While I had lost weight through the grief and stress of our family’s unforeseen loss in 2013, unfortunately last year, I put pounds on as I struggled with physical pain, emotional adjustments and mental frustration.
I tried to get through the workday without having to go home early. I woke up begging God to help me through the day, and not be a pain-riddled shell by the time I got home to be with my son and new husband. More often than not, I cried as I fell asleep, frustrated by pain we couldn’t pinpoint, energy I couldn’t muster, and relationships I couldn’t maintain. I took prescription medications to dull pain, and hated every, single time I opened one of the bottles. I watched my body regain weight, ashamed of what was happening, yet too weak to consider regular exercise…and too embarrassed to ask anyone, aside from my husband and one close friend, for help.
I averted my eyes away from our beautiful wedding portraits because they typically made me cry each time one caught my eye. I wasn’t the joy-filled, healthy girl in those pictures…she was a girl I no longer recognized, yet yearned to find under the mess I had become.
I’m still struggling with regular pain, and just as much frustration (if not more so some days) with identifying treatments that may work. I still take medication that makes weight loss more difficult. I still fall asleep in tears some nights (when I can sleep) because I want to be “the healthy Laura I was in 2015”.
Today, I’m determined. I’m still here. I’m winning. I’m not meeting each sunrise with desperation and sunset with disappointment. I’ve been through a major neck surgery, and I’m still singing – my biggest concern going into the operating room. I’m slowly reducing prescription medications. I’m not giving up. I’m not allowing pain and fatigue to define me. I lost many “friends” when I was honest about physical pain and hardship last year. (I’m not defined by them, they are not friends after all). I had become “Debbie Downer”, whom people didn’t want to hear from, read about, or genuinely listen to.
But I’m moving forward. I’m kicking butt at work. I’m eating better. I’m looking forward to the day. I’m being the wife I wanted to be for Solomon. I’m welcoming sunsets. I’m being the fun Mom I had ached to be again. I’m reading. I’m even getting the opportunity to lead worship some (connection with God that gives me inexplicable joy, peace and wholeness).
I’m living my life. I’m living for Christ. I’m living for my husband, children, family and friends. I’m living to do what I’m supposed to, what He has chosen for me. And whether this thorn in my side resolves or remains, I am stronger than I’ve given myself credit for…I am strong because I CAN do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)