It's been a crazy week. Have you ever heard the phrase "Nothing's changed and yet everything's changed? This kind of sums of the last week.
You see for the past month my heart has been acting a little weird, at times it will race, other times it feels like it's beating super slow, and other times it feels like it's beating to a 3 beat rhythm or no rhythm at all. I've mostly ignored it because I joke that i have hypochondriac tendencies and I didn't want my doctor to say "you're crazy." Besides I just had a physical in march that determined i was super healthy. Well, last week I had 5 different people share with me stories about them or someone they know having a heart issue. By the end of the week I felt like it was clear, God was telling me...I should go in and check with my doctor.
I got to my appointment feeling fine, I shared with my doctor that I love to run, ran a 5k in August, another in September, but for the last month I've been busy coaching and haven't been feeling great. Before I start running hard again I want to get a clean bill of health. She decided to to a quick EKG for a minute to see if it picked anything up. I told her i was feeling good and my heart wasn't acting up at the moment. The EKG did pick something up however, it showed that I have a 1st degree AV Atrial Ventrical Block. What does that mean??? The electrical impulse that starts at the top of heart and works its way down is slow due to some sort of block in the muscle cavity. As a result my heart is beating fast and irregular. My doctor also listened to my heart and said "That's interesting." my response "Really. i don't want to hear that." She said the two ventricals in my heart are beating at different times. Most peoples two ventricals beat at the same time. She did say that in athlete's because of lung capacity it's common to see the ventricals beating at different times. So what's next... She ordered me to go to a cardiologist monday morning to pick up a monitor to wear for 24 hours to get a better idea of what my heart is or isn't doing. I'm wearing the monitor now, it's pretty awesome. I've got wires and stickers all over my chest and sweet walkman like recorder that i get to wear with it for the next day or so. It kind of looks like an Octopus set up shop on my chest. So where are we at??? We should get the results of the monitor back in the next few days. Best case scenario they can regulate my heart beat with meds. (kind of funny thing here- I hate medicine, even after I had Tally and Oliver i was reluctant to take a Tylenol for the pain because i hate taking meds- at this point it's funny because if it's going to help me live... I'm like bring on the drugs :) Worst case scenario- I might have to have a pace maker put in. Yes a pace maker. Funny thing here is... So i just turned 33 and in turning 33 i thought... Oh i might Get a few grey hairs or maybe even reading glasses, never would have guessed i might Get a pace maker.
So right now i'm feeling suprisingly at peace. We've shared what's going on with not a ton of family mostly our close friends from church or friends that are believers that we know aren't going to tell us things filled with nice thoughts but rather people we know that will be on their knees praying hard. I've got an Army of family and friends praying for me and I can feel it. Under normal circumstances I would think i'd be freaking out right now, but i have been blanketed in a supernatural feeling of peace that i know is from all of those people praying for me. I have had a couple moments where I've been brought to tears at the thought of Aaron and the kids doing life without me. I've thought about the video journals i'd love to leave my kids if i do find out bad news and those thoughts make me sad, so i'm not going to let myself go down that road yet. I've thought a lot the last few days about Aaron's mom. She had a scary diagnosis when Aaron and his brother were toddlers and miraculously lived for 20+ years after. I can remember her sharing the story about how she prayed that God would allow her to see her kids graduate from high school and after that happened, she prayed college, then she prayed she'd get to see the girls her boys would marry, she then prayed that she'd be able to see her boys get married and felt that God was going to allow it. She held on for our wedding a died a few weeks after. She never prayed that she'd be able to meet grandkids because she just knew. She kept journals for Aaron and his brother.... something i've been wanting to do and actually bought journals for the kids a year ago- this might be the motivation i needed to start writing notes in them for my kids. Things that they do that make me laugh, my hopes, desires, and prayers for them.
