So yep, a cheesy title, but new city, new job, a lot of new and fresh. There has been a lot to celebrate the last few months. First, I have had amazing test results! My blood work came back with a really low number which is really really great. Also, I got a new job!! I am super excited! It is as an Education Assistant in a preschool classroom. The name of my class is the mountain room, and I will be working with two co-teachers. They are amazing smart women whom I know I will learn a lot from. The school is Desert Springs Children’s Center, they have a Reggio Emilia approach, which is mainly about child directed learning. As an educator in this approach your job is to look for clues or hints that the children are giving you to show you what they are interested in and allowing natural experiences and play to facilitate learning. I love being a teacher in this environment because it allows me to expand their thinking naturally. I also like this approach because it is very focused on treating children with respect. I have seen way too many times teachers yelling at children and not getting on their eye level. I wouldn’t listen to someone yelling at me all the time, why would a child? So needless to say, I am very excited to be part of the Desert Springs community.
Even with all of the fresh and new exciting things going on, I still have the what if questions. What if, I didn’t have the surgery? Would Gary and I have kids right now? Would we be in Tucson? Would my life be better?
Most of the time I am happy to be where we are, the what if questions still nag at me, but I know that God’s plan is always best. These questions sometimes keep me up at night, or crying after a long shift. Something I know I need to be better at is dealing with my emotions as they come up, or at least at some point during the same day. It’s hard when you have frappuccinos to make, or children throwing paint, to deal with complicated emotions. Even if I make a quick note to remember to deal with my feelings each day, I wont have over whelming days where I feel like I can’t do anything but cry. I go and go and go, and when I finally stop, it’s like my emotions are a river breaking out of a dam. No one can control that kind of force, not even Gary. I know the God of the universe, the Almighty, the Everlasting God can. He can do anything.
English Standard Version (ESV)
14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
One year ago…
I was getting ready to go into surgery, not knowing if we’d be able to have children when I came out
I was living in Denver with my family and dear friends near by
I had just gotten sweet little Lola to help my aching heart.
A lot can change in year and a lot can stay the same.
I am getting stronger every day, physically and emotionally
I am living in Tucson, far away from my family and friends
I still have sweet little Lola and of course silly BIG Ivory, they are both still helping my aching heart
I am thankful,
That my tumor was not cancer
That I am healthy today
That I have my true love and supportive husband by my side
For my sweet dogs that give me kisses and love
That even though I am not living near my family, I still have their love and support many miles away
This year has been tough. There is nothing about it that has been easy. My friend the other day wrote something on facebook about being ready for trials if you ask the Lord to use you for His kingdom. Boy was she right. This has been a trial I never thought I would go through. At different stages in my life God was allowing me to experience challenges in life that have helped me through this last year. I would even say that my first surgery helped me to understand that I might not bear my own children. Not that this “understanding” made it easier, but I guess it allowed me to look at my future without that possibility. That God made me not just so I can bear children He has a larger purpose for me than I do for myself. He thinks more highly of me than I ever will.
I am looking forward to this next year. Gary and I will at least be in Tucson through this year, we are planning on taking it year by year and seeing where the Lord will lead us. It might be continuing in Tucson, it might be Denver, or maybe somewhere completely different. If there is anything this last year taught me, is that making my own plans is really silly.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Do Not Be Anxious
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Obviously there has been a lot of change in our lives since my last post! We decided to make a huge change and move! We had been considering moving to Arizona for quite a while, pretty much since we got married. It was never quite the right time though, because of my surgeries or being in a lease. Our lease in Denver was up end of January, we were looking for houses to rent, we were tired of paying a lot of money to live in crappy apartments. When we couldn’t find anything in our budget, the thought of living in the same apartment for another year made me want to puke. So Gary threw out the idea ” Why don’t we just move to Tucson?” So we packed up our stuff and three weeks later we moved! It sure has been an adventure. God really brought us to a place where we needed to depend on Him alone. As scary as it was not having a roof over our heads in a disappointing circumstance, He took care of us and gave us some wonderful church family that brought us in and encouraged us! We were with them for almost two weeks and found our new apartment. It is cheaper and nicer than our one in Denver, so we feel like we made the right call! Here we will be able to save up and possibly buy a house when our lease in up in one year.
