I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m glad to bid farewell to 2017, and relieved that it is now in my rear view mirror! As I sat reflecting on 2017 this past week, I couldn’t help but think of Jeremiah 17: 7-8, which says, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
2017 was a year of drought with my health as it took a swan dive.
- I had a constant headache and chronic sinus infection for six months. Literally.
- I had sinus surgery.
- I had ear tube surgery (yes, at 41, I still have to have ear tubes).
- I gained 40lb in six months (60lb in the year).
- My energy levels are at an all time low. I feel like I’ve run a half marathon after shampooing my 4yo’s hair. Since I’ve actually run a half marathon, I know this isn’t right.
- My thyroid ultrasound shows that my multi-nodular goiter continues to increase in size, as well as the nodules increasing in size and number, yet my TSH is “within normal limits” which means my GP wouldn’t treat.
- I scored an overnight stay in the hospital for new onset hypertension. Hello, cardiologist.
- Then, I scored two overnight stays in the sleep center and received a new diagnosis of “significant obstructive sleep apnea.” As soon as it’s delivered, my husband and I will share our slumber with a CPAP machine. Yay. :/
And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
2017 was a year in which my reply became “I’m glad to be here” to questions like “How are you.” I could no longer say “I’m fine” or “I’m well” and not feel like I was being dishonest. Verses like Isaiah 40:29, which says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” kept me going.
I can’t tell you how many days I blinked back tears and asked God to help me to “consider it pure joy… ” Or how many times I closed my eyes and asked for help to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” There were plenty of moments when I failed. Moments when I felt like the Psalmist was speaking from MY heart when he wrote, “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
With all of the health challenges I faced, it would be SO incredibly easy to overlook the blessings.
- My husband is amazing. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve him, but I’m sure glad I do.
- My son received miraculous healing… twice.
- My oldest daughter is conquering her learning differences. It’s been a arduous climb, but we’re gaining ground!
- My youngest daughter is developing friendships and is less clingy.
- My parents are still living and we have a great relationship.
- My four siblings are all alive, and tho I don’t see any of them often enough, I love them dearly.
- I have a great relationship with my in-laws and enjoy spending time with them.
- We are part of a great church that is impacting our surrounding community.
- I’ve been able to speak into the lives of youth and women and provide hope and encouragement.
- I have real friends that I can count on.
- I’ve been a resource to parents across the globe that have children with AEC syndrome or another ectodermal dysplasia.
- I have new doctors who’re going to help me take my health back.
I won’t lie, I’m glad to bid farewell to 2017. And I can’t tell you how excited I was yesterday when I flipped open my Bible and saw this verse staring back at me…
I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
Isaiah 41:18 NIV
I’m so incredibly thankful that my faith is firmly rooted and that I’ve got a river of living water within, a fountain that never will run dry. Without it, 2017 would certainly have left me to shrivel.