The past few days, our backyard has been a flood. It rained nonstop from Saturday morning through Sunday night. The rain came down in sheets at times. I laid in bed the past few nights, listening to the sump pump as it worked constantly to keep water out of our basement.
It felt like the rain would never end.
The rain reminded me of the current season of my life. We all go through stretches of time that seem dark and dreary. We pray for the rain to stop and the sun to shine. We ask for a break from overcast skies and pouring rain.
This past week felt like that. I had my follow-up endoscopy on Monday. I came out of the procedure groggy with only a slight memory of the conversation with my doctor afterward. I know he said that one of the physical symptoms I’ve been experiencing this past year has grown worse. One of the symptoms of celiac disease is acid reflux. Mine is relatively severe. It has caused my esophagus to be quite inflamed and swollen and has grown worse since last June. I’ve also developed an ulcer in my stomach from the excessive acid.
I know tons of people deal with ulcers and acid reflux, and in the whole scheme of things, this isn’t that big of a deal. I guess it felt like a big deal to me because I was really hoping that after 10 months of prayer and four months on a very extreme “healing diet,” my symptoms would be getting better, not worse. (The rest of my tests are being sent to a specialist to review, so I don’t have any other results.)
On Thursday, I was getting ready to leave town for the weekend to go to a women’s retreat with my church. I was overwhelmed by the idea that I was going away for the weekend for a rare opportunity to get away from my everyday duties of cooking and cleaning for my family of six. But instead of getting to enjoy a weekend of having someone else cook for me, I needed to plan out my meals and figure out what kind of food I could take along in a cooler to get through the weekend.
I will admit that I spent more than an hour hiding under a blanket, just feeling like I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t know if it would be worth all of the effort.
By the end of the weekend, I realized God had planned a message just for me.
It was about seasons.
The seasons of life.
Some of our seasons are sunny and bright. Others are dark and rainy. Some are full of hope and promise. Thankfully, He can use them all. I came away from this weekend, knowing that God has a plan and purpose for this season of my life. It made me thankful that this has been a hard season if it gives me an opportunity to help someone else or have a better understanding of what other people are facing in life.
I also had an opportunity to be grateful for all of the beauty of my current season. I have a wonderful husband and family. Our kids are such amazing gifts to us. I love our home and community. I’m thankful for friends, extended family and an incredible church family. I get to do things I love everyday.
I also realized that the hard things I’m experiencing right now are part of a season. It’s not forever.
I spend a lot of time focusing on food and planning for my next meal. It’s a necessity for me right now. But I don’t want it to be the only thing I think about. Yes, some of the changes I’ve had to make need to be permanent. But I have more hope and confidence now that I’m moving forward. I’m going to get to a place of more energy and improved health. It might not be happening as quickly as I want it to, but I feel confident that those days are coming.
I’m so thankful to everyone who has been so encouraging to me the past few weeks. During the retreat, it was a huge blessing to have other women sit and cry with me as we talked about our seasons…. and chocolate chip cookies… and pizza. I also wanted to say, “thank you” to everyone who left a comment on my last blog post or on Facebook. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness in all of your words.
A few months ago, I started writing my story of the past year. I’ve shared bits and pieces of it here, and sometimes I feel like it’s all I talk about. I’ve been reluctant to hit the “publish” button because I don’t want to be too vulnerable or come across as overly dramatic. I think it will be good for me to put it out there, even if it’s just a reminder for me when I want to look back at this season of my life. I’m going to do that tomorrow, so if you are interested, I hope you will come back.
The sun came out for a while this morning, and I was able to walk my daughter to school. It was refreshing to have a break from the rain and see all of the signs of spring as we walked our familiar path. We dodged puddles and soaking wet grass. Everything looked so much greener than it did just a few days ago. It was a great reminder that the dark rainy days are usually followed by some of the most beautiful seasons.
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