I love #TBT (Throw Back Thursdays). The thought of traveling back down memory lane, but not having to stay there tickles my fancy.
One particular Thursday, a co-worker sent an old picture of me from the early 2000’s when I had red hair, and a much, much fuller face. I thought the hair was extra cute, but the look of the overly puffy face initially frightened, and somewhat embarrassed me. It made me reflect on a few things, with my battle of the bulge being the first to come to mind.
Within the last year or so several people have asked (wayyyyyyyy too much for my liking) how did I lose “all that weight”. My first natural reaction was often, “Now weight a minute! I must have been really big, especially since I’ve only dropped a few pounds.” My second semi-spiritual reaction was often, “Wow, I was much bigger, but if only I had time to explain why.” My third spiritual reaction was, “Thank God I’m alive!!!!” (As a side note, I’m working on the whole spiritual reaction first part of life that helps life be so much better, but I’m a work in progress in some areas more than others).
After I got over my own emotions, looking at that picture with the red hair and puffy face reminded me of just how far the Lord had brought me physically over the last 10-13 years. I realized that, at the time I didn’t realize how much what I’d gone through altered my appearance physically (in other words, I still thought I was cute). I also realized that many people might not have known what all I’ve endured. Behind that smile in 2002 on the photograph my co-worker showed me was a woman who didn’t know that she was very, very ill with a life-threatening thyroid condition. One year later, and the 50 extra pounds it presented was a woman who was taking more than 16 pills a day, many with the sweet side effect of weight gain, just to rebound from a near fatal Thyroid Storm. Shortly after that period of life, between 2005 and 2009 that same woman would again have at least three other health matters to deal with that would cause her to again take more “help you heal, but make you bigger while getting better” medicine. In 2011, a diagnosis of lymphedema was made better by, you guessed it, treatments that caused weight gain. In 2012 a bout with asthmatic bronchitis and five days in the hospital were treated with steroids strong to drop off 10 pounds in one week. Are you catching my drift? But I’m ALIVE and WELL!!!!! 2013 is the first year in 10 years that I have not had to add another health testimony to my WWE-sized blessings belt.
More of me compliments of Graves Disease and Thyroid Storm. (I was fighting for my life.)
More of me compliments of failed infertility treatments.
More of me compliments of a fall that damaged my hip and back for three years.
Who knows what gave me these blossoming cheeks. It’s likely just left over from years of overcoming challenges.
More of me thanks to treatment for lymphedema
More of me thanks to treatment for asthmatic bronchitis.
As much as the process over the last ten years had frustrated the stew out of me I now know that no one but a loving God could do what He’s done to allow me to be here today to tell about what He’s done for me, not just on the outside, but on the inside too. Through every single health challenge something life-changing and good came about. He gave me insight, influence, wisdom, memories, support, visions, rest, rewards, restoration and an eternally positive perspective that many can not comprehend. Every single pound paid off as it relates to God proving Himself to be the best thing since Cinnabon (which I often craved during my medicine-induced eating days) And that, my friends, makes Him worth the weight.