tossed out being given new life, repurposed, and loved again. I think that’s why I love Fixer Upper so much. They take the least loved home and make it the most beautiful and envied house on the street – maybe in the entire neighborhood. Some of the homes should be condemned and within a month, it’s the most gorgeous house you’ve ever seen! By the end of the show, you are seriously considering moving to Waco, Texas just to have Chip and JoJo create that dream house you’ve been fantasizing about since you started watching the show! (You know you do it!) And that’s not just with houses. Jo takes old pieces of furniture or broken wood that most would throw away, and makes it an amazing centerpiece of the home.

Beautiful redemption. Beauty from ashes. Life from certain death.

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Isn’t this a picture of what life is all about? To love the least of these? Make the most from awful situations? Care for the desperate and the outcast? Love the unloveable?

This is what God does for us and what he calls us to do.

You make beautiful things.

You make beautiful things out of dust.

You make beautiful things.

You make beautiful things out of us.

-Gungor

I think I can still have that farmhouse life someday, but the kids just won’t all be from my uterus. (And I’m not so sure Ryan will let me have goats.)

So much for shedding my sick girl persona. I am currently spending the day researching ablation procedures, mylomectomy surgeries, and hysterectomies.

Not what I pictured doing at age 36, but I am learning to embrace it and love this sick girl within, because this is who I am right now. God is using this season of my life to help others. My God is with me even in the “before picture” but I can’t wait to see the “after.” He uses every mess and every trauma for His glory. So, what’s one more pain, one more illness, or one more surgery, but more reasons to lean on him and give others the hope that I have?

After all, aren’t we all just fixer uppers?

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:21-26

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