I have thought long and hard about how to say what I want to say, but sometimes the best way to say something is just to say it. What I’m talking about is how to describe what it is like to go through a difficult situation. The reason I say “difficult situation,” I know it’s vague, but what I want is for you to be able to resonate with these words. Every single one of you, who reads this post, has been through a difficult time in life. Either now or in the past. Whether it be a physical ailment, a mental struggle, a circumstantial mountain, or really, just a rough day. When someone asks how you are doing, it’s too easy to say “fine.” Trust me, I do it too. But that’s what I’m trying to work on. We all aren’t just fine. And sometimes we don’t want to get into why we aren’t “just fine.” I get that. Been there too. But I think sometimes we need to be willing to be honest so that we can foster relationships, grow real relationships, allow others to help, so they can use their gifts in our lives.
So the reason I titled this post “Confessions Of A…” is I wanted you to fill in the blank. What struggles are you or have you been going through?
This is a post about my confessions as a heart failure patient. I want you to read these next words through your situation (not mine), with your name inserted, and in doing so, I hope you don’t feel alone. I hope you feel understood. I hope this, like I said, resonates with you, in some way.
We all aren’t what we seem to be at times. If you were to look at me, you’d think I was a perfectly healthy 33 year old. I look like a 33 year old should, I think – just a few wrinkles included. You would not guess that I have a heart condition that is requiring major surgery (hopefully) next month. What’s hard, is that when I all of a sudden don’t feel good, it comes out of the blue, with no explanation, and I’m left to not look like a normal 33 year old. It’s a constant battle of the body. It’s a constant battle of the mind. Do I suppress the struggle and fight through, or do I listen to my body and just say “I can’t right now.” Because if you’d look at me, I look just fine, but my heart is screaming something different. Do you ever feel that way? Why do we hide? We do we act like it’s all good, when it’s not? Time to be real.
Everyday is a choice to persevere. And my friends, EVERYONE can resonate with this, am I right? There are days when I feel so lousy, that all I can do is just lay there. When fluid is built up and it’s waiting to pass, it can be pretty miserable. Thanks to my FANTASTIC husband who gets it, he picks up the pieces and continues chugging forward when I can’t. When you know an end is in sight, for me it’s the possible surgery date, I have a choice to persevere or a choice to let it defeat me, mentally. There are days that if I have to swallow one more pill…look out. But I can choose to let our situations bring us down, or we can look up and say “okay God, you’ve got this and I need you.”
Which leads me to my next point.
We all need God. I don’t care who you are. We need Him. And I mean we NEED Him. We’ve all been through situations that do not make sense. When you wonder why? Why now? I have to say I have much peace about my heart situation, but don’t get me wrong; there are days when I see people run down the sidewalk and I tear up, wanting to be physically free to do the same. To be able to go on a good walk. I am yearning for that. But what I need to keep yearning more for, is Christ. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have learned about God’s character, thanks to the struggles in life. And you could probably agree. When I keep the focus off myself and keep it on Christ, knowing that HIS purposes for my situation are FAR greater than I even know, it’s a reality that keeps me realizing I NEED GOD. There are multiple times in a day when I say to myself “okay God, you’ve got this.” He wants you. All of you.
Let people help. This is my biggest struggle. BY FAR. I am horrible at allowing people to use their gifts. And yes, that’s putting it bluntly. But a dear friend told me YEARS ago, that when I don’t accept someone’s help, it could squashing what the Holy Spirit is trying to foster in them. Ouch. That’s kind of a big deal, folks. Though the hard part is knowing how to ask for help and knowing what you need help with. With a heart surgery on the docket, we’ve been overwhelmed with the number of offers for help. It’s been wowing (if that’s a word…call it a Kristinism). It’s just that I’m not sure what we will need help with. I’ve had a similar surgery before, but I was only 17. Life was very different back then! I know is that I am going to be out of commission for awhile, but in what ways? Will I be able to shower? Will I be able to brush my hair? Getting shirts on is extremely difficult. Getting off the couch. Going to the bathroom. Standing for longer periods. All I know is that this is going to challenge me beyond words, but it’ll be good for me. It’ll give me the chance to allow people into the most vulnerable parts of my life – when I can’t do something on my own. And that’s not even hitting on being a mom. But I now have no worries if Mazy will have a place to go! She will be well loved – it’ll just be hard to not physically love her for awhile.
Everyone gives in a unique way. Let them give in their unique way. I have found that sometimes just DOING something without even asking if it’s okay (alright, I suppose it depends what it is…), can be even more refreshing. Ever been in a checkout line and you can just tell someone needs a little help? Instead of asking “can I help you…” you just do it? The expression is often of relief. Think about your unique gifts and the ways you enjoy blessing someone. And just do it.
I’ve been trying to hold it together until this last paragraph, but here start the water works. Our little family of 3 has been so overwhelmed with the love of others. My friends, if you have gone through some challenging times, and I KNOW you have, I pray that you have felt the same love. I sit here in awe of what the body of Christ looks like, both near and far. The support we have received has been heart-warming (sorry for the cheesy cliche, but I can’t think of a better word). When you have heart difficulties and someone warms it spiritually, it makes ya feel like you can conquer the world!
So I don’t know where you are at in life. What you are going through. But I hope you have found yourself relating, in some way or another. May we all realize that we are on this journey together, until the day Christ comes.