The Amazing Incredible You

If you’ve been following my blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been gone for a few weeks.  No – it wasn’t a vacation.  More like a test of faith.  I’ve just come back from open heart surgery.  I was born with a heart disease, so this is just a part of a life-long process.  But I won’t lie.  It was one of my biggest mental, spiritual and physical challenges yet.  Amazingly, the physical part hasn’t been that bad.

While I can’t say that I was glad to have surgery, I have been learning so much from the entire process.  I thought that some of these lessons were worth sharing:

1-      We’re stronger than we think we are – Our bodies, minds and spirits are incredibly resilient.  The day after surgery, I had many of the tubes out and was walking, talking and laughing.  Even the surgeon commented on how well I looked.  I surprised myself!

2-      People love us more than we know – I have been overwhelmed by all the friends and acquaintances that have called, visited and prayed with me.  I expected close friends and family to be concerned, but nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming amount of generosity and love I’ve received.

3-      No matter how bad it seems, it will pass and you will survive with God’s grace – For me the worst part of the surgery was the preparation.  The not knowing and trying to get my mind prepared for what was to come was horrible.  But I got through it, and I’m here.  I realize that God’s grace helped me overcome what seemed impossible.

4-      Laughter is essential for healing  – While in ICU, I had one of my sisters with me and my husband.  They had me laughing so hard that I cried.  I noticed that with each laugh, things just seemed a little better and I felt a little stronger.  It’s as if my laughter spoke to my soul and said “C’mon, girl.  You can do this!”

5-      Take care of yourself, and the world will take care of itself – Before heading off to get my heart fixed, I was so preoccupied with everything.  I was running around frantically tying up loose ends for my job.  I was creating schedules and making checklists for my daughter.  Every night was a sleepless night with nightmares about things not getting done.   I was doing everything except taking the time to make sure that I was okay.  And guess what – while I was in the hospital, the world went on.  Problems got solved and things got done – and nobody needed me to do any of it. That’s a lesson that I will definitely remember!

Ladies, I’m not special.  We all get knocked off our feet by the winds of life.  Maybe it’s a surgery.  Maybe it’s a divorce, the death of a child or a lay off at work.  Whatever it is, I’m here to tell you that you will get through it.  Life will go on.  You will smile again, and share your story so that others will be inspired.  We’re all amazing, and life’s tests are just an opportunity to show what we’re made of.

I’d love to hear from you.

How has life knocked you for a loop and what lessons did you learn?

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Strong

I’m internationally known as a cry-baby.  Sad news – I cry.  Happy news – I cry.  Scared – Oh Lord, here come the tears.  Over the years, I’m sure that I’ve produced enough tears to irrigate a large farm.

Right now, I’m facing some medical challenges that require a pretty major surgery.  Can you guess my reaction?  You’re a fast learner, girl 🙂 .   I haven’t been surprised by my own tears, but what has surprised me is how many people have called me strong over the last several weeks despite me crying a river on their shoulders.  Me, the original cry-baby?  Strong?? I’ve heard the phrase “You will be okay because you’re a strong woman” so many times that I have to sit back and wonder what they mean.

But when I think about it, I am strong.  I cry, but I don’t give up.  I’m often saddened, but never defeated.  And despite it all, I manage to some how pull it together daily and give life my best.  I even have the strength to love those around me instead of wallowing in self-pity.  By God’s grace, I am strong.

But I’m no different from every other woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter that I’ve ever met.  I believe that God made women with a unique strength.  The strength to bend over and over again without breaking is built into us women.

So I’m here to tell you my sister, “You are strong.  You will be okay because you are a strong woman.”  I know your strength because I know my own.

Do you believe in your strength?  I do.