24 June 2011

No words to express my God!!

OMG- I have goosebumps & I'm not even cold or hot- I'm merely in awe of my God; in fact, so speechless that my goosebumps say it all! I did not have this day planned out this way at all- God's ways are again way beyond my own thinking & comprehension!

I received an invitation to go out to lunch with this amazing family with whom I'd met for the 1st time a month or so ago. If you remember, it's the family I had mentioned on my FB status where the daughter has an eating disorder & the mom has Scoliosis. I felt God telling me to say yes since there was no doubt in my mind that God had placed them in my life for a reason; it's NO coincidence that we had so much in common & also that I've already gone through BOTH of these things. So we agreed on meeting today at ACH. I prayed about it & felt God telling me to bring Leigh Ann Brisbin's book My True Reflection; however I was scared as I knew these people weren't Christians. However, I didn't let fear cripple me & so I took it. When I got to the waiting room, there were ALOT more people then I'd expected- her ENTIRE family! I was SHOCKED! Was I at the right place?! They immediately recognized me & I could feel God giving me words & holding my hand. We talked for awhile & they told me their daughter was looking for a therapist. I thought, "God, what?!" I had NO idea He was planning on this!! I gave them Leigh Ann's book & I referred them to her. I'm still in shock! Now, remember I said they're not Christians; Leigh Ann's book is so incredibly inspirational & full of the presence of God. I KNOW that God was leading them to me so I could lead them to Him! Wow! Leigh Ann is the image of God- when I look at her I can't help but see God flowing through her. What better therapist to send this hurting family to? I have faith that God will do an incredible work in this family's life! However, I would greatly appreciate prayers for this family & also for their treatment team- they're struggling & don't have the answers; but God does!! Prayer is SO POWERFUL!!! Well, anyway, we talked for awhile & then went to the cafeteria for lunch- it was awesome as always! :) The incredible family offered to pay for my lunch but I turned them down. So, we all ate lunch together & talked- it was INCREDIBLE! I felt right at home! 

This morning I called the volunteer office to see if they needed anyone at the surgery desk and they said no; I was crushed! They asked if I'd like to do errands instead, & I turned it down since that was NOT my plan! lol I wanted to see Dr. S & I thought the only place I'd get a chance to see him was at the surgery desk. An hour or so later I got another call from ACH to see if I could run the Atrium Desk until 4; I wasn't excited, but accepted since I was going to be there anyways because of my lunch date. I was nervous because I'd never run an information desk by myself & I'd never been trained; however, I learned pretty quickly from the awesome volunteers! At first I was so bored! They had internet at the desk, so I checked my email & answered alot of questions from others. I loved it, even though I didn't have all of the answers as I'd never done this job before! I also called & made an appointment with Dr. S. I didn't have my school schedule with me when I called, so it didn't work. I called back & made another appointment for August! It got pretty slow a around 2:00 so I decided to do my Algebra homework. I looked up from my homework around 2:30 & saw what I thought was an illusion- something I was NOT expecting! I saw Dr. S & get this- he REMEMBERED ME!! OMG! He came up to talk to me & asked what I was up to. I told him I was doing my Algebra & told him to "keep quiet"! ;) He laughed & said, "Well why NOT get some work done?!" I told him I was in college & that I have an appointment with him in August on my break. He said ok & told me not to work too hard! ;) I can't help but love this doctor- no, I do NOT want to steal his wife!lol He's too old! However, he completely changed my opinion of doctors- for this I will be forever grateful!! I wouldn't have found my love- my Passion!! I'm so incredibly grateful that God chose ME to go through all of this! I wouldn't change a thing! God keeps confirming constantly that ACH IS where I'm meant to be! 