I have a good friend, Samm who is my age. In college she had strep throat and it went untreated as a result she is now going through Kidney Failure. She's been on Dialysis three days a week for the last few months. On mondays i bring her dinner at the Dialysis center while her blood is getting cleaned out. This last monday was the last time- Next week instead of going to the Dialysis Center to bring her dinner i'm going to spend the day with her at the hospital as she gets a new Kidney. How awesome is that! I've prayed, cried, and wrestled with God over this girl and it's awesome to see that she is going to be alright. Last night as we sat and talked she mentioned that she wasn't much of a runner and for the last year and a half has been too weak to work out. She asked if i'd teach her how to run after she got her new kidney and new lease on life. I smiled at her and got choked up because it made me realize how much i do truly LOVE RUNNING and how sad i'll be if that's something i can't do. It made me think of Eric Liddel of Chariots of Fire fame. Beyond being an amazing runner he was also an amazing man with a heart after God who happend to be from SCOTLAND an happened to become a missionary until he died. Anyways one of his famous quotes is "I feel God's presence when i run." As silly as it sounds that resonates with me- i feel God's presence when I run. I feel joy and I have so many sweet memories around running. Anyways I pray that with all this heart stuff i'll still be able to pursue that desire without the worry that i'm going to keel over and die on a run :)
It's crazy... 5 months ago when we made a dramatic decision to live simply and follow God, I blogged that one of my major struggles is SELF RELIANCE and I knew moving down to the basement and living simply was going to be hard but i looked forward to the fact that we had made a decision to be radical and even though i wasn't saying God bring on the trials I was excited about the fact that WHEN LIFE IS HARD IT FORCES US TO BE LESS SELF RELIANT and if we embrace the trials that God can and will grow us and teach us. Looking back on this i think HA! Nice Janay are you really ready for this. The Bible specifically talks about when you choose Jesus you will be attacked. I shared with my pastor what i put on my blog and he laughed and said "Don't you know better." So... Since I asked God to grow me, refine me, teach me through hard times we've had some trials...
* Our Neighbors called the county and complained because of zoning issues and our lack of permits- essentially evicting us from our house and moving us into a 2 bedroom apartment.
* Aricin got gouged in the arm with a brass oar holder while we were on vacation in Palisade causing him to get 7 stitches in his arm.
* Talia fell at church and had to get 9 stitches in her forehead
*My heart stuff going on now.
Kind of a lot. It kinda feels to me like we are being attacked and that sucks. But I also know that as hard as these last 5 months have been. They have also been AMAZING. I feel like for the first time in a long time I'm growing in my faith. I've learned that for some reason i have in my head an American dream mentality that the goal in life is to be comfortable I've learned that to have that Goal of living a super comfortable life in a big house with lots of extra stuff inside contradicts the gospel. The more stuff we have the more easy it is to forget about helping others and we become more self reliant- feeling like we don't need God because all of our needs are met. Yikes!
The night before Tally had her little head injury i specifically remember laying in bed and praying protection over her from injury and Illness and the next day she falls and gets 9 stitches in her forehead. After her accident I remember feeling frustrated with God. Thinking "really God, you tell me to pray with the faith that what i ask for has already been given to me and then this happens?" It made me realize sometimes when i pray I like to think i have control over God as crazy as that sounds. Like so many other things i sometimes try to put God in a box and control him and he doesn't work like that. Who's to say Talia's injury could have been so much worse but because i prayed God coveted that and saved her from what could have been so much worse. And now this, i guess the point i'm trying to make is... God has me and our family on a journey- Even in the midst of this sucky situation I'm humbly left wondering what God is trying to teach me through this. I know i like to feel like i have control over my health- I eat healthy, i exercise, and I'm relatively young-and so i like to think nothing can happen to me- but it can. I'm definitely wondering why this? Why my heart is not working and what God is trying to teach me through this. To doubt God right now, to spend my days worrying, would be a waste. There is a lesson to be learned in this trial and although i don't know what it is. Even though this SUCKS i'm excited to know that if i can continue to rest in the thought that God is in control, this is how he made me, and he has a plan for all of this- i know he is refining me and growing me in my faith- and because of that I'M OK and IT'S GOING TO BE OK no matter what.
One last thing... In the midst of all these trials I haven't been the only one growing in my faith. Aricin (my sweet 4 year old) has asked questions like "If kids in Africa don't always have enough food to eat, do they still love Jesus?" and "Can Jesus come into my heart and live in me?" and "How can you hear God when he speaks to us." It has been so sweet to foster and cultivate his growing heart. As a family despite these trials I'm thankful for the journey God has our family on and I wouldn't have it any other way. The easy life gets boring :)
7 hours ago