faith, illness

Peace Day Challenge, Part 1 | We Are Called to Peace

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. Colossians 3:13

You were called to peace.

Did you know that you were called to be peaceful?

Do you feel at peace today?

The world encourages activity, striving, pushing, trying to fix all our problems, being better and getting better, pulling yourself up by your own boot straps.

And the church buys into that –just look at all the Christian self-help books out there!

But, the Bible encourages us to slow down, live peaceful lives, and be content with what we have and where we are.

This is in stark contrast to the way that the world views life.

Every church women’s group advice I’ve heard is “try harder,” “push harder,” and “do more.”

They act like if you really trust God, you’ll be able to get it all done; if you do things the “right” way, it will be easy and everything will just fall into place — usually backed up by a Bible passage taken out of context.

Unfortunately, that is not the way life is nor what the Bible says.

The Bible says that we will have struggles and trials: it doesn’t say to try to make all those trials go away.

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

Jesus warns us that we will have troubles –in the context of the passage, we will have troubles until Jesus returns, but ultimately everything is in His power so that we can have peace now.

When a young mom is struggling, why do we say, “try harder,” or “schedule better,” or “be more organized”?

Why don’t we say that maybe this is part of the trials that God puts us through to grow us?

Why don’t we recommend that they surrender their situation to God and say “His will be done” just like the pattern in Jesus’ prayer?

Why are we surprised that we face trials when Scripture repeatedly says we will have them?

Why do we act like the trials are something wrong?

Why do we never encourage people to rest in God and be content?

To be at peace?

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13

We suffer now, but it will be worth it because someday we will be with Him in heaven.

We always seem to think that God needs to fix our situation when sometimes– often times– the thing He is trying to change is us and the method He is using is our trial.

We lack peace because we fight the trail and blame the struggle instead of learning to be peaceful and content in spite of the trial.

Peace brings hope and joy —if you don’t have hope and joy, seek peace.

Sometimes He calms the storm

With a whispered peace be still

He can settle any sea

But it doesn’t mean He will

Sometimes He holds us close

And lets the wind and waves go wild

Sometimes He calms the storm

And other times He calms His child

— Scott Krippayne

We expect Him to fix the situation when that may not be His plan.

Often, He wants us to learn to be content in the storm if that is where He has put us.

What if God doesn’t want us to figure it all out?

What if God’s goal for us is to not succeed at everything?

What if God doesn’t need us to fix everything and be perfect at everything?

What if God doesn’t want us to try harder –He just wants us to turn to Him sooner?

What if He wants us to be weak and unable to do it all because that is where He can use us and where we are most dependant on Him?

What if He wants us to be content without having everything perfect?

What if He wants us to seek peace in spite of the storm raging around us?

Be content — like Paul said– in all things.

We are constantly trying to fix our lives and make all those problems go away.

We rebuke those problems believing they’re Satan keeping us from the happiness and success God wants for us.

But, what if God doesn’t define success the same way we do?

We keep trying to fix all our problems, but what if God is using our problems to change our hearts?

We are constantly trying to do away with the very situations God uses to mature us and make us more like Jesus.

Peace days allow us to stop fighting, stop struggling, stop trying to fix every last problem in our lives.

It teaches us to be peaceful in the chaos, in spite of the chaos. God can use that chaos for our good.

I will write more about Peace Days in coming posts.

We like to say things like: “God often takes people through a hard time before He does something great with their lives” and cite Joseph as an example.

I dare say that Joseph needed to go through those trials to be refined into the kind of man God wanted him to be.

I would also say that these trials happen to all of us regardless of if God ever does anything “great” with our lives.

This is the case because God is far more interested in bringing Himself glory than making us look good by putting us in a high position.

We tend to forget that Lord chastens whom He loves and has the right to do with any lump of clay as He wills –and it’s not always for “great things.”

For who can resist His will? But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use? Romans 9:19-21

Maybe He called you to die to yourself a little bit every day to show His love to your children.

That doesn’t seem like a great and awesome thing, but it is perhaps the way that God will get glory from your life, the way that He will use you.

