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9.17.14 - UTI’s are the worst. Well… all illnesses are.

Taking a moment to write out all my thoughts, so they can stop swarming around my head like abstract noise (if that’s even a thing). I don’t know if this has anything to do with the illness I’m dealing with right now… but I’m trying to trace as far back as I can to see when exactly I didn’t start feeling too great.

This past weekend, I went back to Troy for the weekend for a wedding. I felt antsy, nauseous, and dehydrated non-stop. It probably didn’t help that I spent about a whole day in the basement too, trying to work on some school work done while watching a couple of Marvel movies. But I’m thankful to my friend who housed me for the night… going back to a place where I’m not guaranteed a place to be able to stay is pretty tough in itself. I left the wedding early because that anxiousness still didn’t leave me, probably because I had so many other things on my mind.

The next morning (Monday), I powered through my classes feeling slightly uncomfortable, but I didn’t think much of it. I couldn’t really eat much, but I also wasn’t very tired either. So I tried to stay awake and get some work done but my mind just was not there. My body felt like it was being poisoned, but I had a few essays to write, so I took a stab at those but my thoughts would not come together. And so I took a nap… one of those naps that makes your head feel like a hundred pound boulder on your head. When I got up, I used the bathroom… and that’s when the sharp, burning pains registered and my mid-back started aching. The nausea only began to get worse and I could feel a fever coming along. Thankfully, some good friends were there to help me get through the night. They helped me finish my laundry, take me to the pharmacy, made me food I could keep down, spent time with me, and even help get all the information I needed to get medical help the next day. What would I have done without them?

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I’ve had a UTI once before in my life but it was nowhere near as bad as this one. All the urgent care centers were closed by the time that my symptoms fully kicked in (around 10PM), and so the best thing I could do is call the 24-hour Olin helpline to find out more information on what (felt like it) was killing me. The nurse was very adamant that I take myself to the E.R. given to my description of the level and locations of the pain, but I was also very adamant that I do not have health insurance, so there was no way I’d opt for that, no matter how sick I was. So the next best thing I could do is head to Olin as soon as it opened the next day at 8AM.

I slept for about 5 hours before I woke up around 6 AM the next day with the urgency to pee. And that clawing, stabbing pain inside kept me awake. I couldn’t really cozy up either since my room was so cold. So I decided to stay up, layer up like crazy, and fold my laundry - some of which was still wet, which felt like ice-cold rags given the temperature of the room.

I called the clinic as soon as the clock hit 8, and got picked up by their courtesy van. The doctor was an (upper) middle-aged white woman, who seemed like she was concerned but also slightly annoyed. After we were about 10 minutes into conversation, she asked what my first language was, even though we’d been speaking to each other in English up until that point. I said “English,” but she questioned me again saying, “Are you sure it’s not Chinese? I mean, it’s for the purpose of knowing what language you’re most comfortable with.” At that point, I felt so weak-bodied that I just replied respectfully that it was English. I guess I would have done that in any case, but meh. I wonder what it would have been like if I’d said something snarky in response, asking if she’d be able to speak to me in that language if I’d said otherwise. Thankfully, she  didn’t do invasive tests like last time, and all I had to do is pee in a cup.

My results came back and sure enough, the severity of the UTI was just as bad as I’d imagined, but luckily it was nothing some strong antibiotics couldn’t take care of. The bacterial infection did spread from my bladder to my kidneys, which was the cause of the fevers/nausea/upset stomach. I wanted to stay up so I could get some work done, but it seriously felt like a block sitting in my mind, not letting me do anything but sleep.

Since then, things have been slightly better… the sharp pains are gone but my body still feels like it’s being slowly poisoned. I have three classes today, but none of which I can actually go to. I spent the majority of last night trying to readjust my sleeping position because it felt like no matter how I laid, my kidneys were causing a lot of back pain. I finally forced myself to get out of bed and stuff some food into my system so I could take my pill again. I haven’t showered since the weekend, but at least I  was able to bring myself to change my clothes today. That’s progress. I don’t really want to bump into anyone here in the caf, but I’m sitting here solely because there’s heating on the downstairs level. I feel gross haha, and I’m dreading the fact that I can’t do anything but rest, especially because my mind still feels so restless.

I have so much school work to catch up on - and one of my teachers hasn’t even replied. I might just have to take a 0 on the 3 assignments I had for that class. I have to make a trip to the insurance company to sort some things out. I need to work, but my boss (in a nice, but firm way) told me that she already found people to cover my shifts and I just needed to rest. I tried to argue it, but she said I’m just going to have to resume work next week.

