For the past few years I have celebrated New Year’s Eve by deciding on a theme word or phrase for the next year. Aside from that first year of new beginnings which was more of a prayer after such a difficult 2013, I have felt God direct me to what word He has for me. 2015 was a year of gratitude—learning about a state of being rather than doing. And 2016 was a year of transformation—a word that sounded exciting until I realized how difficult the process of transformation is. So when I felt God giving me the impression that 2017 should be a year of joy I was pretty ecstatic. How can you go wrong with joy?
The definition of joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…a state of happiness.”* That sounds great, right? We could all use a little more joy in our lives. But what I’m learning is that a little more joy begins with a little less of everything else. In order to possess what you desire, you have to first let go of what you don’t desire. Continue reading
As February comes to a close, I wanted to share an amazing message of what love is from a couple who knew pain and hardship in ways most of us will never experience. Three years ago a woman named Carol shared this post about her husband in the midst of his four-year-long battle with leukemia. And while I realize pelvic pain isn’t leukemia, I think many of us who have experienced what painful sex can do to a marriage agree with her thoughts on love. You can read the full post on GodsGotThis.org, but here is an excerpt.
What is love without a little proof? What is love without inconvenience and without sacrifice? It’s hollow. It’s empty. It isn’t real. One thing is sure, we don’t need to test each other’s love. That’s a game that will backfire and destroy. Life does enough testing on its own. Medical challenges, financial struggles, circumstances and difficulties of all kinds happen. They really do happen. Sometimes it’s a slow boil over time and sometimes it comes suddenly out of the blue. Love isn’t always pretty, and it most certainly isn’t always convenient. It doesn’t always feel good, but it is always good. It always encourages and lifts up. It always makes us better people. Love can seem like an intangible, but it isn’t because love is something you do. We feel love and we say love, but it isn’t real until we do love. Continue reading
Christmastime is full of a lot of happiness and good tidings, but it can also be stressful and add to the difficulties we face with pelvic pain. I think a lot of the stress is because we have distorted what Christmas is really all about. If we are honest, the underlying motivation to most of the shopping, decorating and other busyness is the opinions of others. We want to impress, and we certainly don’t want to disappoint. Think about it this way. If you took away all of the thoughts and opinions of others around you—friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors—how much less would you do this season? Would you put up fewer Christmas lights, spend less on gifts, or skip a few holiday parties? And would you spend more time on things that you enjoy, even if others think you are strange for enjoying them?
I recently came across a beautiful article on PropelWomen.org that struck a personal chord. It brought up a very real and personal struggle of mine, but it also brought me back to a precious truth about Christmas. A truth that gets so easily overlooked in the hustle and bustle of this season. I certainly know the Christmas story—Mary, Joseph and the baby in a manger—but I don’t often stop to consider the deeper meaning within the humble beginnings of Jesus’ life on earth. Here is an excerpt from that article:
We don’t want to be different, you and I. We work hard to hide our inadequacies, cover our disabilities, minimize our poverties. We want to display strength, beauty and talents. Not weaknesses, insufficiencies and lack. And so we hide the humble parts of ourselves and do our best to present only those things that make us proud. Continue reading
I think it is time for me to share the story of how this blog came to be. It’s strange, I was thinking that it felt like the right time to finally share this and I didn’t even realize what month it is until I sat down to write. This month marks two years since the start of this blog and three years since God put the vision in my heart to create it. Here’s my story of how hope began in the darkness.
I think I’ve mentioned before about how 2013 was a really tough year for me. March is when the worst of it began—the beginning of the end of my marriage—and April 1st was my absolute worst day. I had been given some pretty devastating news the night before and my heart was still reeling from the reality of it all. I remember that I had to go to work that day due to a number of responsibilities I couldn’t postpone. I cried as I got ready and I cried as I drove to work, but somehow I managed to hold it together to get through the day. The next morning I was getting ready for work again and an idea came into my mind about starting a website. It would be something that could be a resource for others like me—something that could have allowed me to find help sooner. Continue reading
I started this blog anonymously two years ago and have been very careful to avoid sharing personal information about who I am. I set up separate email and social media accounts. I didn’t create an “About Me” page or share any photos of myself. I could say it was due paranoia about the internet, but really it was because I wasn’t ready to be honest with the world. In truth I have been living two lives; hiding my pain issue from most people who know me. I put as much effort into trying to appear normal as I do in actually preventing my pelvic pain.
