Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Surgery day!

We are ready to go. Yesterday was a whirlwind of appointments in preparation for today.... the big day.

I'll be posting updates at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/shannonlong for her as the day progresses. 

- Gina

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How Can I do This?

For the last few weeks I've been working on my list of things that need to be done before we leave for Houston on Monday morning.

My list contained lots of things related to work and lots of things related to home.  I know it probably looked ridiculous to some people because it included things like:
-clean out the pantry
-clean out the refrigerator
-clean out my drawers
-clean out the tupperware cabinet
-get a pedicure
-write down a list of all my passwords
-organize my closet

Most of those things may seem silly but I knew that having all of the closets and drawers cleaned out and everything in it's place would make me feel less stressed- plus it gave me something to do to keep me preoccupied.

But now that list is complete. All of my tasks are checked off.  Short of finishing packing my bag for the hospital, I'm as ready as one can possibly be- at least physically.

However, I keep thinking....how can I do this?

When I can't sleep at night I think about those last few hours before I go into surgery and I wonder.

I wonder.....

  • How do I hold my sweet baby girl and look her in the eyes and tell her it's going to be okay without absolutely falling apart?
  • How do I hug my sweet Daddy and tell him not to worry?
  • How do I kiss my sweet husband knowing how difficult the next 12 hours will be on him?
  • How do I go to sleep not knowing if I will wake up and still be me?
  • How will I handle it if I wake up and my facial nerve has been severed?

I don't know the answer to those questions so I do the only thing I know to do- I pray.

While I'm Waiting

These past few weeks before surgery have been both wonderful and horrible. There are days when I simply cry over absolutely everything and am completely terrified and horrified and others where I'm able to smile and laugh and go on with life as if nothing is wrong and almost forget what is coming in the weeks ahead. Almost.

I know without a single solitary doubt that God will use this time in my life for His good and have already seen some TREMENDOUS blessings come from it. He truly is so very good to allow me to see those blessings.

Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE more than anything to help and to do for others. Serving and giving are the things that make my heart so very happy and I think are a large part of what makes me who I am. It is what I do and what makes me happiest. Giving I think I am fairly good at. Accepting love and help from others? I am so NOT good at. Like HORRIBLY bad.

I am definitely my mothers child and I remember as she battled cancer watching her sitting in her bed crying one day as I cleaned her house. When I asked her why she was so upset said that it was because she hated that everyone was having to take care of her and do things for her. I remember my response so clearly as I said " Do you get joy from helping others and taking care of them? Well guess what? So do we. You've taken care of us for years and now it's our turn. We love you and it is our honor to do this for you.  And if you don't let us? You are being a joy stealer!"

That conversation has run through my head countless times over the past few months as I have been showered with love by those around me. I have cried buckets of tears- overwhelmed by the kindness of my family, friends, co-workers, and strangers.  I will never, ever be able to thank each person but I treasure every call, text, gift, email, prayer, treat, meal, and offer of help more than they will ever know. 

I could write pages about the sweet things that have been done for me- from my sweet friends who anonymously left gifts on porch every few days (my porch fairies) to the precious friend paying to have my house cleaned for the next two months while I recover to the friends signed up to bring my family meals for the next several months to my amazing, precious friend Gina who is flying in today to spend the next few weeks taking care of me to the literally hundreds of cards and emails and texts and prayers of friends and of strangers I am amazed and humbled and more grateful than I could ever possibly explain.  I have never felt more loved in my entire life.  God has shown me ever single day how much He loves me through all of the people in my life. He is so very good.  

So I'm clinging to His promises. I know the days ahead will be hard. In fact, they will suck. But I also know what God promises. And He is always faithful. 

I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
~Isaiah 46:4

Be strong and courageous. Don't be fearful or discouraged, because the LORD
your God is with you wherever you go."
~Joshua 1:9

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
~Psalm 27:4

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
 ~Deuteronomy 31:6

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
~Exodus 14:14

When I am afraid I will trust in you.
 ~Psalm 56:3

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
~Luke 1:45

 But I will trust in you, Lord; I say, you are my God. My times are in your hands.
 ~ Proverbs 31: 14-15

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How are you?

I'm pretty sure that if I had a dollar for each person that had asked me recently "How are you?" 
I would have enough money to take a trip. {a nice, long trip}

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that people are so very kind and thoughtful and ask how I am.
It truly makes my heart happy.  I am amazingly blessed with some amazing friends and family. 

But....it also makes me very sad when someone asks that question because I honestly don't know how to answer it. 

Do they want me to lie and just say "Fine" and then move on or do they want me to break down and tell them how I really am? 

I will admit that most of the time I say I am fine. 

But truthfully, I am about as far from fine as you can possibly get. I haven't seen fine in a LONG time. 

So how am I? 

I am....

  • terrified
  • anxious
  • worried
  • scared
  • overwhelmed
  • sad
  • nervous

I spend much of my time lately telling my self internally to calm down and not panic because everything in me just wants to sit down and cry.  

Buckets and buckets of tears.

Much of the time I think .....

  • How can I do this? 
  • CAN I do this? 
  • I don't want to do this. 
  • I really, really, really don't want to do this. 

Sweet friends keep telling me I'm going to be fine and that I am so brave and strong and that they know God is going to use this for His good. And I absolutely do believe that He will use this trial for His good.  But when people say that- man it is some pressure. 

Because when they say that, I think........

  • What if I'm not brave and strong? 
  • What if I am the worst patient ever? 
  • What if I am super far from inspirational? 
  • What if I am mean and cranky and a big old mess and ruin the good God is trying to do through this? 
I feel like it's my job to reassure everyone that I am okay but on top of working and trying to get my entire work and home life in order before surgery plus trying not to completely break down- I just can't.

I want to be brave and resilient and strong- but y'all I feel about as brave and resilient and strong as a new baby kitten. 

So, I'm doing the only thing I know how to do when I'm terrified- praying and clinging to God's word. 

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. 
Exodus 14:14