write my story

The last two and a half years of my life have been very tough. It all started the night I received a late night phone call from my brother and found him after he had taken his own life. In that moment, he not only took his own life, but he also took a large piece of the lives of those who loved him as well. And we will never be the same.

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Then, not even two years later, I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. With no risk factors or history of any cancer in our family, I believe my cancer was the result of struggling with post traumatic stress for almost five months and barely sleeping after the loss of my brother.

Soon after my diagnosis, I went through six weeks of chemo and radiation. After a two month break for healing, I went through surgery, where they removed ten inches of my colon and resected my bowel for an ileostomy. I also had a total hysterectomy to prevent further cancer from the radiation. Four weeks later, I began what was supposed to be a six month long treatment of more chemo. Every two weeks, I would sit in the chair and receive two medications. Then they would hook me up and I would go home with another chemo that would infuse over 48 hours. There were two days after my treatment where I would feel awful, but I continued with my exercise routine and would Zumba with the chemo on my back. I wanted to be able to stay strong and fight this disease as hard as I could. After the fourth treatment, I began to show some side effects, some heart pain and shortness of breath. Tests were done but showed no negative impacts, so two more treatments were given. After the sixth treatment, I suffered severe complications, and my story took another turn.

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

On January 12, 2016, I was walking to my car to go pick up my four precious children from my parent’s home. I had just left an hour long meeting at the hospital where I work. I wasn’t feeling well, but I thought it was from the chemo and all I wanted was to pick up my kids and go home. But that wasn’t to be. As I was walking to my car, I felt a sudden pain in my chest and a shortness of breath. I’m a nurse, so my fingers immediately went to my neck to check my pulse. But there was no pulse. I felt like I was going to pass out so I quickly crossed the road and fell in between two cars, making sure my boots were visible to passers by. I called my dad to tell him where I was in case something happened so he could call 911 for help. All of this happening within seconds. I placed the phone on my chest and tried to sing and pray, but the only words I could say were, “Help me, help me, help me…” I laid there on the pavement. I couldn’t breathe and my heart hurt so badly and instead of beating, it felt like a fish flip-flopping in my chest. I thought I was going to die. Then a lady appeared with long blond hair, whose face I can’t remember, and she called for help. She shoved four aspirin in my mouth and told me to chew. I felt my heart start beating again and the paramedics arrived to bring me around the block to the emergency room. While in the ambulance I remember wrestling with myself as to whether I should sign out against medical advice and just go home. I truly believe it was satan whispering this thought in my ear. I ended up having them take me to the ER where I sat, a bit short of breath with my heart rate in the 120’s thinking (more like hoping) that I was just dehydrated from the chemo and my ileostomy. I thought for sure I would be sent home. After some tests, the doctors informed me that I had suffered a sub-massive saddle pulmonary embolism (PE) and needed emergency surgery to help dissolve the clots and take the strain off of my heart that had been damaged from the PE. The risk factors for this procedure were a heart attack, a stroke, and death. I prayed and sang during the entire three hour procedure where I felt my heart go into six runs of an irregular rhythm called ventricular tachycardia. The next day, three doctors told me that most people don’t survive the saddle PE that I’d had and that if I had been sleeping, I probably would never have woken up. I remember reading somewhere that the two most important prayers are, “Help me, help me, help me and thank you, thank you, thank you.” After hearing this news, I prayed a simple prayer. “Thank you, thank you, thank you… thank you for sparing my life.” After three days, filled with more tests and close monitoring in the ICU, I was discharged home.

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Not even 48 hours after my discharge, on January 17, I returned to the ER with an elevated heart rate and headache. I don’t remember much from this event. By the time I was wheeled into the ER, I was not responding appropriately to questions and within a few minutes, wasn’t able to respond at all. Then, in front of my poor husband and mother, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage followed by a seizure. Again, doctors were surprised by how small the brain bleed was. Typically,  TPA (the medication I had received after my PE) causes much larger brain bleeds with lasting deficits. But again, I was spared and was discharged from the hospital four days later with no deficits from the bleed.

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Ten days later, I had to again go to the ER, this time with a deep vein thrombosis to my left leg. Doctors didn’t know what to do with me. They didn’t feel they could safely put me back on blood thinners because of my brain bleed, but the alternative was losing my leg. A dear friend, who is also a doctor, took over my care. It was one of the greatest gifts that I have ever been given. And for him, I will always be grateful.

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

I was in the hospital for ten days and had multiple procedures. During one of the procedures, they found an anomaly in my pelvis that, with the cancer and chemo, had predisposed me to having blood clots and had been the cause of my PE. They tried two times to remove the large clot that extended from my calf to my groin, and tried to repair my anomaly, but both times were unsuccessful. I had so much pain in my leg, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep, and I missed my children terribly, so I put a blanket over my head and just cried.

Three times I had been faced with life threatening events and I felt I couldn’t take anymore. I remember one night around 9:00 pm, a lady came to my bedside and wanted to pray over me and anoint me. I was so confused. Anoint me? Did she know something I didn’t? Was I going to die? I thought anointing was for those who knew they were going to die. And I didn’t want to be anointed without my family. I told her I was too tired and to come back another time. I remember feeling annoyed and a bit angry. But God turned her visit into something so beautiful. The next morning I spoke with a friend, who also happens to be the Spiritual Care Director at the hospital, and talked with her about anointing. I learned that anointing is for anyone who wants to be healed. And that day I received another incredible gift. She organized and arranged everything for my anointing later that evening. It was one of the most special and beautiful moments of my life. I was surrounded by those most dear to me and was prayed over with scriptures so beautiful and meaningful. Then my brother-in-law read the story of the paralytic, who was lowered through the roof to Jesus. And I knew, as these loved ones lowered me through the roof to Jesus, that all was well. That Jesus held me and for some reason, was choosing to spare my life; for what yet, I do not know. But I pray that He will use me in some way to bring glory to Him.

