To My 29 Year Old Self

Happy birthday to me!

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It’s funny, I went through a season of not caring much about celebrating but as I draw closer to a close on another decade in my life, I realize there is just so much to be grateful for. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’d like to place this list here to remind myself of how thankful I am for being me.


Dora,

  1. Thank you for choosing to seek a more simpler life.

  2. Thank you for never losing Hope.

  3. Thank you for going after the crazy things that you’ve been pushing off.

  4. Thank you for feeding your body with plants that nourish and strengthen you.

  5. Thank you for loving children more than I ever thought you could.

  6. Thank you for always remaining a student at heart. I love how passionate you are about learning new things.

  7. Thank you for finding counsel in this season of your life. You’re seeking complete healing and it definitely starts with dealing with the roots.

  8. Thank you for making time to move your body whether indoors or out in nature.

  9. Thank you for learning to embrace the uncomfortable.

  10. Thank you for pushing yourself out to meet new people and making special connections.

  11. Thank you for loving your own story enough to encourage others to share their stories.

  12. Thank you for loving yourself well first before loving others. You can only love others well if you’re kind to yourself first.

  13. Thank you for being such a strong person. You’ve gone through so much yet you wake up everyday with joy and anticipation.

  14. Thank you for being such a light. Your joy and optimism is priceless.

  15. Thank you for being such a self-reflective person. I love that you’re always striving to be the best version of yourself.

  16. Thank you for loving animals and making decisions to partner up with God in caring for Creation.

  17. Thank you for putting your selfishness aside and becoming such a conscious consumer.

  18. Thank you for putting effort into being a pebble in the ocean creating a ripple with ending modern day slavery.

  19. Thank you for having a heart of advocacy. Being a voice for the voiceless.

  20. Thank you for fighting for your marriage and making it TOP priority even when its difficult.

  21. Thank you for challenging yourself and learning to go against the grain and embracing resistance.

  22. Thank you for practicing compassion with yourself and others.

  23. Thank you for being such an inspiring and creative person. You’re perspective of life is so unique and beautiful.

  24. Thank you for having such a servant heart. You can never say no when it comes to helping people. It’s one of your strengths and weaknesses.

  25. Thank you for not waiting for anyones approval to pursue your dreams.

  26. Thank you for surrounding yourself with people who build you up, challenge you, and empower you.

  27. Thank you for living in the present moment.

  28. Thank you for practicing to be an intentional and mindful person.

  29. Thank you for finding the courage to being more vulnerable and sharing through this blog.

I can’t wait to see what 29 brings you! God has blessed you with so much already, and thats just the beginning. Remember to not carry things that don’t belong to you. Your identity is in the Lord and you are worthy of love. You don’t need to be loved by many but a good few. You may hit a point where you become discouraged but remember just how far you’ve come and all the great things you’ve manifested already. No matter what, keep telling your story. Keep seeking connection and making time for the things that add value to your life. I love everything about you. Your pain, imperfections, flaws, dedication, and your voice. Continue to use your voice for the voiceless. Here’s to another year of awesomeness

Birthday29.2



What is Beauty of Barrenness?

Today I've decided to share with you the heart behind my blog.

Beauty of Barrenness

About 6 years ago, God had placed this passion on my heart. To share my story to others. My story of infertility & barrenness. I attempted to publish a few posts, but still felt so much bitterness towards my situation. Undeniably, I got consumed with trying to take it into my own hands trying to figure out how I was going to conceive. Nothing else mattered to me. Out of my mouth came words that just masked how I really felt internally.

I'd lay in bed at night questioning God.

Why?

Why me?

Why can't I have kids?

You know I LOVE kids.

Why would you let this happen to me?

In that season of my life, I had no one to turn to. Literally no one. Even Roger didn't even know how to comfort me. We were both silent in this what seemed like a never ending storm. We were silently trying to stay strong for each other. We weren't seeking God's will or comfort. We were so lost. A part of me even questioned if he would no longer love me because of my barrenness. I was a complete mess trying to hold my broken self together.

I searched for a place to belong, but found nothing. I desperately needed to be surrounded by other women who were going through the same storms. Someone, anyone, who could see right through me & embrace me during the darkest times in my life. I even had a home church yet I didn't feel like I belonged there. I didn't feel accepted as a barren woman. Every Sunday I would step into the lobby avoiding eye contact & I'd feel the weight of the eyes that were staring at me.

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People with good intentions, have approached me & asked me questions that just felt like they were pouring salt over my ever constant fresh wounds of emptiness. I'd always just brush it aside. I even joked about why we didn't have any kids yet. But inside, I was desperately searching for acceptance.

Can I just be accepted instead of being questioned why I don't have any kids? Can I just be accepted and not be judged for being married for so long but not having any children to prove for my marriage? Can I just be accepted & not feel like I'm walking around with a curse?

In the most desperate time of my life, I had only one soul that lifted me up as best as she could. She spoke life & encouragement back into my broken heart. She reminded me of the hope I have in Jesus Christ. She dried my tears when all I needed to do was cry my heart out. She embraced me & accepted me through my brokenness even without an explanation of what I was facing. But most importantly she repeatedly pointed me back to the Cross.

It was then, that I knew I had to find my identity in Jesus. I could've become completely bitter & absorbed by trying to find control. Or I could surrender it to God & let Him speak His love over me through the storm. I did just that. It took me a few years to learn to trust God with my complete situation. It was in the midst of this infertility storm that I experienced His comfort in a way that I've never before.

