At 24, I fell in love for the first time in my life. I gave him everything my heart had ever longed to give to someone in a deep, real, and special way. In regards to love, it was the first time I felt what putting someone’s happiness before your own has meant. I’ve never taken love lightly; I was patiently waiting until I felt my heart was ready to love selflessly. I dated a guy for a couple weeks in college, but it wasn’t until 5 years later that I decided to truly say yes to a genuine, actual relationship. I had no idea my heart could love anybody the way that I loved him; it was intense and real for me. He was my first kiss too. Yes, my first kiss was at age 24. I was waiting to give it to the person I was certain I’d be walking down the aisle to one day. I saw him being that man and I thought he wanted to be that man too. I could easily regret many things from my time with him, but I’m not. I would rather love as strong as I did than to not have loved at all. My heart was just being brave. Before we broke up, I wrestled with hurt, broken feelings for a week trying to bear my reality until I realized—there was a reason my heart wasn’t trying to bear it. The pain was too deep, and somethings just aren’t recoverable. I remember the pivotal moment when I knew I had to let go; I couldn’t grip anything hard enough. The collapse of my heart was immense and it felt like angels would never stop cleaning up the rubble.
This past year (2014) a couple things happened, were said, done, and felt. All these different things however made me grow more in love. I love love. Is it not the best feeling? I love learning more about God’s love and growing in it. I usually write to music and tonight’s music belongs to Steffany’s – No Fear in Love.
There are so many ways to document one’s life via social media today especially with facebook being a “timeline” and all. However, documenting one’s prayer life would be a little more difficult via something like instagram or twitter or whatever else is up and running today. I finally started a prayer journal. It’s helped me see things I need work on– things I had no idea were even an issue. I feel like sharing what prayer is doing so far in my life. This song is essentially self-explanatory about what happens once I start praying. He lights up my room and my life: When You Walk into the Room.
There are times in my life when I’ve questioned prayer and I choose to worry instead of pray. This is where I fail. However, in the moments when I choose to pray– w o w, no wonder God’s word says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6, NIV). One of my biggest dreams in life is to adopt. My first blog post was in dedication to that dream and to Hope. My first mini internship was for an organization called Christian Alliance for Orphans, and it was during that time my hope to adopt only spurred on more heavily. Knowing the heavy need for children without families out there is heart-wrenching and sad. I long to be an adoptive mother to a child who needs someone to have dinners with, outside play dates with during the day, and someone to soothe them to sleep at night. I want to be a child’s forever.
It wasn’t until somewhere in between my different doctor visits recently that a thought about China adoption I read a long time ago struck me like lightning. Applicant must be free of any condition that would affect lifespan or the ability to parent, including autoimmune diseases and lifelong conditions requiring medication. All of a sudden, I just felt sad. I started to have flashes of my doctor saying, “You will be on this medication for life,” and how I mumbled out words to him about what would happen to me if I just stopped taking medication all together. I wanted to be a magical fairy and tap my body with a magical wand. Zap . . . done. The pessimistic, realist, wrong part of me who doesn’t pray first would think, well you can’t adopt now. You have a chronic illness, no cure, not ever. Give it up. However, the optimistic, fervent praying part of me would think, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever” (Psalm 73: 26, NLT). Prayer has helped me see I have an issue with worry. Worry and stress only add onto my shooting burns and flares. When you’re told you have an immune system that’s attacking healthy tissue in your body and it’s unpredictable, sometimes you just can’t help all the places your mind wanders. So then I get disappointed and it ruins me until I eventually get drained. My last check up I was told my lupus should stay the way it has been level wise, mild and non-affecting to organs. It’s only affected tissues regarding my joints. Okay, so I know what to expect pain wise and yet I still get worried and it hurts when I’m inflamed. So the two things I seem to worry about the most are my health and my future. When I feel helpless, I’m learning to pray instead of worry and journaling is helping me keep up with that.
