I could fill up a dried river or lake with all the tears I have shed from my health battles (or really life struggles in general). But one of the most understated struggles of endometriosis is the emotional toll it takes on you. Unless you have experienced it yourself or know someone close who has, you don’t always see and understand the raw emotion that comes with it. Envy when you learn of a friend’s “easy” pregnancy. Skepticism when a Doctor advises what the plan of action is; will it work or is it a band aid? Hopeful when you see the positive pregnancy test. Frustration when no one seems to understand the pain you’re in. Relief when reading a surgical report stating, according to the doctor, that all endo was removed. Defeat when you learn another surgery needs to occur because the endo is back. But while on this emotional roller coaster I am learning one of life’s greatest qualities, patience.
“Patience”. Everyone’s favorite word right?! This wasn’t and at times still isn’t my strong suit. I am that person who skips to the end of the book before reading the pages leading up to it. I always joke I have a “zero to 60” personality which makes sense given my love for speed and racing! Yup I have road rage and get impatient if I constantly hit yellow lights (which seems to happen all the time I swear). I hit the accelerator hard…..I often “drop the hammer!!” (total reference to Days of Thunder, remember I like speed & racing!). I always smudge my nails and am the worst cookie decorator. I refresh my email every couple of minutes when I know I should be receiving an email. I jump the gun more times than not and usually to the worst case scenario.
But when dealing with a disease like endometriosis you need the opposite of this “0 to 60” mindset; you need patience. Patience in finding the right doctor who understands the disease, patience with your body as it heals, and patience in knowing if the surgery worked or not; but most importantly, patience with yourself. And as I start to rebuild my body, heart and mind from my most recent surgeries (2 in a matter of 2 months - yuck) I am reminding myself of this daily. And this has always been one of the hardest & biggest tests for me; one I continue to struggle with daily!
Now I’m not totally a lost cause in patience. I can find patience in many situations but one of the hardest places for me to be patient is my health. And if I’m being honest with God’s plan. See my health journey goes hand in hand with God’s plan for me. I mean he is the writer of my life so it would make sense that I get impatient with the author when I don’t like what’s happening in the story, hence me always jumping to the end. But life doesn’t work that way. We can’t jump to the end to see what happens before we read (or experience) the entire story. We can’t accelerate through life, skip a chapter or take a “short cut”. And that is exactly what our journey and life is with God. We have to be patient when a detour comes into our life because we don’t know what the detour may bring.
When reading a book the best parts are what lies between the beginning and the end. You lose the full meaning of a book when you skip a couple chapters or jump right to the end. You miss the purpose of the book the author is trying to share or convey. You overlook defining moments, experiences and climaxes. Without all the chapters the ending won’t make sense. You need patience to read a book, to understand all the characters and the surroundings. You need patience as you uncover the twists and turns along with the surprises and shocks of a story.
This is what I’m realizing not only about my endometriosis “book” but also my life “book” in general. And do you know who the author is of each of our books?? Not ourselves but God. He writes our story. He writes our twists and turns, our surprises and shocks. All of the detours, highs and lows….He writes. He is the only one who knows how each of our book’s end. He is the creator, editor and publisher. So why do we resist or try to write it ourselves? Why not put our trust and patience into His book for each of us? He knows the plan for our lives, what the chapters ahead hold for us. And all we need to do is have the patience. Patience that whatever detour or obstacle we are experiencing has a far greater purpose in our life then we imagine. Patience that no matter the pain we feel that it’s for HIS plan, not ours. And that no matter how quick we want to jump to the next chapter of our lives we need to have the patience to take it one day/breathe at a time.
Because you never know what God is trying to show you in the chapter you’re currently living. If we are so quick to skip ahead, rush through the struggle or accelerate through life, we may be missing a gift God is trying to share with us in that chapter. Hit the pause button, slow down and be patient. Trust God and His book for your life.