Sorry, my brain is totally flustered & crazy right now- I haven't written in forever! On Wednesday I got to see the awesome Dr. L & went straight from my appointment to the surgery desk. It was my first day running the desk by myself- it was fun as I got to see the doctors & talk to them! I LOVE THIS PART!! It was different being in charge, but I got used to it! I also tried to decide on a topic for my essay due next week- Only ONE week left from Thursday of this class! Woohoo! After  I got home I got to have a phone conference with my bff! OMG- it was nothing less then amazing! I missed my treatment team as this was the first time I've talked to them in 3 or 4 weeks! I missed them! I felt so incredibly motivated & excited after my session w/ my therapist. Thursday was a hard day for me; I truly believe the Devil wanted to bring me down because of the INCREDIBLE strength I've received in & from God! My writing class is a huge stretch for me- it's so dark & brings out the misery in the world! The subjects in which we discuss are so incredibly awkward- I hate it! However, God is getting me through! He knew what He was doing when He gave me the 5 wk. course instead of 14-16!! My best friend told us she was a model- Can I say Triggering!!! Wow- I struggled for awhile with the fact that she's 5' 10" & a model; But, what does that matter I had to ask myself! I had to look at the feelings behind my body image distortion- "What was really behind this?" I was also asked to be a model but turned it down. To me, that's not the kind of fulfillment I want in life & would also prohibit my chance to live without an eating disorder- the pressure to be thin! I want to enjoy life & HELP people! Please don't take me the wrong way- I'm merely talking to myself here; I'm NOT trying to bash my friend's career! For awhile I forgot who I was- ED took over! He  tried to manipulate me into thinking that modeling was the most fulfilling job & that I could have all of the guys if I did this. I cried out to God & He heard me! Today He answered my prayer as He showed me WHO I AM!

18 June 2011

Beautiful Insanity

  Wow- my life has been crazy, yet I love it to death! My life right now is pretty much homework, college, volunteering & anything else I can squeeze into there! (Of course church on Sundays!) I love the busyness, most of the time! I've only been going to college for 2 full weeks now, & Monday is already midterms. Insane! I like, how it goes by quickly, however.        

 My mind is a little flustered right now; so much going on! Yesterday I volunteered at Akron Children's straight from college. It was amazing! I was the hostess at the surgery desk, which was different for me! I saw Dr. R, who was doing a Scoliosis surgery. The doctors come up to "my desk", where I sit & explain the surgery, what they did, how it went, etc. to the parents. However, with a back fusion, the doctors don't only come out once to see the family, as it is a long surgery; mine was over 7 hrs. So, if they were to wait until the end of the surgery to inform the family, can you imagine how anxious the family would be?! I'm glad they do it this way! For me, emotional, psychological, mental healing, etc. were the hardest aspects of healing & recovery. For me, it was alot easier to heal physically. Anyway, back to volunteering! :) I absolutely adore my new volunteer job. I love talking to the doctors- they're so incredible! The way they comfort the families, know what they're doing- I just love to watch it! I've never seen it b4 this, as I've always been the patient, so it's amazing to see the other side; another experience. I so respect, admire, & appreciate doctors- maybe I should marry one! ;) heehee I also love talking to the families, paging them to speak to the doctor, registering them, answering the phone, & taking the family back to see the patient. It's so amazing! I walk too fast, however! lol I try to slow down, but it's hard when I'm in front! Sometimes they're way behind! lol I also love looking at the surgery sheet & seeing what surgeries are going on, checking them off once finished, & reading the huge words- I love to learn new words, meanings & terms! I love the medical field!  Well, life has definitely changed since I've been going to college. It's a hard transition, but it's going well! God is my strength! In Writing class, we talk about alot of the problems in this country- it's so depressing to see all that's going on! We have to write essays on issues like race, marriage/divorce/homosexual- so many things in this world are so messed up! At times I find myself asking God to come & take me away- but then I remember why I'm here; not only for myself, but also for others. He still needs me on this earth, although sometimes I want so badly for Him to come b4 the world gets any worse- so many people are straying from Him; Why doesn't He just come?! Oh well, I'm trying to trust His timing! When I'm not at college & looking at the media, etc. these thoughts are so much easier to overcome! It's hard because in class part of our grade is class discussion. It takes me awhile to speak openly about personal issues, especially to people I don't know! We all have different opinions, beliefs; it's just a huge stretch for me! All of the terms where we have to identify which one we are, figure out what we believe; I tend to stay quiet out of fear of being judged, etc.I'm getting better, however! I'm also learning the balance of empathizing- I haven't quite found it yet!Check out my post on Akron Children's hospital!!
/http://sharing.akronchildrens.org/2011/06/02/beauty-from-pain/