I always wanted to be a hero –to sacrifice my life in a big way one time– and yet, God has required of me thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more meal. –Sally Clarkson

I wish I had learned to do this a decade ago instead of constantly fighting over and resenting where God put me and what He was doing with my life.

You know what changed my mind?

Once upon a time, a 10-year-old boy put his hand on my shoulder when I was driving and completely stressing out and said, “Mama, it will be okay. None of this is a surprise to God. If it’s happening, there’s a good reason that we don’t know.”

Out of the mouth of babes, indeed.

This child has definitely been holy sandpaper to my soul.

We spend so much of our energy fighting against things, trying to fix things, trying to make ourselves do and be better about things that aren’t even sin issues –like not getting dinner on time, not being able to keep a tight budget, or not having an effective cleaning schedule, basically all the things women’s groups are often about– when we could be being peaceful instead of stressed out, content instead of struggling.

Peace doesn’t come from fixing all the problems around us; it comes from learning to calm ourselves and be content in the storm where God put us.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

Are you content?

When’s the last time you heard any Bible speaker encourage you to be content where you were?

Are you content where God has put you?

Contentment does not mean that you cease to try to improve; it means that you have a mindset that “Even if my situation never improves, I’ll be happy where God put me.”

Paul said he had learned to be content in all things, even horrible things like beatings and shipwrecks.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:11

Job lay in the dirt with his body covered in boils, his family –except his unhelpful, bitter wife– dead, his wealth completely gone, and his friends making horrible accusations, and what was his response?

Job said that even if God killed him, Job would not stop praising Him.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Job 13:15

Do we have that kind of peace?

That kind of contentment?

Are we so steadfast in God, so content, so trusting, so peace-filled, that no matter what happens we will still praise God?

In my opinion and experience, the try-harder-push-harder mentality rarely comes from God.

God doesn’t want us to push harder; He wants us to turn to Him sooner.

And, turning to God does not guarantee that He’ll fix those burdens.

Remember what God said to Paul when he asked to have his burden fixed?

God told him no.

Sometimes, it’s not God will to fix it.

That’s okay because He’s not the great genie in the sky who grants us wishes.

He’s a holy, entirely good God who bought us with His blood and has the right to do with your and my life as He sees fit.

If what He does seems wrong, that’s because we have a misunderstanding of right, not because He’s wrong –He’s never wrong.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha?

Martha was stressing out; Mary was at peace at Jesus’ feet.

Jesus said Mary had chosen the better.

In the one story in the New Testament about housekeeping, Jesus chided the woman who was functioning like a busy, “godly” women today —or rather what many people teach is godly today.

We glorify the type A woman in our Christian culture and act like she’s the key to being godly.

Being type A go-getter isn’t necessarily peaceful which is the command we are focusing on today.

Jesus did not tell Martha “well done” for managing her home –she was stressed out and not peaceful.

So, maybe there’s more to being godly than having your whole life organized, right?

If Jesus didn’t glorify her for managing her home, being stressed out, and being type A, then why do we glorify it?

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being type A, only that being type A doesn’t make you more godly.

It has to do with your personality, not to do with your spiritual state.

Contrary to popular belief.

So, we should stop glorifying type A people as more godly and stop glorifying type A behavior as godly behavior.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:l4-15

Lack of peace and grace can cause us to get bitter.

According to that verse above, our bitterness affects those around us!

So practice peace.

In coming posts, we’ll talk about my experience with practicing peace, the Peace Day Challenge and how to implement it.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes


Here are the posts in this series. I will add the links as I publish the posts.

Here are the posts in this series. I will add the links as I publish the posts.

Peace Day Challenge, Part 1: We are Called to Peace

Peace Day Challenge, Part 2: Even If the Healing Never Comes: Choosing Contentment

Peace Day Challenge, Part 3: Scriptures Verses About Living in Peace

Peace Day Challenge, Part 4: The Actual Peace Day Challenge

Peace Day Challenge, Part 5: Yes, I Still Lose My Cool Sometimes

Peace Day Challenge, Part 6: Peace Day Challenge Reflections


If you enjoyed this post, perhaps you would enjoy these as well.

