If you’ve known me very long, you probably know I have battled chronic stomach pain and illness for nearly my entire life. At times, the pain is so intense it’s hard to breathe. I’m often in the bathroom for hours. Some nights, I’m awake all night from the pain. I deal with intense bloating every day. I thought I would never find an answer. I thought I’d be sick until glory. I was slowly learning to be okay with that. I never dreamed I would find out what I did last week.
When I was 14, I was taken to my doctor where, instead of looking into my symptoms, I was prescribed what I later found out was a placebo. They thought it was all in my head. But I was still sick.
My whole life, I’ve been what others liked to call “too skinny” or my personal favorite “anorexic.” Though I love to eat, I struggle to keep weight on.…
I see a post on Instagram from another Christian writer and it’s so beautiful and wise and creative. Wish I’d thought of it. I’m not creative enough, I conclude.
I’m writing a book and sometimes my brain hurts and the words won’t come. I feel overwhelmed by the phrases in my mind and how I can’t seem to make sense of them myself, let alone for my reader. I’m not smart enough, I send in Vox to a friend.
My son acts out. I know it’s a cry for attention because his baby brother demands so much of me. I snuggle him, play with him, and involve him in activities, but he still requires more. I’m not available enough, I lament.
My mind is so full of information that I forget appointments, plans, deadlines, medications, or just simply to drink water. Guilt floods my heart in bed because I forgot to put ointment on baby’s rash again.…
The words came out like venom. And in that moment, I meant each one. It’s not even just the way my body looks. No, it’s the way it feels. It’s the persistent bloat that presses tightly against even my sized-up jeans. An ever expanding pressure; a ticking time bomb. It’s the searing, twisting cramps that creep slowly through my entire abdomen as we head back home instead of going to small group. It’s the feelings of failure as I hear my baby cry and can’t run to him. Or the pain of his weight on my stomach while nursing him during a flare. It’s the wrestling with God over withheld healing. It’s the frustration of missing out on another family walk.
It’s the fact that I can’t even capture all the things it does to me in words. It feels like a prison—a place where pain reigns. …