Archive for January, 2017


The Two Sides of My Hysterectomy 

It has not been unsurprising this last week for me to quickly oscillate from jumping with joy and all but dancing to a deep crippling sadness. These wild swings in emotion are all tied to the complete hysterectomy (and oophrectomy- removal of the ovaries) that I will be having this coming Wednesday. In a few short days my life will be forever changed.  I have so many mixed up emotions about the procedure and the finality of it all that I am struggling to sort through it all. 

On the one hand, I am overjoyed. Finally, I will not be in pain every single day. Due to the nature of my endometriosis, adenomyosis, and PCOS I live in a near constant state of pain and have for so long I cannot identify a beginning. This last year the pain has increased dramatically. For these reasons, I cannot wait to end that pain by removing the causes of it and to allow me the chance to be more fully present in life. Pain takes a lot out of you. 

On the other hand, I am devastated by the loss. After years of trying, years of fertility treatments and six babies lost to miscarriage it is hard to accept the finality of the situation, for sure now I will know I will never carry a baby to term. I will never be able to have that experience or give that gift to my husband. This is a hard thing to accept and some moments I am handling it better than others. 

Then, if I had a third hand, it would hold all of my ambivalence. I am so ready to close this painful chapter in my life, a chapter that has been filled with anguish and heartbreak. Simultaneously, I know the official close of the chapter will leave its own painful wound. 

When I attempt to process all of these emotions it seems like too much and I know next week will be hard. I feel as though I can see a train of emotional pain, release, happiness and confusion barreling towards me and I know it is going to hit soon but I don’t know how to brace for the impact. 

Then there comes the logistical part. I have been obsessed with this portion of my surgery for a few reasons. One, all reports show variable recoveries from the type of surgery I am having so I want to over prepare for the kids during my 4-8 week recovery so that I know it is covered regardless (all while praying I am one of the ones who bounces back quickly). When you have five kids, all five and under, with special needs it is quite anxiety causing to know you won’t be on your A game for a while and for my sanity I just needed to know I had back up. My Dad is amazing and understanding this need made a spreadsheet of times for everyone who is helping with the kids during my recovery so I can rest easy knowing it is planned and worked out. The other reason I have been so focused on logistics just occurred to me this morning. I am focusing on that because that is something easy and tangible to focus on instead of these large and confusing emotions I am feeling. 

It’s a lonely feeling when you are not even sure yourself how you are feeling. I don’t even know how to begin to really explain it so it’s not something I can easily share with others so they know how I am doing. Some moments I am ok and then some moments, like this last Monday, I find myself crying continuously without any identifiable reason. I’m thankful to have the Lord to lean on in these times. I know even when I can’t descern exactly what’s happening on my heart, I know the Lord knows, feels it with me, and is there to walk through this storm with me. 

Death Row Calls 

About a year ago God placed something on my heart. I have shared it with a few people but unlike my usual boisterous ways, I have not shared it on a larger scale. The reason has been I was concerned it was not something others would understand. However, as I have tentatively shared this with those closest to me I have found a wellspring of support and even some looking for more information. Maybe not everyone will find this calling I feel as odd as I had anticipated?

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The calling I feel is for prisoners, specifically those with extended sentences or even on death row. I do not personally know anyone living that experience and yet God has been relentlessly placing these people on my heart. I am a stay at home mom and that is where I am needed and where I want to be, however, if I were not I would love to be a counselor working in a prison. Maybe when my babies are grown and have flown the nest. That was my first idea of a solution to this calling, a vocational solution that I cannot really do anything with right now. Having found that solution did not quiet this calling though. So how can I help? How can I do anything for prisoners while home with my littles? That is when I stumbled upon the idea of writing a prisoner.

I had exactly zero ideas on how one goes about writing someone in prison, especially if you do not know anyone in prison to write to. That is when I found the website Write a Prisoner and discovered that for a fee prisoners can create a profile in the hopes that someone out there will write to them and offer a small, tenuous lifeline to life on the outside.

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One question I have gotten is why? Why would you want to write a letter to someone you have never met, who has committed (most likely) a horrific crime? My answer to that valid question is that those people are still human beings, they are still children of God and they are people whose entire existence is ruled by the worst thing they ever did. I am in no way condoning the actions that lead them to prison nor am I discounting the importance of the victims being honored. I simply feel called to be there for people in prison.

I have been playing with the idea of writing a prisoner for a while now and I had not actually done it or started the process. I felt a sense of urgency lately and I felt especially called to death row inmates. For those unfamiliar with death row, death row inmates are in their small cell for 23 hours a day completely isolated. There are many who will argue that any one who committed a crime that got a death sentence does not deserve anything better, however, I again assert that they are still human beings. I could write a novel about the flaws of our prison system and the backwards focus on punishment not rehabilitation or growth, however, that is not the point of this post.

I have found two prisoners to write to, I selected a man on death row in Texas and a woman on death row in Florida. My decision to write to them both came after prayer and asking God to show me who to write to, and I feel these two people are where I am meant to begin. I am not sure what, if anything, will come of my letters but I know I need to send them.

Have you ever felt a calling to do something unexpected? What was it and did you follow the prompting of the Lord?