Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I Write

Today is day 4 of the WEGO Health ~ The Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge 2012. I will be writing a post everyday this month and each will in some way focus on what life is like with fibromyalgia (as well as other health issues including migraines, hypothyroidism, and polycystic ovarian syndrome).

I write about (my) health because... As writers, we all have unique styles, motivations and stories to tell. But hidden behind those is the question of “why?” Why do you write about health? A topic often criticized both for being, conversely, under-discussed and over-shared about. Take some time today to reflect on why you write about (your) health. Why do you write?

I'm actually going to "cheat" a little bit on this assignment. You'll know, if you're a regular reader of my blog, that I've been participating in 31 Days to Become a Better Writer over the last few weeks. I feel like two of the writings I did for that tell my story of why I write and so, rather than rewriting them, I'm going to share them with you.

From 31 Days to Become a Better Writer – Day 2
This isn’t at all how I expected it to be! For years I had searched, struggled, longed for an answer. I knew God was calling me. But to what? I plodded along, sure the answer was just around the next corner. And yet, the spotlight never stopped looking.

Then, as quietly as a child sneaking out of her bed, the answer crept up on me. A chaplain! Working with those who are ill, drawing their last breath, saying goodbye to one they hold dear. Walking the journey with them, even if the distance was short, being the presence of the Liberating King, offering my time and myself to listen, to hold, to comfort, to be.

Crash! The sound of things falling apart. I am the one who is ill. My broken body full of pain, fatigue, depression, anger. A cane and then a wheelchair is required to do my work. And still, even then, less and less of the time am I able to minister.

Now I spend much of my life in bed, the exhaustion and pain overwhelming all of me. I cannot make plans for I am unsure from day to day whether I will be able to function as a human. My husband caring for me “in sickness”, “in sickness”, “in sickness”…where is “and health”? My twelve year old almost a woman daughter now brings me food and drink. A strange and twisted reversal of roles.

The answer that I had searched for no longer is correct. My body betrayed me, and yet the desire to serve, to minister, to journey is still ever present. Can you still use me God? How can I be? This isn’t at all how I expected it to be!

and from 31 Days to Become a Better Writer – Day 6
I’m on my way! Yes, that is the name of blog, but it’s also my life. One of my dear BBFs (best blogging friends) Jamee actually came up with that title for me. I had utilized the tagline of “my journey as a Christ follower, wife, Mamma, and fibromyalgia fighter” for some time but it really didn’t seem to fit as a title. The minute she suggested “I’m On My Way”, I knew that was right for me. Because you see, I am on my way.

This life I live is a winding, often hilly, often bumpy, often full of forks and u-turns and loopdiloops, road. And what is the destination of this road? Well, honestly, I think the journey IS the destination. I didn’t always think that. For such a long time, my thoughts were that there was going to be some kind of prize, fairy tale castle, and they all lived happily ever after ending to this road. But the further I get, the more I realize that just living, just being, just making it another day is better than any fairy tale could ever be.

My journey, my road, is most likely much different from yours. Because, let’s face it, if we all walked the same road, life would be pretty boring. I can only watch so many cookie cutter, I know how the story ends, predictable movies and if life was like that, well, it would be pretty miserable in my book.

The biggest part of who I am is a Christ follower. My initial decision to follow Christ was as a young child. Being raised as the daughter of a pastor, I was at church whenever the doors were open. However, I don’t think that the significant change came in my faith life until my husband, Russ, and I lost our first child to miscarriage. That experience changed who I am and what faith looked like for me as I sought to reconcile a loving God and the death of my child. How can this make sense? It can’t, but God does understand my pain in a way that not everyone can because God too experienced the death of a child. The relationship that continues to develop between me and God would not be the unique relationship it is without the journey we have gone on together. And thankfully, it is ok for me to have doubts and ask questions and be upset and cry and scream and be excited and not completely understand because that is what journeying and building a relationship with God is like for me and I hope for you too!

Next up in my little tagline is my journey as a wife and Mamma. I know that a lot of my readers are also filling those roles in their own journeys so that is something we have in common. My hubby Russ and I have been married for going on 15 years (yes, I really was 19 when we got married). Damaris is our going on 13 year old daughter. I mentioned above that we lost our first child to miscarriage. We also lost two more children to miscarriage and had three failed adoptions. Never hearing those first words, seeing those first steps, starting school, growing up, going to college, getting married. Being a Mamma to a precious daughter here with us and so many other not here with us is a difficult job, but one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I remember as a little girl wanting more than anything to be a wife and Mamma when I grew up. I know that what I dreamed it would be like could not have been further from the truth but even through all the bumps and difficulties and tough times and sadness, the good times and happiness and rejoicing and celebrating and being make it all worthwhile.

The last part of my tagline should probably be something more encompassing like chronic illness fighter. You see, I have been sick more of my married life than I have been well. When Russ vowed to be with me “in sickness” he must have really meant it. My body has undergone eight surgeries in our time together. I fight hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, infertility, migraines, depression, and fibromyalgia just to name a few. My body has gotten to a place where it struggles to get out of bed most days of the week. I am unable to work outside the home and am in the beginning stages of pursuing disability. Damaris spends much of her day caring for me much as I cared for her when she was younger. Russ spends much of his day working to provide financially for us and then comes home to take over for Damaris in caring for me.

Perspective, it’s a crazy thing. 15 years ago, could I have ever imagined my life would look like this? There’s no way. Would I change my life? No, because if I changed a single thing in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I’m on my way and I welcome you to journey with me.

What about you? Why do you write?

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