I felt the lump in my chest grow and the tears well up in my eyes. Someone else was slowly dispensing the good news to family and friends. Someone else was dreaming big dreams and making big plans and basking in the almost surreal joy of it all. Someone else was pregnant, and it wasn’t me.
When I got the news of yet another person I know having a baby a few weeks ago, my first instinct was to text my squad, the people who have walked with me through all of the hard things lately. I would probably ask for prayer, but what I really wanted was validation, that this sucked and that I had every right to pick up a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, plop down on my couch, and cry for a bit.
But something stopped me.
As I picked up my phone to text that first person, I heard God loud and clear from somewhere in my heart: People aren’t gonna cut it.
And immediately, I knew what He meant.
I knew in that moment that no amount of platitudes, of sympathy, or of pity partying could actually change anything. While we have the best support squad around, I knew that texting another friend about yet another disappointment wasn’t going to heal my heart, give me lasting peace, or fix my situation.
As I stood in my kitchen, phone in hand, it became clear what I needed to do: I needed to seek the one who can do all of those things. I needed to seek God.
In John 4, Jesus tells the Samarian woman, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.”
I realized in that moment that I had been drinking too heavily of the wrong kind of water. Instead of drinking from streams of grace and from fountains of peace, I’d been gulping gallons upon gallons of water from this world. By relying too heavily on people to give me peace and make it all okay, I stayed thirsty.
While God gave us people who can help us bear our burdens, they can’t give us the lasting peace that He can. They can’t provide a steadfast spirit that can endure incredible heartache. They can’t give us an eternal perspective that allows us to see past the challenging now. They can’t promise us that everything will be okay.
We can have all of those things. We just need to stop drinking the wrong kind of water.
I remember when my sister and I were little, and we used to wrestle with my dad. Almost inevitably, our wrestling/tickling matches would end with Dad doubled-over in pain from getting kicked…in the you-know-where.
I don’t have a you-know-where, per se, so I can’t really speak to what getting kicked there feels like, but if there’s a spiritual equivalent, I’m there, doubled over, wishing such thing as a spiritual athletic cup existed.
Y’all know I’ve been through a lot. Since I blogged last, my dad passed away (more about that later – not sure what I want to say yet). Since I blogged last, I also found out, after some weird symptoms, a bunch of tests, and a lot of waiting, that I have PCOS.
If you’re not familiar, PCOS is some real BS if you ask me. Basically, my hormones are all out of whack, affecting my ability to get pregnant and causing all sorts of liver and blood sugar issues, including diabetes, in the long-term if not managed.
Yay. Just what I needed.
If that wasn’t bad enough, here’s the real kicker. You know what the main way to manage PCOS is? Diet and exercise, specifically weight loss.
Some people would say that’s great news. It’s manageable! It’s not a death sentence! It could be so much worse! For me, it feels like a big spiritual kick in the you-know-where.
The last six months or so, I have been working super-duper hard on how I think about myself. Since last fall, I’ve gained back a lot of the weight I lost a few years ago, due to stress, a new job, changing my diet, and the circus that has been my life lately.
At first, I was really not okay. I felt like a total failure. People aren’t supposed to lose the weight and then gain it back. That’s not how this works. I looked in the mirror and felt depressed. I put on clothes that no longer fit right and felt defeated.
Through working with a health coach over the last few months and a lot of hard work, I came to a place where I accepted the new me. Bodies change as life happens, and I started to truly believe that the size of my body said nothing about my worth, my health, or anything else.
Then, this happens. The one area of insecurity in my life, the one thing I’ve worked so hard to overcome has to become my main focus. I was becoming completely okay with my weight, and now my weight is undeniably the problem. Losing said weight is the only way to solve it. Oh, and all of our hopes and dreams are riding on my success.
I have been walking in faith since my life started falling apart last year. I have dug my heels in, doubled down on my faith, and tried to trust God as best I could through everything.
But, like my dad, who I’m sure was thinking “Please kick me ANYWHERE ELSE,” I feel like this is the one area of my life right now I just didn’t need to struggle with. I’m already crying on a pretty regular once or twice a week schedule given everything else going on in my life. I really don’t need to feel like crap about my weight, too.
I’m still metaphorically doubled over in pain at this point. I’m devastated. I’m frustrated. I cry a lot. I don’t get why this happens randomly and why FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD CAN I NOT CATCH A BREAK??
I’ve started doing some research on how to manage my symptoms and live with this new diagnosis. Plans are in the works for a potential half-marathon in November to give me a goal that’s not related to weight.
I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to manage this weight loss thing while not going into let’s-freak-out-over-everything-I-eat mode. And honestly, I’m terrified that I can’t do it.
But I’m praying. A lot. And at this point, prayer is the best spiritual athletic cup I can think of.
Have PCOS? Any tips? I’ve read that low-GI diets can help too so if you’re diabetic and have any recipes or eating tips, please please let me know. And prayer is always appreciated.