Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Anonymous

Anonymous said...
Sounds like you need to be thanking the surgeon who cut most of your stomach off and made you stop being such a fatass. Ever thought about that one?

February 28, 2012 11:34 AM

Dear Anonymous,

Hi there. I just have a few quick words for you, and then we can part ways.

Thank you.

Thank you for showing me that in a moment within reading something that should have been devastating, I can feel...nothing. Nothing at all. No anger, or sadness. That I can freely call out to my Savior in the moment between the words and the feeling and can be protected from it.

Thank you for showing me that I have amazingly supportive friends, who not only comfort me but also pray for YOU. Such Godly women I have in my life- such blessings.

Thank you for being an exact example of where I have come from- from bitterness and anger and misery to where I am now.

See, the worst thing somebody used to be able to hurt me with was the word fat. It got under my skin, made me cry. It angered me and made me lash out.

But not anymore. I am more than just this body. I am more than these extra pounds, and more than what can be seen.

I am a child of God. I am loved. I am treasured. Despite anything I may think of myself, He tells me differently.

And it is true for you as well. You are loved. You are treasured. And you can give yourself over to this peace of knowing that you are accepted. You don't have to hurt people to feel good about yourself. And you don't have to injure to feel less pain about who you are.

You can just be you, and let God sweep change through your life. You can just be you and be loved. And you can let go of bitterness forever.

I am praying for you, anonymous. I am grateful to you for reminding me of an invaluable lesson that is easy to forget- that I am sheltered and protected and the words and pain of this world cannot double me over anymore.

I honestly have love for you, and pity for you. I pray that God changes your life like he has done mine.

Take care, and may God bless you richly.

In His Love,


I feel like I am a different person already. And it's not because I am down 18 lbs. It's not because my clothes fit better or I have more energy.

It's because with every pound shed, I am released from a bondage that has held me for 25 years.

Food is a prison. Eating out of anger or guilt or sadness is something I had done for so long that I didn't even realize how I relied on food to help me through emotions. And I did. Very much.

I have eaten out of pain since I was little. Boxes of mac and cheese, cookies, candy. My parents didn't give me much, but they did feed me. And food became love.

I just cringed at that last sentence. Because it sounds cliche. And it sounds like I am excusing myself. And I'm not.

I own my mistakes. I own every cupcake and cookie and candy I ate. I own the addiction to the numbing feeling food would give me.

And I also own my lonely struggle to break it. And how I could not.

The diference between before the surgery and now is that I have hope. I have hope that I will be here when my kids need me, that I will be agile and strong. That I will be fully present and un-numbed by food. That I can model an addiction free life and inner strength and reliance on God. That I will be here.

God pushed me through something I didn't know I could do- give up my crutch. He healed me from bondage. The healing took shape of incisions, staples, and blood, and pain...but it was healing none the less.

And so. Hi. It's the same me. Same face, same hands, same voice, same words.

But the inside is a different landscape, one that I am allowing God to build up at His will. I surrendered my addiction to Him. I left all of my ability to eat and feel nothing on the surgery table.

Now it is just me, inside here. Me and my thoughts. Nothing to numb them or make them become distant. And it is tough. But like many things that are hard and painful, it is worth it.

I am a new creation. To God be the glory.

2 Corinthians 5:17
New International Version (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!

Friday, February 17, 2012

In the light

Well, as you can see, I made it!

The surgery went so well. I have no words. My doctor said it was one of the easiest and fastest he has ever done- just under an hour start to finish. I know this is because The Great Physician was there, fully present.

I woke up from anesthesia in a bit of discomfort. I was nauseous and disoriented, but the nurse who was taking care of me had a beautiful St Mary necklace on. I took one look at that, closed my eyes, and let peace fill me.

Mark came to the room after I was settled. He was so relieved. So was I. I can't give any details of what that afternoon or night was like, because it is a bit hazy. But I walked 7 times around the ward before sleep. I got up at midnight and washed up, brushed my teeth, and put lotion on. Suffice it to say, I felt really well.

I went home on the 15th. I can tell you that my most unconfortable times were that afternoon and evening. The gas pains from the co2 they fill you with are AWFUL. Very, very uncomfortable. They settle up around your shoulders and neck and the only way to get rid of them is walking and time. Let me tell you, I am one to be very embarassed about getting rid of gas, but everytime I have the past few days I have cheered! :)

Yesterday my daughter had her 5 year old birthday bash. I was basically just a spectator, since we combined it with Lily's bestie Kayley's party. Her mommy did almost all of the work- I just showed up. But I can say I was on my feet nearly the whole two hours. And I felt fine. Tired, but fine.