The hardest part about being sick is that you feel helpless at times and dependent on other people. And even though the friends around me have been more than great, of course there are still moments where you catch yourself feeling utterly alone. Even though you’re not. Even though God is so near at all times, that loneliness is something you can’t quite shake off sometimes. I want to continue denying the possibility that maybe all of this happened because of stress. The kind of stress that you’re unaware of, which is what makes it so dangerous. Your body can’t handle it but your mind continues to inject itself with morphine to numb your conscience. Sooner or later, your body wins.

I am reassured in knowing that God has had me from the very beginning. That while all this is happening, he is here leading me through this so that I might come to trust him and surrender everything to him. It’s a lesson he knows he’ll need to continue to teach me multiple times over this lifetime, in different ways, and a lesson I’m going to need to rediscover each and every time. He’s been here with me through all of this, even though the loneliness is still sometimes haunting.

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I don’t think running into this video was a coincidence by any means. God is so purposeful in everything he does and everything he is… I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of standing in awe of his splendor. What a beautiful, beautiful family. It really does start with the parents, and with Christ at the center of all things. And it might be silly to say, but I’m seriously so thankful for this family, hahaha…

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9.10.14

"The truth doesn’t need you to defend it - it will defend itself."

Thankful I was told this… it was a good reminder that this is all a part of the Lord ushering me through this process of fully being able to surrender and trust Him. Trying to exert myself over matters that are outside of my control is about as pointless as me flailing my arms around with all my might, hoping that I’ll be able to turn into a bird and fly.

Let me be at peace with with knowing in what my foundation is, and who my foundation is… Jesus, help me keep my eyes fixed on you.

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whatrorenis:

Developing a “tough skin” isn’t the answer. Jesus didn’t have a “tough skin”. He had a strong heart, the strongest heart. 

I can’t accept that all of the things that were to hurt Jesus’ heart just simply deflected off of Him. Spiritual pain….it’s such a deep, empty, yet so full kind of a pain. Be it loneliness, disappointment, or what have you… it really hurts

But in all things, He humbled Himself and served because He LOVED. And He had a strong heart, the strongest heart, as to incessantly and unrelentingly LOVE those He was called to love. 

I really felt like for the longest time, either I had to be a pile of mush or a rough skinned shark. I had no choice. But now, I’m starting to see that the training of our spirit really is a training of the now-flesh heart. Through the tears (x2) and breaks of exercising my salvation, comes healing, and then finally, comes strength.

A strong heart doesn’t allow you to simply be pulped into a bigger, sloppier mess by the pains; a strong heart doesn’t allow you to simply “not care” about the pain, as “tough skinned” people would do - no. A strong heart allows you to feel what is meant to be felt from the pain in a heart of flesh, but is trained to persevere so that we may LOVE as He loved.

Truth

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9.2.14 - Thoughts

Man… you can really tell a lot about others by the way they enter/exit a room. The way they turn the door knob open, the way they shut the door closed. The heaviness of their footsteps, the speed of their pace. Whether they’re filled with anger or gentleness… There’s so much to observe from just that alone.

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8.23.14 - Thoughts

1. So, this is it. One more day until I’m back in Michigan.

2. Please pray for my stummy. This whole week I’ve been having stomach problems but am not sure what the cause is…

3. Can I give thanks in all situations?

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8.21.14 - Lesson learned… kind of.

Trying to save something good for later // or putting tasks off for another time… usually only ends badly.

1. Multiple times where I tried saving food or drinks to savor later, and it ended up spilling over or going bad

2. Putting off buying an Owen parking pass, only to find out that they sold their last spot two nights ago

3. Putting off buying a new pair of glasses, and just missing the ‘first pair free’ promotion on Coastal

Sigh… I wish I could say that this kind of situation will never happen again if I can help it, but knowing me… and knowing life… it will.

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8.19.14 - Cayulihforneeyuh

It’s been a couple of days since I’ve been here in California and so far it’s been pretty good. I actually completely forgot that my dog existed for a split moment, and was super surprised to see her once we arrived on Sunday night. I guess that comes to show how scatter brained I felt, haha… I can tell that she’s put on some weight… her messy fur probably adds to her mini-bear-like appearance too. I missed her so much :3

The house - err… condo, is really nice! Paul’s a big collector of unique knickknacks from around the world… there are a lot of paintings, movie posters, and autographed photos with famous celebrities hanging everywhere on the walls. There are also a bunch of Buddhist and Hindu statues everywhere. All the bedrooms are on the first floor, and up the stairs is an open balcony room where his work desk is. The view from up there is really nice… you have full view of the rest of the home and there are big windows on all sides, letting a lot of natural lighting in.

