Stories About Anna

Year in Review

I’m someone who loves to sit down and reflect at the end of the year, but I find it hard right now to put my thoughts into words. I’m just going to start writing and see where this goes.

I learned invaluable lessons in 2013. First and foremost, I relied on God alone to bring me through some personal hardships and pick me up off the floor. There were some bruises in 2013. Definitely some scars.

Thankfully, the year ended on a high note. It started off with a bang, as well. In January, we went on a wonderful, fun-filled trip to Disney World and Legoland – a gift from Mike’s parents – but at the end of that month I had surgery for endometriosis.

It wasn’t entirely a new diagnosis, but endometriosis is one of those conditions that’s confirmed with surgery. I was in a lot of pain and I had an endometrial cyst that was getting bigger. My doctor explained the type of invading tissue I was dealing with was a likely result of never being pregnant.

Through God’s mercy, the foundation of some good Bible studies over the years, and the fact that He connected me with strong Christian friends during the most difficult time of infertility back in my 20’s, I accepted this reality just fine at age 38.  I recovered quickly, got back into a workout routine, and felt pretty strong about life in general.

But, immediately after my surgery, Mini went through a rough phase of separation anxiety that nearly wiped me out clean. Then, I got the flu that kept me in bed or on the couch for a week. I came down with a stomach virus on a day I was babysitting three precious little girls. I threw up in their mom’s van. While driving! That was the night that Mini asked Jesus into her heart, too; I missed it. I was praying for her while lying down on the bathroom floor, though! It was an April Fool’s Day that I’ll always remember.

Then the whole thyroid nodule thing happened. I didn’t know I had a nodule until my doctor discovered it, and the ultrasound was read as being suspicious for cancer.

At the time, Mike was on a missions trip. That is hard, my friends. Reading Facebook status updates about how awesome things are going while I’m feeling the TOTAL OPPOSITE was a bit of a pride-illuminator. Let’s just call that a time when I didn’t feel cut out to be a minister’s wife.

I can’t say it was a walk in the park to be married to me for those three months around the time of surgery.

I just felt like I barely held it together, not knowing what to feel, how to think, and definitely how to communicate those thoughts and feelings. No, I didn’t handle it well.

In late October, I had a breakthrough, and I felt like things were changing in my heart. It happened on this day, actually.

BrotherSisterFall

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I walked with the kids for a mile even though I was completely exhausted. It was therapeutic for me to get out and take pictures of the kids. God used this day to fill me up in the places of my heart that only He knows about. He gave me understanding through His Word and used lyrics in worship songs to replay in my mind and replace other messages that needed to be faded out. 

God is good. He taught me so many needed lessons this year. I’m not sorry that 2013 has passed, but I will remember how He met me in specific ways to give me exactly what I needed.

I can’t imagine going through life without Him.

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