Wednesday, July 22, 2009

when life hands you lemons

My parents travel to Japan two times a year and always bring back the candy and treats that my sister and I fell in love with while living there. They also always find some kind of funny gadget to bring back. Usually Chris and I look at these things like, “What the heck is that??!!” and then start guessing as to what it might be. We have used an ear wax cleaner as an ice pick and a crumb-scooper as a measuring spoon… It never dawned on me to actually ask, “What am I supposed to do with this?

Many of you read my post about my recent pregnancy-gone-wrong and my D&C. I assumed the story would end there and that we would move on and try again. But two weeks after the D&C, my doctor diagnosed me with Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD), a condition triggered by the pregnancy that essentially makes good cells go bad and brings a risk of turning into cancer. Usually a D&C gets rid of all these cells, but they are kind of stubborn and even if they seem to go away, they have a tendency to “pop” back up, and then the only way to get rid of them is through chemo.

Needless to say, my doctor is watching me closely, and I am getting blood tests every Wednesday. My levels have been good but are still showing a presence of these little cells, so my blood tests will continue for another 6 months, and I’ve been “highly encouraged” to not get pregnant again for 6-12 months.

To be honest, I've been a little temper-tantrum-ish about the whole thing. Seriously, after 9 years, we decided to get pregnant again, and now, not only am I NOT pregnant, but my doctor is diagnosing me with a high risk "condition". Uggghhh.

So here I am, standing here holding this thing that is so unfamiliar to me. I’ve been trying to rationalize what it all means and find a purpose for it. But coming up empty handed.

Until I had the ah-ha moment that all I need to do is ask, “What am I supposed to do with this?” Understanding that everything God hands us has a purpose. He’s not asking us to create one (like using that ear thing for an ice pick) -- He already knows what the purpose is, and we just need to ask. “What do You want me to do with this? What is the purpose? Why have you brought me here?” Simply put, “What am I supposed to do with this?

My epiphany has impacted more than my woe-is-me perspective, because I’m realizing that it translates into everything in life. When a new day comes, I need to ask the question, “You’ve given me another day -- What do you want me to do with this?” When my paycheck is deposited into our bank account, I need to ask the question. When no paycheck comes, or when bills come that can't be paid, or when we find ourselves ill, we need to ask the question. Whatever we're handed, whatever we're going through, there is a purpose. It's not up to us to figure out what that is, but it is up to us to ask the question, "What am I supposed to do with this?”

And honestly, I can't wait to see what the answer is!


  1. So sorry your going through this Christie, I will keep you in my prayers. Love the part about asking, so true! You are such a wonderful writer!

  2. Amen! Great lesson you learned.. sorry it is through this situation.. but you are right this has a purpose!

  3. Just have to echo the other comments. I am very sad that you are sad, but glad that you realized that God does have a purpose for everything. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I'm very sorry to hear this news. That must be disappointing and heartbreaking. Big hugs to you. I can't offer you advice about religion and God b/c frankly I'm very confused about that stuff and don't know where I stand. But I hope you can find comfort in those around you. And if I may, I would like to "highly encourage" you to indulge in anything you want for the next 6-12 months to help you get through this -- red wine, lots of chocolates, spa pedicures, venting here on your blog, several Shirley McClaine "Terms of Endearment" moments, etc. etc. Again, sending a virtual hug your way! :-)

  5. Christie, I love you very, very much!

  6. Christie, I, too, am so sorry you're going through all this time of difficulty, uncertainty and heartache. I wish I could do something to help it go away! But thank you so much for sharing your lesson you've gained through this--I think I really needed to read that tonight. Please keep me updated and I'm gonna keep praying, friend!

  7. Christie -
    You have been in my thoughts so much lately. I am sorry that you are going through this. What a great attitude you have. You are such a wonderful example. I will be praying for you.


  8. You are such an amazing writer with an amazing ability to find the deeper meaning to things that happen in life. I will definitely remember that question to ask God...such a good thing to remember.

  9. Dearest Christie.

    You surprise me often - and make me laugh! I ask myself, "Should I explain what I am giving her and what it is to be used for?" "No, that takes the fun out of it!" I love your amazing creativity...but then am reminded of all the different "things" I have tried to use to
    "hammer" something into place. Guess it runs in the family...well, ONE SIDE of the family, since your Dad ALWAYS uses the right tool for the right job.

    The "inheritance" I want to leave to you and your sister and to your beautiful children, is of utmost importance to me. It becomes even more important the older I get. How grateful I am that you do not walk in fear, but know where to go to get the answers to life. Love, trust and faith, not fear, is the legacy I desire for you.

    As I read the scriptures, I see that sometimes the Lord told His people to stand and watch as He fought the battle for them, and other times He told them to go and fight. But each time His plan was for them to have victory. The only times they were defeated was when they did not "inquire of the Lord," and they did according to their own understanding. I love that when you do not understand, you go to Him...a major lesson in life that brings great rewards.

    Last year as I walked through cancer and chemotherapy, my most frequent cry was, "Lord what do you want me to do with this...and how do I do it?" And then there was the other cry
    ...for every sitation and challenge to bring glory and honor to Him so that others would see His character revealed, especially in the midst of the challenging storms of life. And through asking those questions and receiving the answers, He filled my life with incredible PEACE. Even with pain in my body and questions in my mind, I could sing from my heart, "It is well with my soul!"

    The question you have asked puts Him in charge. That takes faith which pleases Him and brings blessings and peace.

    It is one thing for me to learn these lessons for myself. But to see Him working them into your life is even a greater joy as I see Him demonstrate His faithfulness to you. Thank you for being transparent and sharing. It is a blessing and encouragement to watch your life and a privilege to be part of it.

    With Love, Mom

  10. I'm so sorry to hear you are going through this. I can imagine your frustration. What a fresh perspective though! We could all benefit from asking that question every day.

  11. Good grief! I am so sorry Christie.....I have been so caught up in my own drama that I haven't even been over here to visit. I love your perspective and I love even more that you are not allowing satan to use this to steal your joy! You rock!!!

    I will pray fervently for you through your journey with GTD. God is going to use this for good and I can't wait to watch.

    Love you my friend!

  12. I love your blog! I want to pass on an award to you, so come on by and pick it up!

  13. awwww Man! I am so Sorry christie! I wish I could say something to make you feel better! Know that I am thinking of you!!!

  14. You are truly amazing, and have one of the best attitudes ever! You are an inspiration! I hope everything will be ok, you will be in my thoughts and prayers! Take care!:-)

  15. Love seeing you look to God for His direction and purpose and hearing you share those struggles to teach others.

    Continue to pray that these weekly tests improve. He is answering our prayers even now as your scores drop weekly. :-)


  16. I love it! What a wonderful obedient attitude to have. He will show you the purpose in His time and just think how great it will be. Thanks for sharing.

  17. So sorry to hear this & will pray for you & your weekly test results. Thanks for sharing - stories of faith such as this help bring my own back to the forefront when sometimes it gets buried in the sillyness of day to day life.