These words in bubbles are hanging above my head in a comic sans font. They describe the blow to my “face”, sound effects as I am hit square on the “nose”.
The huge fist of life, flying toward me.
That’s right. Life in the last year has reared back and punched me hard.
This happened just after my husband changed jobs. He had worked at the same company for about 18 years. Life offered him a chance to grow and he had just stepped in when my phone rang. My mom needed help out of the chaos she and others had built around her.
My mom and I hadn’t been on the best terms in the last couple years. So I began getting angry before I took a breath and drove to her house. We sat and talked, cried, and dealt with what we could. And over the next 3 weeks we packed her bags, sold her house and moved her a state away to live with me and my family.
That blow was hard, especially the misunderstandings and accusations that came from other family members. I definitely stumbled backward a bit. I may have taken a few steps away as I fought to stand. But I stayed on my feet, standing for a bit while I tried to get my balance.
My family lived in a fairly small house for 5 people. Our oldest was about to move out, but 1200 square feet isn’t a great space for a multi-family home. So we began house shopping in what is considered to be the most ridiculous housing and interest crisis our country has seen in a long time. After 5 offers on 4 houses, we finally got the perfect one.
The next few months were exhausting. I was helping my mom learn her way around and get plugged in to my world. We were still dealing with a bit of her chaos, too. My husband was working to establish himself in his new job and traveling a bit. I was trying to start our new homeschool year with my boys. All this while we moved. (Not to mention the 2 extra months it took to get my husband’s workshop packed and moved to his dad’s house.)
November brought a renewed breath. The old house was sold, the new house is coming together. The new job is going great, homeschool is happening. My oldest son got engaged. But then a doctors appointment left me reeling.
Lupus. “You definitely have lupus.” He said these words as he entered the room with my lab results. I really didn’t even know I was sick. But with prolonged stress comes the symptoms, the flares. Few answers were given as we moved into the holidays. ‘Research but question’ is something I learned years ago because anyone can post junk on the internet. I read what I could and then crawled in bed and I rested for several days. Then I got up and faced it with as much gumption as I could muster. I found a few ways to help me relax and let go of stress. This seems to help.
Thankfully, I was given the opportunity and support to rest. As I learned more, I realized the work I had done to improve my gut health over the last several years had already made this easier. My mindset began to shift. This wasn’t a new diagnosis. In fact, I’m sure I have had this for years without a label.
Four years ago I was sick. I learned what foods I needed to cut out and I did the work to heal. But I had done all I could with what I knew. Now, this label allows me to know more, to move a bit further in to feeling well. This diagnosis is a blessing, an answer for the questions I have had for a long time.
We were able to enjoy our first holiday with my mom in our new home. We hosted parties and started to see what this new life can be.
My New Nose
As we begin a new year, many set goal, resolutions, words to live by, etc. to define what they hope their future holds. This new year I merely turned and looked in the mirror to see what my past has done. Then I laughed.
That solid punch that seemed to change everything has begun healing. You know the crazy part!? My “nose” actually improved. My “face” looked better. I realized that just because life hurt me, tried to knock me down, it didn’t mean it would make it all worse. In fact, it all looks a lot better now.
My mom and I are talking, living, and renewing a relationship. My family has a home we can enjoy and host our friends easily. I have answers for years of medical questions (even though I have new questions too).
I am sure life will come at me again with its fist curled and drawn back. But until then I will stand against it, holding firm to Truth. I will live intentionally with all God has given me. I will not let the blows of life take me down.
You can find more by Carol here.