Let us start with a quick update:
Good news! My antibiotics are finished. Now to get this midline out of my arm, which is reacting terribly the the dressing. I have hives up and down my arm at the moment, but if that is my biggest issue, I am smooth sailing. Emotions have settled in our house a bit, and we are back in a bit of a routine. This morning is my first morning alone with the kids (while Jordan is at church streaming the Sunday morning service). We are all a bit nervous, but so far, so good. It is jammie day around here, but I suppose every day can be a jammie day if we so desire. My apetite is slowly returning, and if you know me, this gets tricky because of my food sensitivities. I am still trying to navigate my ever-changing food reactions and make wise decisions while trying not to focus on weight or numbers. Lying deathly ill in the hospital for a prolonged period of time inevitably creates weight loss, and because my Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (hyperPOTS) was activated, my body basically ran about 30 marathons throughout the week last week while fighting infection and lung collapse. When the home health nurse came over to help with my antibiotics this week, she said, “I’m going to say that you lost more that XX pounds.”
For anyone with a history of anorexia or any eating disorder, this can be triggering and challenging, as parts of my brain want to cling to the weight loss. Please pray as I try to surrender my body, weight, and food choices to the love Father, who desires for me to live life at its fullest. I want to present my body, mind, and spirit to the care of my God, and this means surrendering my weight as well. Medical crisis can create a set-up for relapse with anorexia, and I have come to far to step back into that place. Pray that I can stand strong and make food choices based on what is best for my body, healing, and forward movement. Ain’t nobody got time to obsess over weight loss at a time like this (or any time)!!
In light of this information, for those who are not familiar with eating disorders, please do not comment on my weight or ask about it, or focus on my physical appearance. I know many well-meaning comments can be difficult to process, so I ask for grace as I move forward: Let’s talk about the things that matter. My weight is not one of those things. Also, please pray for protection of my mind as I move forward toward health.
Now for story time (The most exciting part of this update):
I have a story that I have shared on social media, but it is incredibly relevant to my ICU stay.
I have attached two pictures of myself and a sweet baby named Josie McClure.
This is a picture of me in a sweatshirt that I ordered about a month ago. Josie McClure, the one-year-old daughter of Carly McClure, was born with a fatal heart defect. She came into the world to face continual heart surgeries, and a heartbreakingly unpromising life expectancy. The McClures live in DC, and we have friends in common. We have never met face-to-face, but when one is called and anointed as an interceder, we learn quickly that the Spirit calls us alongside many individuals whom we may never meet. In the Lord, I have fallen in love with this family. Josie’s name is spoken regularly in our household, in my prayer groups, and especially in my prayer closet. Throughout this journey, starting with her emergency admission to a PICU in North Carolina after a severe stroke (a result of her heart defect), God has woken me in the middle of the night to pray for Josie. One evening in January or February, as I was praying with my children before bed, the image of Josie’s beautiful face, her fiery red hair, and her delightful “angry eyebrows” emblazoned its image before my eyes, and I hit the floor to pray for her, asking Lily and Elijah to kneel with me. We prayed for Josie, for her Mommy Carly, and for the doctors. Later, I would weep in my closet, praying for this child. The next morning, I had nearly forgotten the urgency of the night before, but tears burned in the corners of my eyes as I read the latest update. Josie was not expected to survive the night. Her oxygen tanked (to the 20’s), and Mommy and Daddy said their goodbyes. They whisked her away, and later wheeled back in a very alive, stable child. God performed a miracle, and I had the privilege of battling on the spiritual lines for her life with thousands of others.
About a month ago, Josie received a new heart. She is recovering slowly but beautifully in the hospital, and has a shot at life. As a fund raiser, her mom partnered with a company to create these shirts, and on the first day that they were available, I ordered one. It says, “Love never fails.”
Little did I know that this month, I would find myself in a situation similar to Josie’s. With all the odds stacked against me and with grim prognosis, I would be placed in ICU (not for nearly as long as Josie) for nearly two weeks. Friends would start grieving because all natural signs were pointing me into eternity and away from this world; But God…..
God raised up prayer warriors as He has with Josie. We have seen the church rise up and be the church. We have experienced the fruit of night vigils, of friends awakened in the middle of the night to intercede, and we have seen the supernatural hand of God heal my body: I am home with my family, and my sweatshirt arrived in the mail yesterday, reminding me once again the truth: Love never fails.
God is always working, even when we can’t see it; even when all hope seems lost; even in the painful wake of gut-wrenching grief and suffering. This sweatshirt represents so much for me: I am on both sides of prayer: The one interceding and the one receiving intercession.
Prayer is vital. Jesus changes everything. Love never fails. Just ask Carly. Just ask Josie. Just ask me. When you hear our stories, you will see Jesus.
Fun Fact: Several of the songs that I have shared throughout this time are performed by Josie’s aunt and uncle, The McClures, a musician couple who are connected to Bethel Music. Hannah McClure sings, “Reign Above it All,” and “Now I See” is also a song from their newly released album.
God is so cool. Grace and peace to you.