chronic illnessfaith

Letting Go

I first learned of the concept of “a new kind of normal” at a Women of Faith conference several years ago. A speaker said something along of the lines of “Sometimes things happen in life – sometimes they are good and sometimes they aren’t. We can’t go back in change it instead we must move forward. In turn, we must find a new kind of normal.” It truly resonated with me and has been my life’s goal since my illness diagnosis which took place almost eight years ago.

But the thing is, I’m not there yet. This blog has wore the  name “A New Kind of Normal” for almost 4 years but honestly I don’t quite have a grip on it yet. I still catch myself looking over my shoulder longing for the old me. The healthy me. The me that still had hopes of running a marathon and sporting a cute baby belly. The me that no longer exists. The trained counselor in me recognizes my loss and realizes that I will still experience sudden temporary upsurges of grief (aka STUGS – take that Dr. D!) The perfectionist in me wants all of that to be behind me permanently. The realist in me knows that its just something I’ve got to come to terms with.

Honestly, I’m ok with the grief part of it. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of fertility. I know there will be days where I will mourn my loss of health.

What I’m not ok with is my longing to be the old me. The thought that if I can just get back to this or do that like I used to, I will be ok. I want to be rid of that. I want to be rid of the guilt of not being able to do everything I think I should be able to do. The guilt that somehow I am letting my family down by not being healthy like I once was. I want to be rid of the shame that I am sick and that sometimes I have to say no and that sometimes I have to cancel plans. I did nothing to cause my illness and honestly nothing short of a miracle cure is going to take it away so I know that I have no reason to feel guilty or ashamed. I know that but I just don’t feel that.

The new me is something I should still be proud of. I may have lost my ability to run a marathon but instead I’ve gained a heart of compassion. I may not have a rock hard body like I’ve always dreamed of but I have a body that hasn’t given up on me yet (and have managed to lose and keep off 35lbs!). I may not be a social butterfly and live it up on the town but instead I have gained meaningful and cherished relationships with others experiencing chronic illness through the magic of social media. I may not have gotten to experience pregnancy but now I have the opportunity to provide support and encouragement to those who are traveling a similar journey.

So this is me letting go of the old me and embracing the new me and my new normal:

It is not how I would have planned it but every day is a new gift and a new adventure and when I think of all of the good that God has created out of a desperate situation, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Women Online

This post was written as a part of the SITS Letting Go Series over the Women on the Move Channel! If you are looking for motivation or inspiration, definitely check it out and link up! You can follow the Letting Go discussion on twitter using the #SITSLettingGo hashtag!


Friday Words of Faith: 2 Years Ago

2 years ago I found myself in a dark place.

2 years ago my heart was shattered into a million pieces.

2 years ago I felt that my dream of motherhood would never come true.

2 years ago I honestly wasn’t sure if I could love again.

I was hurt. I was angry. I was grieving. I was bitter. I had every emotion possible circulating through my body. This time two years ago I was still reeling from our loss of Mia. It was a pain like I had never experienced. My faith was put to the test. How could a God of Love allow such hurt? Was this His plan or her choice?

My instincts were to shut down. Cut everyone off who had the potential to hurt me, including God. I just didn’t understand how He could bring good out of such a painful and dark situation.

But He did.

It would take 6 weeks but little did we know that His glory would be revealed on April 30th when we were matched with our miracle Abby. It was so hard to stay optimistic during our wait but we clung to His promise of hope and on June 22, 2009 we brought our little girl home and our family became whole.

We will never forget Mia as she is forever in our hearts wherever she is and thankful that she helped to teach us that even when things aren’t what that should be or what we had planned, that our God is always in control and one day we will taste the sweetness of the plans He has for us.

Our God in In Control by Steven Curtis Chapman

This is not how it should be
This is not how it could be
This is how it is
And our God is in control

This is not how it will be
When we finally will see
We’ll see with our own eyes
He was always in control

And we’ll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we’ll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we’re waiting for that day

This is not where we planned to be
When we started this journey
But this is where we are
And our God is in control

Though this first taste is bitter
There will be sweetness forever
When we finally taste and see
That our God is in control

And we’ll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
And we will finally really understand what it means
So we’ll sing holy, holy, holy is our God
While we’re waiting for that day

We’re waiting for that day
We’ll keep on waiting for that day
And we will rise
Our God is in control




The Easy Way: A Letter to Abby

Dearest Abby,

Last week was an emotional week for your mama. I was told to be thankful that I got to become a mom the “easy way” since adoption is clearly much easier than pregnancy.

This comment brought up all kinds of emotions. First, there was the shock than anyone would have the nerve to say such a thing to begin with. Second, there was anger. I was crying I was so angry. This person was blessed with her 3rd pregnancy in 3 years and she had the nerve to state that I was the lucky one? I never got to see the 2nd line pop up on a pregnancy test. I never got to see the flicker of your heartbeat for the first time. I never got to feel life within me grow and I am supposed to be thankful and GRATEFUL for this? Third, I was hurt. Incredibly hurt. Grief welled up inside me and no longer were my tears of anger but of mourning.  I mourned the years of infertility and my hysterectomy that made it impossible to carry life. I mourned our two failed placements in the adoption process. I thought of Mia and wondered where she was and prayed that she was happy and healthy. It is becoming harder to picture her face but her loss in ingrained in my heart.

I also thought back to those eight long weeks we waited for you to come home. With every ring of the phone, I feared bad news. I wanted you so bad – more than words can express – but I was terrified with every fiber of my being to become attached to you only to be taken away. It was only when they placed you in my arms on June 22 that I could breathe a sign of relief and completely and hopelessly fall in love with you (which I think took a matter of 30 seconds). All of this was considered taking the “easy way.”

I carried this around for hours waiting for the work day to end so that I could come home to you and to Daddy. And it was when I opened the door and you ran to me with open arms and a huge smile that I realized that you are worth it all. Every hug and kiss was a reminder of the gift that I had been given. No one asks to go through pain and heartache but when there is something as wonderful and special as you waiting at the end of it, how could I complain?

I would go through it all again if it meant becoming your mommy.  I will still have my moments of sadness but please understand that just because you were not born from my body doesn’t mean that I love you any less or value you any less or would ever wish for another child. I only wish that I could have carried YOU.

You are my amazing and special girl. You have taught me more about life, love, and faith in the last 21 months that I have learned in my entire lifetime. You gave my pain purpose. Every day I am thankful that I chosen to be your mommy and have been given the honor to watch you grow up. One day you will understand that you have two families that love you so very much and want the best for you more than anything. You are such a loved little girl.

If the road that led me to you is considered the “easy way” I will take it and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

With all the love in the world,

Your Mommy.