I hope everyone has been doing well this summer. Lots has happened since I last wrote and I’m gonna just give you a quick highlight.
We. Got. A. Chick!!!! I know, how crazy is my husband? But I have fallen in love with her, she is the sweetest little thing and the girls have so much fun chasing her around! I really feel we are suburban farming over here 😉 and we love it.
Outside of that, I’ve had a rough summer. Some days I feel healed, whole, new – then others I wonder if I need to head to the hospital. It’s maddening, really. Have never struggled so much in discerning what is worthy of concern and what isn’t. I almost feel like a feather in the wind, being tossed about my circumstances and symptoms … not knowing or understanding where to land or what to do. And that is not the life I have led, up until now.
In fact, most of my life I had dreams. Dreams bigger than anything I would ever deserve … but I had them and they always provided hope. I believed the Lord had a plan in this suffering, even when the “suffering” wasn’t as hard as it is now. I believed He was weaving purpose through all of it and in my dreams, I saw that purpose shining through.
Since the month-long hospital stay, however, I have been scared to dream. A good day will happen and I’ll talk to Eddy about our next trip, maybe speaking at a few churches that have invited me, blogging, decorating … opening my own home-decor shop.
Yes, I’ll dream big on those days and feel so excited for the future. Then a bad one will hit and I’ll remind myself that this is the new dream. Surviving.
Eddy and I haven’t done much since March, except hold our breath. We’ve stayed home, swam and played with animals. That is all we’ve done, to be honest with you. If you’ve followed us for a while, you know that we also love to travel. Every year I pick which cake shows I want to attend and plan one big trip for us to take together. Always on our anniversary. That is our thing.
But this year, my heart and mind are terrified to go anywhere or do anything. Eddy has seen me squirm lately, feel uneasy and needing to experience life again … So this he took me to Magnolia Market in Waco, Texas. A home-decorating enthusiast’s idea of a PERFECT day!
It was splendid and I felt fine most of the time. I became weak about 2pm, but felt okay when we returned home. Then evening came, along with burning sensations over my body and loud fears screaming at my heart — “I can’t believe I did this! Leave home!! What was I thinking?”
Side note: the burning sensation was a symptom of the terrible infections I was getting since February, the ones where my body resisted most antibiotics. The ones that made me fear for my very life … and to have that sensation Saturday night, after a beautiful day with my husband, broke my heart.
But thank God Edward is a calm man. He insisted my body overdid it, I needed rest and sleep … if the sensations persisted in the morning, we will address it. Thank you Jesus, I didn’t have them the next morning and Eddy was right.
All day yesterday, however, my inner-thoughts and heart broke down. I still feared the infection was returning … I still hated that I allowed myself to think I was well enough for a day trip … I still hated that all of this ever happened and asked God will I ever be the same again?
At Magnolia, Eddy and I were around the beautiful store. I just loved looking at every detail of the property, all the sweet decorations and beautiful Joanna-touches … it felt dreamy, fun and inspiring. Then out of nowhere, he grabbed my arm and pulled me to a wall of Jimmy Don signs (referencing Fixer Upper here ;)) and pointed to this huge white one with the most perfect quote:
I am not afraid. I was made for this. – Joan of Arc
Tears filled my eyes as I read, because I certainly didn’t feel brave … but Eddy told me in that moment – “That’s you, baby. I’m getting that.”
So we left with it and I’ve done nothing but read about Joan of Arc since. Embarrassingly I admit I didn’t really know her true role in the war, but am in awe that such a young woman felt incredible courage to lead men and save her country.
Yet after reading the history, I started to feel confused by what Eddy thinks of when he thinks of me and her … because I’m no hero. I’m just a survivor, not a hero.
He fought with those feelings all Sunday … and I’m gonna paraphrase here:
You are the most extraordinary person I have ever known and most people would ever know. You are a hero … you’re my hero. You face more challenges in one day than most will face in their entire life, and you face them with courage. That makes you all of our hero.
Okay. I can’t even remember these words without bawling my eyes out! 🙂 I truly feel unworthy of such sentiments … but secretly relieved this is what people see, or at least what my husband sees.
Thinking about this life, I agree that many would not be able to bear it. It’s been terrible, since the beginning – lol! Hey, I’m just being honest … I would add, however, that I certainly am not able to bear it either … not without the grace and compassion of my Lord.
I’m no hero. He is.
So I can relate to Joan on this: I was made for this cross. I was put-together in a way to survive, and at moments even thrive … so Christ would receive all the glory in everything I do.
Years ago I was on television, and Larry (the producer) asked me a zillion questions about life. Easy ones and tough ones, some leading me to tears … But the one question I will never forget:
“In what ways does God strengthen you?”
This stumped me, because my mind raced thinking: “Hello, every way!!!” But I answered more calmly and said something like:
“He strengthens everything I do. It could look like me going to school for my Master’s Degree, driving, having lunch with my friends … He even gives me the strength to even answer these questions. Taking a walk with my dog …
He embodies all that I do.”
Joan felt the same way. She knew God placed an impossible dream in her heart, one that would be fulfilled because HE would be the one to fulfill it … and she was not afraid, because she was made for it.
Maybe that’s what Edward sees. Maybe he sees that I was made for this life, and I need to be fearless. because the God who gave me those dreams, will empower them … and bring Him glory.
So I’m going to keep dreaming big and believe that I was made for this.