Gary and I both have jobs, which are both challenging jobs. The Lord is really moving in my heart to help me find the career He wants me to have. I love working with kids, but it seems like the child-care field just isn’t for me, but God is using that to build a desire to work with kids in a different way. I am looking into different masters programs, possibly speech language pathology, or a masters in early childhood education with a reading endorsement. I really like working with kids in small groups or one on one. The child-care classroom does not allow for group time let alone any one on one time with any special needs children that are in my class. It breaks my heart every day I leave feeling like I could not give enough to these children because I’m sorry, but a ratio of 13 three year old’s to 1 teacher is just WAY to much. I can understand how teachers get burnt out and start not enjoying their job. So I will be looking for what God has for me in this circumstance and find ways to enjoy the work that He has given me.
We have also found a church! Yay! We started going to a church called Revolution, it’s an Acts 29 church in Tucson. We really like the people and are excited to get involved. I am excited to make friends! I am really missing girl time.
One recurring thing I am having a hard time with, it sharing my story, and it’s not because I feel uncomfortable telling people. It’s because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable. Some feel the need to apologize for asking about us having children, while others try to relate. Either way it’s an awkward situation, because it’s normal for people in Gary and I’s state in life to be working on having children,so it’s a normal question to ask, they just don’t expect to hear “I can’t have children, I had a hysterectomy, but we are hoping God will allow us to adopt”. We are hoping that adoption is in our future, but I cannot allow that to be my hope. God has an amazing plan, that I can’t even imagine! Gary and I’s life together has been such a journey. People tell us that we are “still practically honeymooner’s” and it cracks me up. We have been through so much life in the last two years it feels like we have been married for 15. Not in a bad way, but we know each other really well.
If there is anyone reading this that would like for something to pray for us about. We really need prayer about our jobs, Gary is in a sticky situation and wants to make the right call. I am also trying to decide what to do about my job, and how long I can stick it out. I also need prayer that I will be able to talk to people easier. I think the stress of if the children question coming up builds up my anxiety and in turn is making me less social, especially in meeting new people. Gary has actually been more outgoing than me! Thank you friends and family for all of your support! Love you all!
I can’t believe it has been six months. Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago and other times it seems like last week. I have hard days and easy days. Not a day has gone by when I haven’t seen a pregnant woman at work or someone on facebook that had or is having a baby. Everytime I feel sick to my stomach and try to swallow the tears. I could not have imagined how hard this is. I know it is just our world, we live in a reproductive society. I WILL be faced with it everyday. What matters is how I use the emotions that come with not being able to have my own child. The grief, the loss the ache in my stomach. Am I going to allow them to control me and ruin relationships or am I going to use them to show God’s grace and love? It would be easier to let them control me, and be a mess all the time.
There is a song that I hear on K-Love a lot by a female artist Plumb the song is called ‘How many times’, it is such an amazing song that I am using for part of my new tattoo the lyrics are:
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell. And everybody’s got a wound to be healed. I want to believe there’s beauty here. So, I guess you’re tired of holding on. I can’t let go, I can’t move on. I want to believe there’s meaning here. How many times have you heard me cry out “God please take this? How many times have you given me strength to Just keep breathing. Oh I need you God, I need you now. Standing on a road I didn’t plan Wondering how I got to where I am I’m trying to hear that still small voiceI’m trying to hear above the noise Chorus Though I walk, though I walk through the shadows And I, I am so afraid Please stay, please stay right beside me With every single step I take How many times have you heard me cry out? And how many times have you given me strength? I need you now, I need you now.
The part that speaks to me is ‘how many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?’ That is how I feel everyday, that God is giving me just enough strength to keep breathing. However, lately, God has been showing me so much about what He has planned for me, and that He has a purpose for my story. My dear friend Heather Joy and I have decided to start a womens ministry/group called Word Up. Our desire is to create a community of women who meet regularly with a common purpose : to read God’s Word , to encourage one another in our personal walks with God , and to be a safe place to not only give but recieve edification. We will also be starting a blog to share what we have been talking about as well as a way to encourage eachother throughout the week. God has given me a desire to share my story with women and to be an encouragement and testament to the faith and strength that He has given me.
I am so thankful for Gary. He is such a gift from God. He doesn’t allow me to get caught up in all the negatives and encourages me to pursue the talents God has given me. I am also thankful for all of my family and friends that have provided support. The verse below is a reminder for me, that God has a plan, that for me might not include being a Mother. I need be satisfied in Him, not my ability to bear children, or anything else that the world would have to offer me.
Psalm 17: 13-15
13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!;Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,from men by your hand, O Lord, ;from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied withchildren,and they leave their abundance to their infants. As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
First, I just need to thank everyone who has been helping us get through this. We have so much support and it has been so nice to know that I have so many people to go to, whether it’s a coffee date with my Mom, or sewing for hours on end with my friend Erin, or just a phone conversation with other friends and family.