The Condition of My Home ≠ the Condition of My Heart

Independentism: The Negative Effects of Self-sufficiency on Women in the Church

It’s Not a Sin to Be Untidy

13 Ways To Improve Our Women’s Ministries

Confessions of a Horrible Housewife, Episode 1

Confessions of a Horrible Housewife, Episode 2

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ADHD, illness

Could Mold Be the Root Cause of Your Physical or Mental Illness?

I was unintentionally exposed to mold this last week.

Here were my symptoms within an hour of mold exposure:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability (way more than normal)
  • Restlessness
  • Anger outbursts
  • Crying (more than normal)
  • Joints stiff and cracking
  • Muscle spasms and aches
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Brain fog was back
  • Upset stomach
  • Trouble falling asleep (the supplement I’ve been successfully taking stopped helping)
  • Weird vivid dreams
  • Waking with a start, unrested and unsettled
  • Anxiety
  • General uneasy, queasy feeling
  • I had to take 2x the normal amount of muscle relaxant to get the pain in my back to go away. I’ve never had to take that much
  • Ankles swelled to the point that walking was painful and difficult
  • Energy level was completely depleted even though I’m taking medication for my adrenals which was giving me tons of energy prior to exposure.
  • Aches and pains returned, aches and pains which had been present previous to taking Naltrexone (to minimize autoimmune inflammation); the mold exposure was like I wasn’t even taking the medication anymore.

I am also taking high doses of antitoxin supplements (Parotid and Chlorella) just to be able to walk, think, and talk.

In less than 24 hours, my son (who was helping me move the bed) had a hyperventilating panic attack for the first time in four years.

Here’s the thing though: I didn’t even attempt to clean up the mold.

I only moved the bed 6 inches away from the wall to see if there was mold.

There is mold behind our bed in the master bedroom. The bed has been in the same place for 8 years because the room is too small for rearranging. I would have to move the dresser out of the room if I wanted the bed in a different place.

The mold was between 10 and 24 inches high and about 8 feet long (4 feet along each side of the bed that was touching a wall).

We did not even touch the mold or go behind the bed.

But, we still had reactions.

The mold actually had little arms growing out of the wall and into the mattress and box springs!

I didn’t even know that was possible!

I don’t even want to know what sleeping on that is doing to our health!

Mold is a neurotoxin.

Black mold is a myth: the toxins can be present in any kind of mold, and not all black mold makes the toxin.

With over 100,000 kinds of mold, there’s no way to know if what you have is toxic, but is it really worth the risk?

Yes, we are taking precautions:

1. I have an air conditioner/humidifier running in the house to dry the air. Wet air means mold can grow so we are drying the air.

2. I’m keeping all ceiling fans and box fans running to keep air moving. Stagnant air and pockets of moisture allow mold to grow.

3. I’m running a HEPA filter in my house. This kind of filter can take particles as small as mold out of the air.

4. I’m defusing tea tree oil, thieves oil, and purification oil from Young Living as well as frankincense to help with our overall anxiety levels in the house since the mold exposure. Tea tree oil is known to kill mold. Mold cannot grow in the presence of thieves oil. I’ve seen tests with my own eyes that show this. Purification was recommended to clean the air.

5. We are using Thieves cleaner from Young Living on a patch of black mold in our living room window sill. It is working really well! I’m planning to use the same thing in the bedroom, but I need breathing protection first.

5. I ordered a non-toxic mold cleaner from Amazon that has great reviews (provided you follow the instructions). The thieves cleaner doesn’t seem to be enough for the mold in my bathroom because of the ongoing presence of moisture. I’m going to try this spray in the bathroom on the tile shower surround that has ongoing mold problems due to daily moisture.

6. I’m looking to hire a professional who can find the mold that I can’t see. I know that many of these symptoms started years before I could see the black mold I’m dealing with now. Since our house was “flipped” (bought and fixed up for the purpose of resale) before we bought it, I’m concerned that the previous owners may have painted over or walled in problem areas rather than deal with them properly.

7. I am following my doctor’s directions on how to handle the mold exposure. I am blessed to have a doctor who is knowledgeable about mold and has helped people heal from mold toxicity before.

Although many of my health symptoms existed before moving into this house, they didn’t exist to this extremity.

I had far fewer and far less extreme symptoms at our previous house.

