Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Story - Part 1

You have a story.  I have a story.  In that story is included every battle we have fought or are fighting.

If I were to sit with each of you, you probably could tell me of something that makes your heart hurt even just thinking of it.

I know women whose hearts are hurting because they have been hurt by someone, someone who, in the past, TOOK from them.  

I know women who have babies in heaven …some who have children away from the Lord.  

I know women who have been slandered by their closest friends and other women whose medical battles just seem too hard to bear.

Life is rough. You didn’t ask for this, but it was given to you and it was given to you for a reason.

The Bible is full of men and women who were given a journey they never asked for.
  1.   Paul was given a thorn in the flesh
  2.  Joseph was sold into slavery.
  3.  The man that lay by the pool of Bethesda was an invalid for 38 years.
  4. The servant girl was taken from friends and family and so was Daniel.
  5. The man in John 9 was blind from his birth.
  6. David lived for years on the run and hid from the enemy who was trying to track him down.
  7. The widow of Zarephaph had nothing and was on the last meal when the prophet found her.
  8.  Zebedee was left abandoned in the boat. His sons literally forsook him and the family business to follow this “Jesus”.
  9. David and Bathsheba suffered the death of their newborn baby. 
Life is full of battles, and each of us has a story to tell.  

Today, I have the opportunity to tell mine.

I was 10 years old.  My parents knew I was having some academic issues in school so they take me out of Christian school and began to home-school me.  They decided to have me tested by an educational specialist in Greenville, SC.  One of the requirements to see him was to get a physical exam.  While I was at the doctor for this physical, we found out that I had scoliosis....but at that time it was only serious enough to keep an eye on it. 

However, at my followup visit six months later, it became obvious how bad it really was. It was the start of my first real battle.  At 10 years old, they found scoliosis, I was diagnosed with learning disabilities, I got braces and I was pulled out of private school to be home-schooled. It was a pretty traumatic transition even though I didn’t really feel it at first. I was excited to be home-schooled.  I thought braces were cool (for the first week) and I got a little extra attention due to my physical issues.  BUT, it wasn’t very long before I really started feeling the pain of it all.

To top off it all off, I lost nearly every one of my friends that summer before my 5th grade year.  Homeschooling wasn’t “cool” where we lived and thus my friends deserted me.  I remember a girl coming up to me at church with an invitation to her birthday party. She told me that her parents were forcing her to invite me, but she really didn’t want me there.

It was just the beginning of a journey, a very hard one, physically, and emotionally.

During my teen years, I went through 4 major spine surgeries.  I had one at 14, 15, 17, & 18. And none of the surgeries were easy. While recovering from my very first surgery in PICU, they accidentally overdosed me with morphine and I ended up having a collapsed lung and temporary amnesia.

While struggling through my health issues, I created a new problem.

Now, before I go on, I need to remind you that there are two different types of trials. 

There are trials that are given to us to test us and mold us

… and then there are trials that we bring on ourselves.

James chapter 1 does a great job of pointing out the two different kinds. Hopefully these diagrams will help me explain:

V. 2-4
V. 14-16

Peirasmos – meaning a putting to proof
Peirazomai – meaning tempted

God does this
Your lust and flesh does this

Brings Patience
Brings forth sin

Makes you a better Christ follower
Draws you away from God

Brings Life into your Walk
Brings Death – Not just physical but spiritual

So IN MY CASE… I gave in to a temptation. The monster I created was a beauty battle.  

I was horribly embarrassed by the scars and the rib hump I had. (Because of scoliosis and kyphosis, my ribs twisted sideways and they stick out on the right side.) Also my scars were very ugly. It looked like someone attacked me and just carved into my neck and back.

When I first realized that I was different and “ugly”, I had short hair so I would wear a coat to cover it. In the heat of summer, I was wearing this large winter jacket. It was crazy …but finally I grew out my hair as a covering.  Then I let my hair bind me and would never put it up for any reason.  I was always on the alert that my hair must cover my backWhen I would go to hug someone, it was always an awkward embrace because I was so worried that someone would actually feel the way my back was.  I was convicted of my obsession with this over the years but it took a beautiful little spicy angel to help free me. 

After I graduated from high school and headed off to college, I didn’t have to have any more surgeries but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia which is something I continue to battle. 

Then on the night I graduated from college I was involved in a pretty rough car accident and some muscles in my neck were damaged.  Thus my physical issues continued to follow me.

Praise the Lord, He gave me a godly husband who embraced me with all of my issues. We were married in May of 2010 and two years later to the week, he gave us a baby boy.  Then another two years later to the same week, he gave us this beautiful princess.

Come back tomorrow to hear the rest of my story and how my little princess impacted my beauty battle.  - Rejoicing in the Present

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