I woke up this morning feeling nearly normal. Now normal is not the same- I haven't had anything but water, crystal light, and jello since Sunday. But I am able to vacuum, help with the kids, and empty the dishwasher.

And I am down 10 pounds.

And I owe all of it to my Savior. He put me on the path. He made the way before me with the doctors. He guided my surgeons hands. He gave me wonderful nurses. And He has continued to give me strength beyond what I could have on my own.

I am in the light now, with the tunnel firmly behind me. And it is beautiful.

Starting weight- 229

Weight today- 219

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I feel like I am on the edge. Standing, toes over the line, between darkness and light, looking into a long tunnel of suffocating unknowns.

I am standing on the edge of what terrifies me, a journey through something I cannot control with changes I cannot anticipate.

It's light on the other side of this tunnel. I know it, with a profound certainty that only comes from God.

But this darkness before has humbled me. It has forced me to confront just how much I need to control everything- how hard it is to surrender.

I am terrified of the surgery. Scared of others having control of my body, of hands opening wounds in my stomach and rearranging my insides. I'm scared of waking up in pain. I'm scared of being alone in the hospital.

I'm scared. And I don't get scared very often. I don't feel fear over much of anything. If I am anxious, I take control over the situation.

But I can't do that. I have to trust other people. I have to commit my body into the hands of what I have been told is a brilliant surgeon. I have to close my eyes and allow myself to sleep as I am being operated on.

And everytime I think about it, I can't breathe.

But I know, I know, God is in that darkness. That He exists even when I am asleep and cannot call out to Him. That even in the midst of my terror and uncertainty, He stands beside me.

After all, I am a believer. And we have been given words for these things-

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24)

And I believe that God led me through this entire process, from beginning to the end. He went before me into this, allowed me favor with the doctors, the insurance, and the hospital.

And I have no doubt that He will be with me, guiding my surgeons hands, watching over me as this life changing procedure is done.

But my humanity cries out with fear. I am here, on the edge. At any time I can back away from this.

But if I do, I walk way from health. I walk away from something that can only help me to be better, freer from the things that take my focus from God. I am shackled right now, held deep under by this body that causes me shame and keeps me from living the life I want to.

This surgery frees me from chains I have wound around myself. It will be the greatest tool I will EVER have to be healthy and free.


Tuesday morning, I will be terrified. I will be tearful and I will be anxious. I will stand at the mouth of this darkness trembling with fear.

But as I walk forward, His hand will touch mine. And He will lead me through to the light.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Dear Sam,

I am writing to apologize to you, my sweet baby boy.

You see, I was not prepared for you. Since you were 8 months old, you have been on the go- always moving, always active. You have been an intensely physical child from the very beginning- at all times you challenge yourself to do more, climb higher, reach further. You are determined and stubborn. You are all boy. And it is exhausting just watching you, let alone trying to keep up.

I wasn't prepared for a child who didn't want to talk. For a child that didn't want to sit and cuddle, or read books and play quietly. I looked at you- your boyish spirit, your need for action, your adventurous ways, and I thought "Oh no! How am I going to deal with this?"

And at times, I resented your lack of need for me. I ached for you to want me to hold you, or for you to look to me for comfort.

But you don't.

And I am realizing the beauty in all of that sweet boy. I am looking at you with new eyes- eyes that are opened to the wonder that you are. I am embracing you as a whole- your active ways, your expressive eyes, and your silence. I am waking up to what your world is like- so physical, so driven to move and to play that words get...lost or forgotten. Words lose meaning in the face of a line of monster trucks in the sun, or a swing swaying in the breeze.

I am loving your quiet and sturdy presence. You take everything in. You absorb it all. And your heart is so big. Despite being so focused on what you want, you have an amazing empathy for those who are sad or hurt.

Sometimes I just watch you as you watch your world. I see you sit in your own silence, your eyes and hands always moving, moving. Pushing cars, climbing furniture, stacking legos. I see you turn your eyes to your sister with such love. You wrap your arms around her and squeeze her tight. You call for her when she is at school.

I have a confession: for a long time I wondered if you were okay, if your silence spoke of something broken inside. If it was something I did...Is it me? Am I not nurturing you as you need?

But now I know differently. All of your lights are on buddy- glowing brighter everyday. You are funny, and kind, and remarkable. You are determined and loving and stubborn. You are smart and compassionate.

And you have shown me all of these pieces of yourself, without speaking. And that, in itself, is wondrous.

So here's to you, my sweet quiet one. I can't wait to see what else you have to teach me.