Amazed

       I am amazed at the beauty our God has created! As I drive- in fact everywhere I go, I stand in awe of the beauty of life. I can hardly imagine a world so much greater & more beautiful then this one! Well, for one there wouldn't be anything depressing to even put on the news! I want so badly to see everyone I know & love up there, but I can't make that happen! Yesterday I volunteered literally all day at one of my favorite places: the one & only ACH! My eyes were opened, once again, to the unending beauty in this place. The doctors there continue to amaze me- I've never met such nice, personal doctors while yet being professional; to me they don't personify the "typical" doctor, who in my opinion have been misrepresented. They prove to me that doctors can be "smart" & professional, while yet still attaining strong senses of humor & communication. I used to view doctors as judgmental, mean people who only wanted to "manipulate" or control my decisions- I didn't realize that I had a choice. I believe this thought was strongly impacted by the fact that I was a minor during majority of my hospital stays; I literally didn't have the final say because I wasn't yet independent. I also viewed doctors as people who wanted to make me look "weak"- to point out my "flaws" & to tell me bad news. In some ways, this is true- they do usually tell bad news, but it's also their job to bring hope; beauty amidst what was thought, by me, to be the "end". I wanted to be "perfect", & to me this looked like fixing everything on my own....... hmm... unrealistic!!!! I've realized that the "strong" people are the ones who see a problem & seek help to fix it, realizing that they don't have all of the answers-  my God taught me this in a long, painful way- a way I never imagined!    
   
I remember the day I was told I had Scoliosis- I wanted to lay down & cry; dig a hole & hide. This to me, seemed like the end- how would I compete any longer? Sports was my life!! When Dr. S told me I had to have surgery, I literally wanted to punch him- to make him take back his words. "I didn't need surgery! I was fine", I thought. I had to face the harsh reality; one I had seen but never truly experienced or believed deep down. I'm the type of person who learns by experience- I was told that no1's perfect, but I didn't believe it deep down because I had never seen anything differently in my own life- I was simply "going through the motions." Well, when the doctor told me this "devastating news", I tried so hard to keep a "happy face". "How would others perceive me now?!" I remember that to me, though, the surgery wasn't actually the most traumatic part- it was emotional, mental, psychological, etc. I struggled, & still do struggle with minimization; I heard the doctor explaining the surgery, but it "went through one ear & out the other". I didn't realize the seriousness of this surgery; I was being cut open; big deal! I viewed this as a minor surgery, so "why were my parents & others so scared? Why were they putting me on the prayer list?! It was just surgery!!" I had no idea! In fact, until several weeks I still never understood the seriousness & complexity to this surgery. It's good I was asleep or else I would have beat up the doctors! lol j/k But seriously, watching this live 1hr. movie opened my eyes completely- I saw what they had done to me, why I was in so much pain, etc.

 I don't remember the surgery all too well; I guess I've been trying to block it out to a point. I often find myself thinking & sometimes believing it was all a dream- "did it really happen?!" Then I look at the long scar from the top of my shoulder to the bottom of my waist & I also feel the screws & rods; but not to the extent I felt them during my Anorexia. I still struggle with the fact that I turned to an eating disorder after surgery- I know that this is the Devil trying to knock me down & to convince me that I'm weak, to embarrass me!This doesn't make the issue any less real to me, however! He doesn't want me to be "proud" ( I don't like to use this word!) or to share my story. I don't know anyone else who was effected this was by a Spinal fusion! As you can tell, my perfectionism has not gone away! In reality I know that the surgery wasn't the ONLY reason I developed Anorexia- there were factors prior to this as well. I believe this, but sometimes I don't- the devil knows how to get me, but I know how to fight back!! I've got God on my side! I don't believe that since these thoughts have entered my mind, that I'm "stupid" or whatever ( the devil says else wise!) because I never asked for temptation- I myself cannot prevent these thoughts from entering my mind; I can, however choose how I act on these thoughts. I struggle, also with the fact that most kids are up & doing all of their activities from prior to surgery after 6 months post-surgery. Why I'm so hard on myself, I don't exactly know! I am my own best friend yet my own worst enemy! When I replace the lies with God's truth, however, I realize that I don't need to have it all together! I need to live in reality! Over 15 years minimum of trying to be "perfect", this doesn't go away so quickly!! It takes time to change, which at times I hate! I KNOW that I'm not perfect; why would I even try to be?! Ugh devil, you suck! Yet, I'm grateful for you because you bring challenges to life. I love a challenge! I love the "thrill" of life & experiences.

 Volunteering so often brought back these memories. Also, for the 1st time in I don't know how long, I'm allowed to exercise & run again! The thrill is back! I can sweat again! It doesn't however, take away the fact that I'm not as "in shape" & "fit" as I was prior to surgery. I believed that sports were my calling, but God shut that door & opened another one. "We have to let go of the lives we had planned for us in order to live the life God has waiting for us." This was our senior class motto & couldn't have been any more fitting! "When one door closes, another door opens". 
  