It’s hard sometimes to remember that this is real… I will never have babies…Gary and I will never have biological children…when I realize or have moments of “realness” I have mixed emotions. For the most part my heart drops, then I tear up a little, then I have a hot flash LOL, then I thank God. Thanking Him is hard to do sometimes, but then I remember that my identity is not in ‘this’ (my ability to have children, my ”being a whole woman”, being able to bear children for my husband..etc). My identity is in Jesus, that means that all of ‘this’ is bigger than my little world, my whisp of time on this earth. Clearly God has a lot more going on for Gary and I than to have our biological children.
I saw a counselor this week, well actually two counselors. I realized a lot in talking with them. I realized I have permission to grieve…what permission?? At one point one of them asked me “Caitie, how long did you think this process was going to take?” I answered honestly “Two weeks or so..?” Seriously, I was kidding myself big time. I try not to let things bother me, get over them quickly because I think, well used to think, that by not getting ”over it” I would only be letting other people down, or I would think I was making it a bigger deal than it really was.
I guess what I am trying to say, it that I realize that it wont be over it in two weeks, and I am OK with that. –Deep Sigh Of Relief–
English Standard Version (ESV)
Give Thanks to the Lord
138 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.[a]
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.[b]
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.
I went to my oncologist last week for a check up and found out that everything was benign as well as the tumors were not estrogen sensitive so I can take estrogen which will control most menopause symptoms! We are doing so well and my body is healing really well. The hard part right now is to remember that my body is still healing and not to over do it, I actually popped a stitch a couple of days ago and had to go to the Dr.’s office to have him fix it….oops. I am so ready to start being active and being a playful Aunt again, but I have to take it easy. I go back to work in a couple of weeks, I am ready but nervous. I know a lot of the regulars will be asking where I went, I am not sure yet how I will respond, there is a line of honesty and privacy, not sure where that lies. I have a lot of questions to work through and hopefully I will get there by the time I go back to work. I found this great website http://www.hystersisters.com, where women can share their stories and talk about their recovery, it has been really helpful, I found out that almost 150 other women had a hysterectomy the same day I did. I am not even close to alone. I am so thankful for my friends and families. Even friends that I haven’t met yet, that I have found through blogs and websites. God is so great and is blessing me daily with everyone who cares and is showing love to Gary and I.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent
71 In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame!
2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me, and save me!
3 Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
you have given the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
5 For you, O Lord, are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you.
7 I have been as a portent to many,
but you are my strong refuge.
8 My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
10 For my enemies speak concerning me;
those who watch for my life consult together
11 and say, “God has forsaken him;
pursue and seize him,
for there is none to deliver him.”
12 O God, be not far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.
15 My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
of your deeds of salvation all the day,
for their number is past my knowledge.
16 With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come;
I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
17 O God, from my youth you have taught me,
and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18 So even to old age and gray hairs,
O God, do not forsake me,
until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.
19 Your righteousness, O God,
reaches the high heavens.
You who have done great things,
O God, who is like you?
20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
21 You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.
22 I will also praise you with the harp
for your faithfulness, O my God;
I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will shout for joy,
when I sing praises to you;
my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
for they have been put to shame and disappointed
who sought to do me hurt.
So we are finally back at our apartment and it feels great! Thank you so so much everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I am so glad to be out of surgery and looking forward to the future and moving past this. The tumor (which was benign!!!!!) had taken over my right ovary so my oncologist performed a complete hysterectomy and an appendectomy , I had some adhesions on my appendix from my last surgery, and I guess you don’t need it anyways. It is quite the surgery to heal from, but I am recovering so so so well. I had an epidural which is amazing and helped me to not feel as much pain. The epidural also made it so that I didn’t have to be on morphine, which to me is a gross gross drug. So I was only in the hospital until Thursday afternoon. Two and a half days! That is awesome! God is teaching me so much through this, I know it will be hard, but I also know that He will provide and that He LOVES me so much. He is sad with me, I am sure He doesn’t like seeing me go through this. I have only had a few mild hot flashes and night sweats, but so far not too bad, I didn’t experience any in the hospital which I am so grateful for. We are waiting on some test results that will help us determine whats next. Hopefully the tumor was not estrogen sensitive so that I can have hormone replacement therapy and will not have to go through menopause yet! That would be so so wonderful. Thank you everyone for your prayers and continue to pray that God will give us rest and peace. ❤