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

 

Because of these complications, I am no longer able to finish the last six treatments of my chemo. While this would normally fill me with fear, I feel nothing but peace, an abnormal, supernatural peace. I believe that God wants me to realize, without a doubt, that it is HE who has saved me, not the chemo. My trust needs to be in Christ and Him alone. Not in the treatments of the doctors. I am healed because of Christ. For some reason, He has spared me over and over and over, and for this, I am so very grateful.

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

I have wrestled and often argued with God over the ending of my brother’s story, but I am beginning to realize that maybe his story isn’t over. My brother is living within me. I can keep his story alive and bring meaning to his death by sharing it with others, believing that God will use it for good.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I understand why God allowed my brother to die and me to live, why I had to endure cancer and suffer through all of the complications, but I do know, “When we can’t trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” (paraphrased) One day I will understand. But for now, I know that God is love, and that God is good and I must trust Him.

I know with certainty, that it is BECAUSE of these events in my life that I am so very aware that all I have, all I need, is Jesus. And that HE. IS. ENOUGH!

I want Jesus to write my story. I trust Him to write it, letter by letter, word by word, page by page, and chapter by chapter.

 

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

write my story by Kinderfarmhomeschool.com

He has already changed me. I used to think that my story wasn’t worth sharing, but how could I think that the story God is writing in my life isn’t special enough to share? Who do I think I am? This story isn’t about me but about what God is doing with it. It’s about His love, His grace, and His mercy. I used to be so private and would never have envisioned myself sharing my innermost thoughts and feelings on a blog. But He has taken me out of my comfort zone. I used to (and often still do) get in the way by putting the focus back on my story instead of the One who is writing it and I pray He moves me aside to help other’s see only Him.

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Lord, please write my story.

“They say
You’re the King of everything
The One who taught the wind to sing
The Source of the rhythm my heart keeps beating

They say
You can give the blind their sight
And You can bring the dead to life
You can be the hope my soul’s been seekin’

I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I wanna tell You now that I believe it
I do, that You can make me new, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

My life
I know it’s never really been mine
So do with it whatever You like
I don’t know what Your plan is
But I know it’s good, yeah

I wanna tell You now that I believe in
I wanna tell You now that I believe in
In You, so do what You do, oh

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

I want my history
To be Your legacy
Go ahead and show this world
What You’ve done in me
And when the music fades
I want my life to say

I let You write Your story, write Your story
Write Your story, write Your story

I’m an empty page
I’m an open book
Write Your story on my heart
Come on and make Your mark

Author of my hope
Maker of the stars
Let me be Your work of art
Won’t You write Your story on my heart

Write Your story, write Your story
Come on and write Your story, write Your story
Won’t You write Your story on my heart.”

“Write Your Story on My Heart” by Francesca  Battistelli

So today, I am sharing my story with you. And as you read this, I urge you to surrender, and allow God to write your story. Allow Him to use you and your story to bring glory to Him. It will not be a story free from pain and heartache, but God promises us that it will be one of hope and joy. Only He knows the end from the beginning. And if our stories don’t have the ‘happily ever after’ endings that we would have written, I pray we will have the ability to say, “even if not, He is still good.”  We must trust Him to write our stories.

You have an amazing story, that is unique only to you. Each of us do. Especially when we hand over the pen and allow God to write it. When we surrender and allow Him all of the pieces; the timing, the plot, the conflict, the characters that are involved, it will be good. Because He is good. I encourage you to let God write your story and allow Him to use you in bringing glory to Him.

8 thoughts on “write my story

  1. Beautiful – may God continue to write your story!! He is the ONLY author we wish to have in our lives!!
    So well written,
    Maggie

  2. So beautiful, you are writing from your soul and it shows. I am so grateful you are ok and am so sorry you have had to endure all of this. Your devotion and faith shine like the brightest light, and it is radiating on everyone who reads this. Thank you for sharing

  3. The tears in my eyes make it challenging to write… Amen to letting Him be the author of all of our stories!

  4. Oh Heidi I had no idea you were going through all of this! The moments I had with you teaching me the ropes of hospital tours and sharing your passion about breastfeeding and labor classes still stick with me. I loved talking to you about homeschooling and our families and our shared parenting styles. I am going to be praying for you and your family and will check in here often for updates.

  5. Thanks Heidi for sharing so much of yourself. It is a great reminder that too often we look at all the bad stuff in our lives and just complain or get discouraged instead of see how much God writes in our story when we will allow it. I pray that I too will allow God to write my story without my interfering. Love you guys.

  6. This really hits too close to home. I have been diagnosed with a type of leukemia that no doctor can figure out. Your story is inspiring…. You are inspiring.

    Thank you for being so strong and showing me that I can be strong too.
    I have been searching for peace… I think I just found it through your story.
    I’ll be praying for you and your family.

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