So. Many. Feelings.

February 18th from Erin

Quick Updates:

  • First of all, THANK YOU for praying and for sharing this with others. I am so encouraged to know I’m being prayed for. Also, your comments, texts, calls, lunch dates, etc mean the world to me! I feel incredibly loved 🙂
  • We have a surgery date – it’s March 30! Yikes! I’m actually hoping we can move it back a week so it can happen during the kids Spring Break. I think that will make it easier to work out childcare. But either way, it’s happening.
  • I’ve decided to stop watching all medical tv shows and I have hidden the Acoustic Neuroma facebook group from my feed. I feel like both of those things aren’t helping in my efforts to be chill about this.

How you can Pray

  • Pray for my attitude and emotions – I don’t want to feel this way for the next two months – I’d like to be able to feel better about things. My counselor had some great suggestions I’m going to try.
  • Pray I can be part of the 30% of people whose tinnitus goes away after surgery. I have a constant ringing in my left ear right now. But there’s only a 30% chance it will go away after surgery. Please pray with me that it does.

How I’m Feeling

I don’t feel like I really have anything significant or profound to share this week. If I’m really honest, I just feel frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, hopeless, etc. about all of this.

I feel irritated that I have to deal with this, still scared about the surgery, frustrated by the constant ringing in my ear, anxious about the recovery, and sad about what the new normal might look like. I feel like life doesn’t feel really fun or carefree right now because there’s this big dark cloud looming overhead. And it’s hard to imagine when things will feel fun and carefree again. I wonder how things will be after the surgery and will I be constantly frustrated with the new normal?

And then, of course, I feel frustrated with myself for feeling all of that. I mean, things could be so much worse, right?

I guess maybe it’s a grieving process of sorts.

When the news was fresh, it was shocking. I literally couldn’t even talk about it.

Then it was devastating.

Then it was a problem to solve.

Then it was panic and fear and worry.

Now I’m just mad about it.

I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be in this. I know God is teaching me things in this. But how will I know if I’m doing this well?

I told Reece that I want to have a goal in this process. And that I want the goal to be that on surgery day I could be calm and at peace when it’s time to go. But I feel hesitant to make that the goal because it feels so impossible.

He asked me why I felt the need to set a goal at all. And why in the world would I set a goal that has such a high possibility of sending me into brain surgery feeling like I’ve somehow failed?

I have no idea. He’s so right. But now I’m frustrated with myself for slipping right back into old habits that don’t help.

But I was reminded today that a real relationship with God is honest and authentic. If He knows me and loves me like I believe He does, then I don’t need to justify, qualify, explain, rationalize, or minimize my feelings.

He already knows them.

And I am not my feelings.

I can feel hopeless, but still have hope. I can feel afraid, but still be trusting God. I can feel lonely, but know I am deeply loved.

Somewhere along the way, I think I decided that one canceled out the other. But it’s just not true. I think sometimes I start believing that the world needs to see my unwavering faith in God when things are hard and that somehow my strength is that picture. But God is writing a bigger story than “Resilient Girl Fights Brain Tumor with God’s Help”

He’s writing a story that includes all my strengths but also my weakness, all my successes and all my failures, all my shining moments and the ones I’d rather forget. In His story, I’m not strong. But He is.

And because I don’t have to be strong, I can be honest.

I can tell Him that I’m frustrated, discouraged, disappointed, and hopeless.

And it doesn’t mean that I don’t trust Him. If anything, it means I trust Him more.

2 thoughts on “So. Many. Feelings.

  1. We’ve never met, I went to Liberty with your husband. A little over a year ago my husband was diagnosed with esthesioneuroblastoma. I big word for a very rare cancer in his sinuses and along his eye and brain. I understand your scared. All your feeling is normal! All the emotions… your life might not be the normal your used to later, but it will be a new normal. And I believe after what my family has been through with my husband, that we can now encourage other families going through it. I’ll be praying for you! After a major surgery, chemo, and 70 radiation treatments, my husband is a year out with no reoccurrence. Praise God!

  2. Hi, Erin. I don’t expect you to remember, because I barely do, but we met a very long time ago. I read your blog because of the FB post from Sandi. My wife Dianne and I are old high school friends of hers. So much of what you write resonates with me and I am compelled to share a few things with you. Not only is God writing your story, He has read the final page, because He already wrote it. Yes. He knows how it ends and the glory of your journey is being the character that lives that story first hand in what we perceive as ‘real time’.

    1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the understanding of those who have understanding, I will confound.”

    You are having your God given strengths revealed to you on a daily basis. Strengths that only a few months or weeks ago, you didn’t believe you had. Do you think that God chose someone as ‘weak and frail’ as you to reveal His love and ability to heal? No. While it may appear that way to others and even to you, He is confounding the ‘wise’. You’re simply the vessel and as such you merely have to float above the turbulent waters just as Peter did. Easier said than done. Believe me, I know. You’re absolutely right, you don’t have to be strong because He has this and revels in watching you grow, overcome and express His love to others through your writing and living.

    I now view my cancer diagnosis of ten years ago with gratitude. Although I’d prefer not to have it, I like the person I’ve become a lot more than the ‘old me’. I have grown to be at peace with the ‘thorn’ in my side. It does not define me, but is a symbol of God’s love and triumph.

    Keep writing as there is great value not only to your friends and family, but getting your thoughts on the virtual page allows you to clarify and prioritize. It is a gift in every sense of the word.

    Dianne and I will join with your other brothers and sisters in prayer for your peace and victory. In the meantime, I wish you all the blessings you can imagine and mostly those you cannot. For example, I wrote this the morning before my most recent surgery: https://wordman4biz.wordpress.com/2020/08/21/swimming-in-the-deep-end/

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