 Well, this is a little into the beauty yet darkness of life. "Being happy means choosing to see beyond the imperfections". It's nearing 3 years in August since I was hospitalized for Scoliosis. Also, in writing class we are being challenged to look at our past, to use personal experiences in our essays. Life lately has been & continues to be alot of reflection for me- it's beautiful yet painful! Well, I should work on my essay now! It's due on Monday, so I better get on it! Thanks for reading! This girl has got to get back to life! Ugh... I wish there was more time in a day! 
                                       Love & Happiness,
                                                Chelsea

11 June 2011

Inspire

Among the best devotional books I've ever read is Pure by Rebecca St. James. This book has been with me through one of the hardest times in my life- through it I have gained & realized so much! I remember reading this book in the hospital bed, being hooked up to a heart monitor & with a flowing IV to hydrate me & give me the nutrients my body needed to survive. The day after almost dying, I believe this was the first time of multiple times prior, I remember reading this book in desperate search of "something"- anything to get me through! God was & still continues to be my strength. I remember reading this book & the doctor came in & asked what I was reading. I told her & she went out & bought it later that day. I remember smiling in the midst of pain & utter desperation- fighting with all I had to stay positive & to keep searching for "the Way". God never left my side- especially when I did not deserve & wasn't even looking for Him! My prayer ever since I was a young child was & continues to be "God use me". He has not failed me yet & I trust He never will, even if I can't see it!

My Crazy, Beautiful Life!

     Well, my life lately has been anything other then boring! lol Life has been crazy- actually, that's an understatement! Having returned from an inpatient eating disorder facility almost 3 months ago(Wow- it seems like so long ago!), I have been "going, going, going!" This ironically isn't very unusual for me- well, at least when I'm healthy! When I was severely sick from Anorexia I wanted to "do everything" but didn't have the energy to even climb up the stairs at times. It's so amazing to be able to view these memories as the past!Now I have ENERGY!! I do wish I had more of it, though! But, I'm like a battery- I have to be recharged every once in a while to restore my energy.
    I just started college at Kent State Stark for nursing. Ironically, I never thought I would've heard myself say these words 3-4 years ago & beyond. I hated doctors- actually hate is an understatement for me! I wanted to "fix" everything on my own & I also thought that seeking help defined me as "weak". I've learned that the opposite is true, but that doesn't take away the significance of these beliefs to me at the time. Nursing is my passion- one of many!! ACH brings a smile to my face! I can't help but love that place! They've saved my life multiple times, performed my Scoliosis back fusion, restored my health, etc. There is so much passion in this hospital- such growth! My dream is to work there as a Pediatric nurse- to bring smiles & fun to the hurting- those who don't want to be in the hospital & even those who do(which to me, is rare! I've currently been volunteering here for the past year and a half or so. I see so much beauty in this place- I can feel God's presence & here I truly "sparkle"! 
   College is not at all what I expected. I'm taking summer classes to help me out. I was required to take Algebra, so I figured I'd take it this summer semester since it's only condensed by 2 wks- so it's not too intense. Well, I was required to take another class, so I chose College Writing I since I thought it would come easy. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into!! It's originally a 14 week class & I'm doing it in 5!! Insanity! I very much dislike history- there are too many dates & names for me; well, that's alot of what we're doing! It's definitely a stretch for me! There's alot of class discussion, also. We're expected to be empathetic so it works out that I learned that from my wonderful staff at Selah House! I would've had NO idea what empathy was had I not gone to Selah! Also, in this class it's a very strong challenge for my "black & white thinking" which is a huge struggle for me. It turns out this class is good for me, just not easy like I was anticipating! lol I've learned once again that life isn't easy- life is an adventure, which I do love! 
  I've also been working a new job for the past month or so- I like it but it's different to have so little time on my hands! I miss shopping!! heehee For those of you who don't know me, I LOVE fashion! I was hired at Forever 21 but walked out of the opportunity- it wasn't at all what I had hoped! It was definitely a painful thing to do, though, as I thought it would be the "perfect job" for me; I mean, fashion, my favorite store, helping others find their own style & helping them to express their personalities through fashion, etc. That's not at all what it was! God closed this door, but He opened another one surprisingly quickly! 
   Oh, there's so much to say!! Life is so exciting! I never knew there were so many adventures & opportunities in this world- let alone in Ohio! jk heehee Life, however is by no means easy! Every day is a battle for me- life in recovery is a battle. Actually, life in general is a battle! I do love a challenge, however! 
   I hope that you, too can see the beauty in the world- even from trials! I am imperfectly perfect & I love it! I don't have to be anyone other then myself! I love it! Well, now this girl has to go write several essays- oh joy!! ;) heehee I am awaiting & moving toward my next adventure!