One of the greatest realizations I’ve had doing this journal is that instead of thinking God needs to help me accomplish this goal or that dream, I get the sense He’s trying to develop my character through suffering more than anything. Regardless if I am suffering or not, I am praying for myself to stop worrying and for what other character traits I need work on. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4, NIV). I know that I am young but things like adoption, stabilizing my career and financials, and taking in children that need families are things that I desire in life.
My young age is the time to make firm foundations for myself and there is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, is when worry and doubt soak in the cracks of the foundations I am trying to build. My future doesn’t deserve that.
Worrying is something I’m giving up on. I’m crumbling it up in my hands, climbing all the way to the top of a mountain, and throwing it into the abyss. I’m climbing with God again holding my journal, and His hand in the other. He’s the lead— He’s much tougher than I am and I want Him to have all the control. No matter what storm comes my way I’ll always be okay, because I let God take the reins. The thing is, I don’t believe in magical fairies or magical wands. I believe in the power of God and the pen He holds writing my life story.
Maybe the bigger picture here above all else is learning to surrender my whole life to God, letting Him write it all. That’s it Savannah– just drop the darn pen. The journey of life is no simple thing but it is a journey— a prayerful one I want God to write. The only pen I should be carrying is the one to my prayer journal.
And it will be the best journal I’ll ever look back on.
More prayer. Less worry.
It’s midnight and the past couple days I’ve been feeling the discomfort of the achy burns I get. It comes and goes in different areas like the wrists and elbows or my legs, feet and knees. I usually don’t sleep well when I feel this. I took more pain medication and I’m sipping warm tea so I can fall asleep soon. Actually, I have a med for that too. I’m all sorts of fussy yet all sorts of gratefulness. The fussy comes in when I can’t figure out if it’s perhaps a medication that springs about my sharp pains still or the fact that I am not on a strict diet anymore. But even when I was strict dieting I still felt pain although I felt it helped some—it still came back in the night/mornings and I also lost too much weight and got this no good patulous eustachian tube ear dysfunction. I went down to 96 lbs. I’m barely 5 feet tall and 3 inches. That was not good.
The gratefulness comes in when I think, “It could be so much worse Sav. Pull it together.” Worse, I could still be taking prednisone (if you’ve taken it or are on it you know what I mean). I was doing fine once I started taking this arthritis relief medication along with my other lupus med and now I seem to be slightly heading backwards. I think I could be having a minor flare but I don’t know why. It’s medication, mixed medications, food, or a lack of a specific food right? Alternatively, it’s just Lupus being Lupus. Maybe it’s all of the above. At least I can say I went almost a month without a flare up. Praise God.
I’m thinking of one of the nights I lived in Colorado and I was watching the moon and how it shined on the mountains. I remember it vividly because it was a couple of days after they diagnosed me with SLE and I had spent a good portion of the day asking God what to do with this up and down pain and also feeling so confused as to why God wasn’t allowing me to give 100% to my job at the time. I was working with special needs children and near the end I was barely able to forcefully hold their little hands let alone even pick them up to put them on a swing. Then I looked up at the moon and it was just so bright it almost felt like I was looking at the sun. Though I was chilly, (I think I was running a fever at the time) I was feeling His sweet, warm presence all around me. I became content, just so content. He wasn’t not allowing me to do anything, it was just something He knew I could handle and it was my own poor perspective on the matter.
It’s safe to say that in my relationship with Jesus I am much like that little girl that doesn’t want to let go of her favorite teddy bear because of comfort but God is holding an even bigger teddy bear behind Him saying, “Just trust me.” I relate that with my life. What used to be comfortable, is not so comfortable anymore, but I know God has something greater in store for me.
I’m also thinking of the days I went on a light jog by my place and jogged by deer. I suppose I’m thinking of places that brought joy to me. Mountains, woods, lakes . . . those are my happy places– especially the smell of pine trees. Then I think of being grateful. Here I am back in Texas and I have one of the greatest things in life to be grateful for—my family’s love. I may not be hiking in the mountains, or fishing on a Colorado lake but I’m being loved and this is a happy place in my heart.
It could just be much worse but it’s not right now so I’ll continue being slightly fussy at times (sorry family) but just so, so grateful—and grateful that I’m not taking prednisone anymore. Yes.