He filled my emptiness with His abounding love & reminded me daily that He was surely working everything for my good & for His glory. Even though I seemed so lost in that storm, He gave me vision to see that there were so many women out there who were also facing a similar storm as I was but without the Hope- giver: Jesus. I knew that as broken and confused as I was, the little bit-sized faith that I had in God cradled me through the storm. God began to give me a new heart & passion for women who were facing the similar battles.

I began to see it clearly. Year after year, God started placing names of women on my heart. Women who I was aware that were definitely facing a hard season of waiting. Waiting on their promises. Waiting on God. God has taught me so much through this season of waiting. He's shown me that a life in a season of waiting does not have to be dark. It can be filled with light. When I chose to let Him change my perspective, I was renewed in my spirit. God gave me a peace & joy that surpassed all my understanding.

He began to slowly reveal the Beauty of Barrenness to me. Daily, I find beauty in the season of waiting on Him. And everyday, He show's up & reminds me that all I need to do is to have complete reliance on Him & He will carry me through. I don't quite know what that means or how it looks like yet. No, God did not give me a blueprint to my future. But I'm willing to trust in His plans for my life and step forward in faith.

Beauty of Barrenness was created to embrace & encourage those who are in a season of waiting. My desire is to encourage you to hold on to Hope. To allow Jesus to minister into the very areas of your heart that resembles closely to mine. I believe that we all seek for a place to be heard, to be known, & to be accepted. You will here. If any of the above resonates with you then I encourage you to follow or subscribe. If not, I ask that you'd help pray over this vision that God has given to me. Pray that all who need administering to will find exactly what they need. Pray that God will provide the very people that needs to read or hear these words.

Photo by Thomas Smith on Unsplash

PCOS: An invisible illness

It’s been about 8 years now since I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.) Now, it didn’t just appear one day out of no where. I most likely have always had it but the symptoms just started surfacing once I got married. It took me years to figure out what this meant for me. Even till this day, I still have a hard time explaining it. Why? Because I’ve lived with it for so long that it just became a part of me. I never really had a chance to allow myself to examine and accept the affects of this disorder.

It’s hard to talk about our flaws isn’t it? Who goes around talking about what makes them broken and imperfect?

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September is PCOS Awareness Month and I’ve decided to share somethings about PCOS that you may not be aware of:

  1. Infertility. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder women can have and its also the one of the most common cause of female infertility. 1 in 10 women will most likely have PCOS.

  2. Beyond the Ovaries. Even though its named Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, the ovaries aren’t the only thing affected by this condition. It is a condition that affects the health across the board and it affects each person differently.

  3. The Symptoms are Endless. Irregular menstrual cycles, male pattern baldness, weight gain, infertility, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, acne, struggle with weight loss (insulin resistance) , obesity, a higher potential to have Type 2 diabetes, high blood sugar, and more. You don’t have to have all the symptoms to have PCOS. It is a chronic and invisible illness.

  4. There is No Cure. As of current, it’s quite unclear what causes it and treatment for this disorder can only keep symptoms in check. Studies are still on the rise. A theory is that genetics play a role; however, this is not proven. The effects are not just physical but they take a huge toll on a person’s mental health.

  5. Lifestyle Transformation. Studies have shown that the best way to improve symptoms is a change in lifestyle such as diet and exercise. Which is quite typical for any diagnosis right? What you consume, you become. Your body reflects what you put in/on it.

  6. Lack of Self-esteem. It’s not a surprise that women struggle with self-esteem already. But women with PCOS are affected even more so this way. Because of anxiety and depression they feel this intensely. It’s an emotional effect.

    “In a study in women with PCOS, it has been shown that low self-worth and body image perception in women causes increasing of the anxiety level. Physical attractiveness and sexual response changes affect the Self-confidence in these women. Self-confidence is the most important determinants of mental health that play an important role in promoting mental health. In other words, cognitive processes, emotion, motivation, decision making and choice, is the result of Self-confidence. Since low Self-confidence has a negative effect on feeling, thought and relationships between people, it requires further attention. So this study was done for ascertaining Self-confidence in patients suffered from PCOS in comparison to women without PCOS.”

Quite honestly prior to getting diagnosed, I thought that all these things were normal about me. My doctors couldn’t see it. It took me 4-5 years just to get diagnosed and it was finally by an infertility specialist. Believe me when I say this, it took me a LONG time to be able to share my diagnosis with people. Especially those closest to me. I didn’t want the judgement or the pity. I didn’t know how I’d handle it. I don’t quite recall when, but some time after, I was able to start talking more about it. I know that this disorder does not define who I am. But in a season of healing and trust, I’m learning to embrace my body and to love it as my Creator intended me to.

This has taken me a long time to get to. It is a practice. To be intentional with what I’m consuming. To be conscious of what I surround myself with. To treat this body as a beautiful temple for the Holy Spirit. This body does not belong to me and when the time comes, I want to look to the Lord and say that I did my best to care for it. Grant it, there are days where PCOS overtakes me and I’m literally fighting with every ounce in me to not allow it to throw me in the backseat. You see PCOS is an invisible illness. It’s affects are daily. Some days, I feel like a normal human being. Most days, I’m pulling myself out of bed and praying that I have the energy to survive another day. This is my reality. It’s a mental and spiritual battle just to live with PCOS.

If you or someone you know has PCOS or a chronic illness, please don’t hesitate to share your story.

I see you and love you.



Sources:

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/8-things-you-didnt-know-about-pcos?slide=10

https://www.babygaga.com/12-serious-facts-about-pcos-women-dont-know-but-should/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4275552/

Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash