Helpless

Y’all, it’s been a tough week.  I’ve been exhausted to the point of wanting to hide under a blanket until Christ himself came back, and I’ve felt utterly helpless for a majority of it. 

It’s in my nature to protect people.  I can remember all through school, as far back as first grade, feeling my heart break whenever anyone was picked on.  I would rush to stand between “that kid” and whatever mob was trying to proverbially lynch him or her. I would make an effort to eat lunch with them, learn their story and just be their friend.  I had a disdain for bullies then, and I that’s not changed at all now.  I just want to guard people from getting their feelings hurt.  I sometimes cry when we watch COPS. Seriously. I cry like a baby which, of course, confuses the snot out of my LEO.  

“WHAT is it this time?” 

“They’re wearing SOCKS!!”

“..what???”

“SOCKS AND A BELT!”

He doesn’t get it, but to me that drug leashed soul was someone’s baby. They have a name, and a birthday and a mom and a dad and…omg. Can. Not. Deal. Tears me up.  Those shells are people.  And Jesus loves people.  I love people.

I’m sensitive. I can’t help it. 

I’ve had the same best friend since 8th grade.  Now, granted, I have a couple of very close girlfriends in whom I can share most anything.  I keep that circle ridiculously small, and for good reason.  You shouldn’t be intimately close with a large number of people. You’ll begin to lose yourself.  However, this best friend and I are the kind that can go years without seeing one another and never miss a beat.  I’ve joked before that God knew we were sisters, but He also knew better than to try and have one parent raise us together.  Both of our moms suffered miscarriages before we were born.  Testing the waters, I guess. 

She keeps getting herself into predicaments I can’t protect her from.  I say that like she in any capacity chose to be in these predicaments… nonetheless, I can’t fix them.  Cancer was the first one.  Then…last week happened. 

Last Thursday, I get a Facebook message from a relatively new acquaintance who tells me that someone killed himself.  What this person doesn’t realize, is they’re referring to my best friend’s dad. Oh sure, he knows we know one another. He doesn’t know he just told me my best friend’s life has derailed and I’m nowhere nearby to catch her. Immediately I call her.  

No answer. 

So..I do the patient sensible thing and wait until she calls me back. Just kidding. I blow her phone up.  She answers.

“Where are you?!”
“…at my dad’s…”
“Who is with you?”

Basically, I need to know she’s ok and not alone. She’s not alone, as her husband is there.  Fast forward through Sunday. Lots of crying, lots of hugging, lots of nights spent staring at the ceiling for this girl and feeling as if my insides are jello spaghetti.

I can’t fix it. What good am I if I can’t fix it??

Other things that have bothered me this week that will probably become their own blog entry topics:

  • Feel-good ministry status updates (I’m looking at you Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer) that are frequently re-posted on people’s statuses and the lack of scripture in them.  Apparently, there’s a large market for spiritual fortune cookies. 
  • On the same note, the trend of movies, shows and books that are making millions on Biblical sounding principles but..again..no scriptural basis. 
  • Why Steven and David “fell asleep” but Ananias “died”
  • Death in general
  • Finances
  • Being worst mom ever for not signing up my kid for tee ball (I had no idea he even knew what it was. I was wrong.)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and feeling like a pincushion
  • Marketing The Siren

I try not to blog when I’m blah.  I’m blah.  Just…blah.

On a happy note- it’s not snowing again.  

xoxo

Brandi

 

 

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Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives! 

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives! 

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives! 

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

 

I picked up my rental today from Enterprise, and settled into (what the lady who turned it in had called) “The Banana Box.” A bright yellow Kia Soul.  I gotta admit…I’m diggin’ it.  When the radio came on, it was set to Lithium. I was stoked to hear Nirvana, No Doubt and The Offspring all in a row.  I was singing along to my heart’s content…and then… I lost that content.  I turned down the radio and started singing “Because He Lives.” 

I love our church and I’ve learned to fall in love with the soul behind today’s worship music… but there is just something to be said for the spirit behind a classic, traditional hymn.  Yesterday, among all the powerful words sang by our congregation, came this quietly beautiful hymn.  

Yep- I cried.  Through the first verse and a half. 

This morning, I guess, it was still haunting me and I couldn’t shake it.  The promise recognized by But greater still the calm assurance: This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!” makes my heart soar. My little man shares in the same promise I do! Because HE lives!!!

Hoping yours was a fabulous, blessed Sunday full of reflection and peace!

Xo,

Brandi

The Waiting Game

So, I’m keeping myself plenty busy while waiting to hear something from the doctor.  Not only is Operation Blue Bunny going down tomorrow (short explanation: Best friend and I deliver Easter baskets at night to kids of LEOs), but I opened an online shop for The Siren using Storenvy.  

www.thesiren.storenvy.com

I’ve spent several hours a night putting it together. I’m hoping it makes it much easier for my customers to shop around. 

Feel free to let me know what you think!! 

xoxo,

Brandi

His Eye…

image

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Step One

I see a lot of posts this morning about the storm. It messed up sleep, morning drives and early Tater Day plans.
It was exactly what I needed, though. My first thoughts were,
“I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder. Thy pow’r throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my savior God, to thee. How great thou art. How great thou art.”
Worry, dread and anxiety are human. Storms are not. I’m thankful that He who controls these storms, also navigates me through mine. Going to be a long day, but at least I’m reminded I’m not alone.

 

That was my Facebook status this morning.  I finally made it to my biopsy at 3, and made the best of an uncomfortable situation by doing what I do best when I’m nervous.  Talking. A lot. About everything.  It was relatively painless, just no more comfortable than a normal yearly.  I’m kinda crampy now, so the LEO has gone out to grab a pizza.

Also, he made me midnight brownies last night because I was so on edge.  What did I do to deserve that kind of special treatment?

I really should learn to just patiently wait until something is over. Instead, I can’t shut up when I’m nervous. Luckily, my doctor has been around me a few years, so I’m sure he knew what to expect.

On a superficial level, everything looked ok.  Should know something from the lab in a week or two.

Will advise when I get some news.

xoxo,

Brandi

Aside

The “C” Word

I’m 9 years old, and it’s Thanksgiving.  Everyone isn’t excitedly visiting and wanting to be the first to the turkey.  In fact, we’re all pretty quiet.  The life of the party is missing.

My mama.

She’s in the hospital because she had surgery to remove her cervical cancer.  I’m miserable, and devastated. The plates are fixed, as my sister-in-law cooked dinner.  I take mine downstairs, and can’t begin to tell you how it was because I never even tried it.  I leave my plate in the floor of the den and go upstairs.

I cry. A lot.

People keep telling me it’s the “good” kind of cancer.  I don’t care.  They keep telling me she’ll be home in a few days.  It’s not consoling me.  I just want my mama back.

I get checkups regularly, as I’ve always expected my annual to come back abnormal.  Last year my best friend’s did, and she’s got her 1 year check up this Thursday.  However, cancer doesn’t put itself on the books.  It’s pretty inconvenient, and it’s kind of a big jerk about the whole intrusive thing.

Today, I got my “maybe” call.

Sitting at work, I nearly ignored them altogether. “Yes, I know I need to schedule my…oh wait.  I already did that.”

“Hello?”
“Brandi?”
“Yes…”
“We received the results from your pap smear.  They came back abnormal and you tested positive for HPV.”
“I’m sorry; what?”
“The doctor wants to schedule a biopsy. When would be good for you to come?” Like she was asking what time I want my hair cut.
“Uh…I guess as soon as possible?”
“Ok, I’ve got a Monday at 3:30.”
“That will work.”
“See you then! Have a great day!”

My skin turned icy and I completely forgot what I was doing.  I stood up, went to our front office and sat with our receptionist (who, herself, is going through treatments for bladder cancer).  She hugged me, and told me she was giving up her day off (scheduled for Monday.  I’d completely forgotten.) so I could go to my biopsy.

Then I called mama.  Then I called my LEO.

What I wanted to do was call the doctor’s office back and let them know this wouldn’t work for me.

“You see, I don’t have time for all of this.  I have my POPS test on the 17th.  You know, that test thing I’ve been striving to get for, like,  2 years? Yeah. Uh- my time has finally come and you’re just going to have to postpone this until it’s more convenient.”

I didn’t…but I wanted to.  Finally, my LEO and mom showed up at the office.  We shut my door and talked about it all.  I was still left with a few (a lot of) questions, because I had honestly not heard most of what the little girl had said cheerfully on the phone. I texted my OBGYN (’round here, y’all, we do things like that) and asked if he could call me when he got a chance.  My phone rang within minutes of my text, and he was on his way to lunch.

Is that not precious?  You don’t find that kind of treatment just anywhere.

If you’ve Googled HPV in the last few seconds, you’ll undoubtedly have come across another acronym.  “STD.”

That’s all my LEO heard, too.  We were both pretty confused.

When the doctor called, this was one of the first things I addressed with him.  He assured me HPV is a virus, kind of like the flu, that can come and go. He said everyone thinks of it as an STD like HIV or whatever, but that’s not really accurate.   Additionally, you can get a strain that’s goes back tens of thousands of years.  He said the kind of test that came back was the “it looks a little funky, let’s take a better look at it” kind, and he will be surprised if it goes any further than “let’s watch it for a couple of months and do more paps.”  He used the term “ASC-US”, which the CDC says stands for “Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance.”

Other things I learned from the CDC? (http://www.cdc.gov/sTd/hpv/pap/default.htm)

  • All women who ever had sex are at risk for HPV and cervical cancer.
  • HPV is so common that most people get it at some time in their lives. But HPV usually causes no symptoms so you can’t tell that you have it.
  • It can take 10 to 15 years (or more) for cells to change from normal to abnormal, and then into cancer.
  • positive HPV test means you do have an HPV type that has been linked to cervical cancer. This does not mean you have cervical cancer now. But it could be a warning.

While we both felt a little better about the whole thing after getting off the phone with my doctor, I told my LEO I didn’t want to talk about it with many people. I did tell a few close girlfriends, however.

Weirdest thing ever? Apparently, I’m late to the party.  EVERY SINGLE ONE of them has already dealt with this at some point, and had some amazingly encouraging advice.

“I’ve had that before!!! Had my cervix scraped and all good now.”

“And he is totally right, HPV is not ‘dirty’. Mine comes and goes and, the worst mine ever was, was a stage 2 cell dysplasia”

“When they did surgery, it apparently took the virus with it.  My last 3 have been abnormal but no virus.”

I’m very thankful for some amazing friends, mama and husband.  I’m even more thankful for a God who wasn’t surprised, at all, by this whole ordeal.

  • I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
  • For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control2 Timothy 1:7
  • For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

So, now what? Well, turkey season starts the 12th and I’m still planning on taking that test the 17th.

Oh! About this circus.  Apparently, biopsy Monday.  Wait a week or two.  Get results.  Create a game plan.

I’ll keep you posted.  Prayers are appreciated.

Sending love your way!

-Brandi

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