To this day, I still don’t really know what city I’m in. My mom keeps on giving me the general area, saying “Beverly Hills, but not really”… kinda like how we Michiganders say we’re from “Detroit, but not really” to make it easier for non-Michiganders to picture. But, we are about a 5 minute drive away from Hollywood boulevard, so I guess it works for me. We walked around a bit and did touristy things. I wanted to go to Madame Toussaint’s wax museum but it was a whopping $30 per person… so we passed @_@; they had a Johnny Depp and Robin Williams model outside for the public to see so I guess I got to see a little bit. It’s crazy how lifelike they are… down to the texture of the skin, the pores, and everything. Afterwards, we went to Korea town and ate some gooood food. Tangsuyuk and Jajangmyun actually taste really good together!

Today, we’re heading to Santa Monica Beach and then tomorrow is the wedding. I originally thought it was just going to be my mom, Paul, and both their kids, but I just learned that he has a hugeee family and that there are gonna be a lot of people coming. It’s kinda crazy, I always wanted a big family with a lot of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, but I never thought I’d have one. And soon… I will??? I wonder how close we’ll be though. O.O

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8.16.15 - Thoughts // My Personal God

In about 24 hours, I’ll be flying out to California for my mom’s wedding/a mini family vacation… My mind is kind of a mess since I can’t stop thinking about everything I have to do as soon as I get back. I’ll be arriving back in Michigan at midnight next Monday, and then in a few hours, I’ll have to drive all the way back to East Lansing to work the morning and then move into my new dorm. And then before I know it, classes will begin and I’ll “officially” start my Senior year of college.

But right now, I’m sitting here in the Panera right by my old house. I’m here for the night just so I can get to the airport a little easier. I’m thankful for having great friends who have offered to house me, help me get to the airport, and even help me move in once I get back. I think I’m just beginning to realize how I need to leave behind all of the things that I felt like were being taken away from me, and look towards what God is gifting me with in this very moment.

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Just a couple of weeks ago, I felt completely lost in all of all the changes I was experiencing. I’m still in the process of surrendering everything at the feet of my sovereign God, and I’m still learning to trust Him with all that’s within me. A part of me still wrestles with a fear that maybe He’s beginning to get frustrated with me because of my doubts and delays in turning to Him… but I’m beginning to see that that’s a delusion that my own doubts have created. As I look to His word, the message of His relentless pursuit of His beloved continues to hammer down, piercing my heart deeper and deeper with every strike… This has always been the case since the very beginning, and has carried on from generation to generation.

I’m no exception to all of His sheep who have strayed away… but there’s a beauty in knowing that my Father doesn’t just see me- or any of us- as just one of the many faces in the masses - but that He knows me inside and out, and that He is my personal God. And that He formed me before time began, and fashioned together a unique journey He would lead me through by the power of His Spirit and in accordance to His time…

I really don’t know in what ways this upcoming week will change my life, but I feel Him changing my heart, and reassuring me in gentleness that no matter what happens, He will always continue to take me higher and take me deeper with Him..

Prayer Request: Persistence in keeping faithful to Him

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8.15.14 - It Is Well

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul!

So much truth in trusting in the Lord. This is by far my favorite song at Riverview :)

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8.10.14 - Rejoicing

In the end, the Truth will always have His way…
With regret, I admit that over time, I let Fear consume and overtake my faith. I felt controlled by it - chained and forced to be its puppet. But even so, the Lord planted in me from the very beginning a desire to live by His truth, and for there to be no other way to do so but through Him. I was afraid to trust in the Truth, but He still prevailed despite my unbelief.

Can I truly proclaim with every ounce of my being, and every fiber of my existence, that I trust in Him, and that I know with no doubt that He can use my filth, shame, and fear to be glorified? That none of my sufferings or mistakes I made were in vain?

I want to be able to. And although I still feel very feeble, I know with full assurance that my hope in Him has reawakened, and I that He is sanctifying me even as I write this…

Happy Sunday, everybody.

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8.10.14 - Revelations 3: 19-20

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come on and eat with him, and he with me.