Monday, January 23, 2017

So much hope

There is something very satisfying about starting a new journal. It's a fresh start - a chance to look back and look forward somehow at the same time with recent experiences and new-found wisdom, right? As a natural 'do-er' and helper who has never been good at pausing to look back and reflect, but simply pausing for the sake of pausing (perhaps to catch my breath) and then moving right along to the next season, stage, list or adventure - I like to take a new journal as a chance to do just that. Reflect on the past season and look ahead to the next.

We sold our home in South Minneapolis. Drew and I bought that house together after we decided we were going to be staying the twin cities. For four years we loved that house. It is such a great house. Somehow two cute girls made that house (overnight) feel a little tight. :) Thankfully our timing with houses has continued to work for us and we were able to sell it in a matter of days and with a large value hike from where we purchased it. That allowed us to purchase a wonderful house in Columbia Heights. I joke with Drew that we'll never have to move again. The girls can ride their bikes around the neighborhood, I get to walk the girls to & from their school every day and we have room for family and friends to stay when they come to town. Win - win - win.

The girls continue to love school. 
Kindergarten is hard work - art and gym are the current favorites, but little Z loves making new friends, learning writing and reading letters and reminding me of crucial life lessons like: "how to do my best work" and "making wise choices". We love the never-ending energy and spunk this one has. We pray she can channel her passion for everything into great things as she continues to grow. Emotionally, socially and literally. The gym shoes we bought in September were replaced in December. The girl is growing like a weed!

Big Z loves being one of the older kiddos as a 3rd grader. This year has been challenging for her, as she is working to master her addition and subtraction facts (multiplication is here!) and refine her reading skills. She has been a really hard worker, even when it's been tough, which makes us so proud. She loves everything social and thinks actual school work gets in the way sometimes with her social time. :) She too is growing like crazy - she's up to my neck already and my shoes don't have a lot of extra space on her feet anymore...!

Drew and I have both had a year of refining. His surgery last December left the first number of months in 2016 in recover mode. He is doing wonderfully and has had great reports from all the doctors over the last few months. We are both committed to beating each other in racquetball as often as possible this year. He can really tell a difference in that he gets tired but not winded too. He can catch his breath more quickly and feels like he can actually build some endurance - something he didn't realize was missing.

I had been monitoring "something" in my stomach region for months, and this fall learned I had uterine fibroids. This was a new thing to me, but after further testing and ultra sounds, it looked like the fibroids had enlarged my uterus to about the size of a 20-22 week pregnancy. For someone who struggled with infertility and so longed to physically carry a babe, this was really tough news to figure out how to process. I looked pregnant. I also had a large cyst in my ovary they needed to remove. The best option for us was a hysterectomy. For years Drew and I had made peace with expanding our family through adoption (obviously) but there was still the emotionally piece of completely closing the door to physically being able to bear a child. And the anxious thought of my first real surgery. I was thankful for those years of mourning as the surgery was scheduled for early December, just a handful of weeks after my initial diagnosis. Everything went great - I was almost completely out of commission for a couple weeks and am feeling great now after a few more weeks of low-key movement (note: I am not quite to full strength yet in the racquetball court...but I'll get there!). They learned the fibroid was actually not in my uterus, but sitting on top of it - so surgery & complete removal was clearly the right path. Praise God! And the saga somewhat continues, as they found a tumor in my ovary that had been removed. Amazing! I will follow up with an oncologist next month and go from there, but my doctor felt good about the where things were.

So Drew and I have both fully experienced being powerless, suffering, relying on others (and asking for help - what?!) in the last year. There have been moments of horrible pain, sheer helplessness, great sadness and utter dependence. And there have also been moments of sweet grace, beautiful service and much joy. We have seen Christ's hands and feet in very tangible ways. To those of you who stepped into those roles - thank you! You have been a crucial part of the journey and we are forever grateful.

So we look ahead to 2017 with much anticipation and hope. I have always loved (and mutually hated!) the words in Romans 5 that don't by any means discount us from suffering. Verse 3 reads "glory in suffering"... I have had moments of physical and emotional suffering, yet ultimately the hope has always been the same: Jesus and that huge love he has for us. May this be a journal full of boasting in the glory of the Lord.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Thanks for the update and for being vulnerable! Fibroids run in my family. I first discovered I had one with my first pregnancy, which meant that instead of the cute, round, beautiful belly I had looked forward to, I had a lumpy belly - people actually pointed to the area of the fibroid and said "Oh my gosh I see the head!" I learned how to change the subject quickly :)

Prayer for you both as you serve at Hope. Thanks for all that you do!
Mandy Eilers