Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And I Cried

I have always been in good health...with a great immune system...how quickly that can change.

I wasn't feeling the best for about a week and decided to go in to the doctor on Sept 10th and get things checked out.  I figured that it was allergy related (even though I have never suffered from allergies) and I would get a quick fix for them.  I was having shortness of breath, killer headaches, and feeling just plain worn out.

I walked in expecting allergy meds and maybe allergy testing and walked out with an abnormal EKG and a script to have some lab work drawn along with an order for an echo.

It's funny where your mind can go in just under 24 hours...all of the "what ifs" that flash before your eyes...different scenarios that run through your head.

I went in the next morning for an echo, which I was so nervous about, and then headed over to the lab for some lab work.

I made my way home and about an hour later, my doctor called me personally to tell me that a few of my results from of blood work didn't look so good.  My white count was low, my H&H was low, and my iron was very low.  He ordered up a few more tests and I got another call.

In my mind, things went from bad to worse.

I was given orders on what to do next and was told to come in for follow up lab work in two weeks.

In the following days, the little things became big things to me:

I sat with my both of my sons as they read to me...
and cried.

I watched my daughter put on a private skit for me from the comfort of my bed...
and cried.

I watched my husband work his magic in the kitchen...
and cried.

I went to church and sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness"...
and cried.

I felt the sun on my face and soaked in the beautiful fall-like weather...
and cried.

And today, for the first time in over a week (against my Mom's better judgement), I leashed up my Henry boy, put on my shoes, and went out for a run...
and cried.

I cried not because I don't feel quite like myself or because I have been too tired to do much of anything, but I cried because in this past week I have realized just how much I have taken for granted.  Why is it so easy to do?

While things are still up in the air, I am still left with the question, "What on earth is going on?!", and I am wondering how much longer my energy level is going to be so low, the old hymn that we sang on Sunday rings so true to me right now :

Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!“
  Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Five Years Ago : September 2, 2008

Our little guy had just turned one exactly a month before.  Our other two kids were three and four.  I was a stay at home mommy.  He was a hard worker.  He left for work early every morning and we were all eager to greet him at the door just before dinner.  We had everything we needed...and a lot of what we wanted too.  We were blessed...living out our fairytale...without a care in the world.

I still think back on this very day, 5 years ago and still remember that feeling...the feeling of being punched in the gut...the wind being let out of our sails...the lights being turned out on us...leaving us in the dark to face an unknown reality.

My phone rang at lunch time.  It was not uncommon for him to call, but something about the timing of his call seemed a bit off.  He spoke the words that I was hoping never to hear : he was let go...no work...unemployed.  I still remember where I was, what the weather was like, the exact spot where I was standing.  I guess when your world feels like it's crashing down around you, you remember where those pieces first started to fall. 

And just like that, everything changed...forever.

Little did I know that this day would begin a 22 month long unemployment for my husband where everything I knew, believed, and hoped would be tested.  My marriage would be tested, friends would become distant...some even judged our decisions, we would be told that God must be judging us, I would be criticized for leaving the house and going and getting a job, we would feel alone, hopeless, and desperate.

But...and it's a big but...

Little did we know the goodness of those who love us, how our marriage would be strengthened, what a blessing my job would become and what a family the people that I work with would become to us, our faith would be strengthened after it was put through the refining fire, how changed we would become in our way of thinking, how tenderly God would care for us, and how we would never, ever go without.

It still brings tears to my eyes when I think back on the countless times money would show up in the mail, people would drop by to give us groceries, others would pay a few of our bills, give our babies Christmas gifts, pay for date nights for us, a gym membership was bought for me...and the list goes on and on.

Our 22 month long journey seemed so long at times.  Some days it was exhausting just getting out of bed and extremely hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Month after month would go by and it seemed as if our prayers were never going to be answered.  The six month anniversary came and went...the one year anniversary was such a dark day...one and a half years came and I felt as if we had been forgotten.  I was sure that my heart was not strong enough to bear September 2, 2010.

Almost exactly 2 months before our two year anniversary, Dan went back to work.  He was working for 40% of what he used to make but we were so thankful that he was working.

Contrary to what people may believe, after one goes back to work after being unemployed for so long, there are a lot of pieces to pick back up and a lot of wounds that need healing.  The job wasn't a cure all...and even we were surprised to find this out.

Its been such a long road...but I wouldn't trade this road for anything.  I learned things about myself that I wouldn't have learned otherwise.  I watched my husband struggle and work odd jobs to keep food on our table and a roof over our heads.  I became so confident in the fact that, no matter what, he will do anything to provide for our family.

I feel that this is the year that we've finally come full circle.  Back in June, my husband made the jump and really took a risk for our family...a risk that has worked out.  He is working a job that he loves and for the first time in at least five years, he is happy again.

This day brings up a lot of emotion...but most of all it leaves me thinking just how incredibly thankful I am for the blessings that we have been given.

Our little guy just turned six exactly one month ago.  Our other two kids are eight and nine.  I was a stay at home mommy, but I have been at a wonderful job for almost five years and I love the people I work with.  He was a hard worker and still is.  He leaves for work every morning after helping the kids get off to school and is sometimes able to work from home to spend more time with us.  We have everything we need...and a lot of what we want too.  We are blessed...but know it's not always going to look like a fairytale...and know that no matter what life throws our way, we are loved, never alone, and God will carry us on days when we feel we can't take another step.