But sharing on this blog has helped me heal—not so much in the physical sense, but rather healing from the psychological and emotional damage that painful sex has caused me. Slowly I’ve started sharing my pain story with more friends. It was difficult at first, awkward and uncomfortable, but it got easier with each new person I told. No one I shared with ever reacted negatively. In fact, my being so open with them seemed to deepen our relationship. Often as I shared something so intimate with them, they would open up to me about something personal they had faced (sometimes even a similar pain issue). And it was great to have them “in the know” about my pain. I didn’t have to hide it or feel self-conscious about needing to stand or bringing my seat cushion. Over time I found it sort of liberating to share this other part of me. I started feeling like I was becoming more of who I am. Continue reading
I was very much reminded today about how much I still need healing. The sermon series that my church is speaking on is about doing love and sex God’s way and today’s message was about how to have great sex (no, I’m not kidding, that was seriously the topic). So before the pastor began they had a special music solo—a love song. It was a great song but as I started listening to the words I just wanted it to hurry up and be over. The soloist was singing about what love is like—what it’s supposed to be like but wasn’t for me. The chorus said something about give your all to me and I will give my all to you. I’m grateful the lights were low so I wasn’t quite so noticeable as I dug out whatever tissue I could find from my purse. Just hurry up and finish this song I kept thinking, trying to shift my thoughts to any distraction I could find.
And then there was the sermon message. I guess I should’ve known, I should’ve expected that a message about great sex would be difficult for me to hear. The pastor did a good job and shared important principles, but it just made me sad. It reminded me of the hurt, it reminded of how far from that ideal my marriage had been, and it reminded me of how broken I still am. I think the principle that hit home most was how great sex is secure. It is safe—there is no judgment or condemnation—you can be completely vulnerable. That is certainly a big piece of the healing puzzle for me. I never truly felt secure in our sexual relationship.
In the past few weeks God has been giving me glimpses of how He is doing His work to heal me in this area. I have begun to realize how I never feel secure enough in my relationships with men to be vulnerable. Obviously the true place for full vulnerability is in a marriage relationship, but even in friendships I have a difficulty being truly authentic in a way that opens me up to vulnerability. I am still afraid, perhaps because I am still putting too much emphasis on how others view me. But, maybe it’s just that I’ve been hurt—I’ve been made to feel less than desirable, like I’m not worth it—and that has made me afraid and left me broken.
Here is an excerpt from my prayer journal earlier this month which describes this need for healing in more detail… Continue reading
Have you noticed that we often use the analogy of weather to describe our lives? We talk about rainy days, weathering storms, and the sun shining down on us. Most often we describe clear skies as the best weather to have in our lives, wishing to avoid the clouds altogether. After weathering some storms in my own life, and living with some clouds that won’t seem to go away, I have come to realize that the clouds actually make life more beautiful.
Think about a sunrise or a sunset that you may have seen recently. Have you ever noticed that clouds are what make a sunset so much more beautiful? The sun setting on a clear horizon is nothing compared to when the streaks of clouds transform its light into so many beautiful shades. I don’t think I have ever taken a picture of a sunset in a cloudless sky. Yet I have gone to great lengths to capture images of sunsets made beautiful by the array of colors reflecting off of all kinds of cloud formations. Even the first image you see on this website is that of a disappearing sun in a cloud-filled sky.
You could describe this analogy of a sunset in a lot of different ways. The sun might represent the source of light and life, or perhaps your soul or source of being. And if the sky is the canvas of your life story, don’t we need some clouds in there to better reflect the light? As much as we hate to encounter those clouds—trials and painful experiences—isn’t it precisely those difficulties which reveal the truer colors of ourselves, developing who we are as individuals? Continue reading