Within six months of moving into this house, I was having trouble walking.

Within one year of moving in, people were threatening to take my children away because I couldn’t keep my house clean –which is hard to do when your whole body is screaming in pain and you can barely move.

I know this is just anecdotal evidence, but it makes me go “Hmmmm.”

Most houses have some mold.

Could the mold you see –or that you don’t see– be contributing to your illness? Or anxiety? Or increased ADHD symptoms? Or depression? Or be prohibiting you from seeing improvement in your health?

I was surprised how quickly and extremely the mold affected us and also how many houses statistically have mold of some kind.

Some people react more extremely to the mold than others –I was told this has to do with our genetics and that there are even tests that can tell you if you are susceptible to mold.

My doctor said that she didn’t take mold seriously until she had a patient who found mold, got rid of it, and saw remarkable improvement in her overall health.

After that, she went to a continuing education class about mold and learned what a huge deal it can be.

Mold toxicity is not something that is an alternative medicine issue which regular doctors don’t recognize.

It’s listed on the government and standard medical sites as known toxins.

I have a friend who was repeatedly told by ER doctors that her house was going to kill her if she didn’t get out of it. This was because of how severely she was reacting to the mold.

It’s not nothing.

I’m not sure what all we’ll be doing to get rid of the mold.

But, I’d be lying if I said that the thought of moving into a tent or camping trailer in my front yard until all the mold is gone had never occurred to me.

I need a concrete house with a tin roof.

Maybe that would help.

But, I’m not going to stand by and let the house slowly kill me if there’s something I can do about it.

A special thanks to my cousin Cathy and my sweet friend Leanne who have gently pushed me toward answers and repeatedly answered my questions about their experiences with mold toxicity. Cathy saw remarkable improvement within just weeks of getting out of their mold-filled house.

If you’re sick and have unexplained or increasingly worsening symptoms, don’t discount the impact that mold could be having on your illness.

I will update this post as I learn more about the mold and how to deal with it.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

Image courtesy of:

Bruno Nascimento

ADHD, art, children, homeschooling, illness

Art Therapy: A Simple Method to Deal with Stress

If you have ADHD, anxiety, adrenal problems or if you are basically living and breathing, you probably deal with stress and difficulties processing that stress.

This can be especially true for people who don’t have neurotypical brains because our brains are already a little off and prone to misfiling information.

Many anxieties (for example, phobias) comes from the brain not filing information properly. That’s how something as nondangerous as a housefly could cause a panic attack in someone with that phobia: houseflies got misfiled in the brain as dangerous.

Those of us who are neurodiverse also have a greater possibility of having PTSD than neurotypical brains because PTSD involves the misfiling of information in the brain during a stressful situation. We already have issues with misfiling information due to stress and executive function, so it is quite understandable that we would be more susceptible to PTSD.

As part of the treatment for my low adrenals, my doctor suggested that I try art therapy to lower my stress and the tax on my adrenals. However, the art therapy instructions she gave were very nonspecific and abstract.

I don’t deal well with abstract. I’m going to blame that on being a Highly Sensitive Person, but it could just as easily be something else.

No matter the cause, I deal better with more concrete ideas.

I read as much as I could find on art therapy online and came up with my own method that seems to be helping me.


Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or a psychologist. I’m not responsible for problems that occur as a result of using this method. These problems could range from remembering things that make you angry or messes from children having art supplies. Proceed at your own risk.


Some people actually go to college to teach art therapy, and I’m sure they would balk at this.

I’m not saying it’s the right way; I’m only saying it has worked for me.

The purpose of this method art therapy is to help you let go of things that stress you.

Anything that helps you to that end, even if it’s not the same as what the professional would do, is a good thing in my book –provided that it’s both legal and moral, that is.

True clinical art therapy is much more involved than what I’m doing.

Some versions I saw online also involve emptying yourself and letting your spirit guide show you what to do. As a Christian, I won’t be following any spirit guides, but I do pray during the process. If you aren’t religious you can just as easily skip the prayer part.


What you need:

  • A sheet of paper (such as computer paper but any will do)
  • A variety of color crayons or pencils
  • A pen (black works best in my opinion) or a regular #2 pencil

Parts of this activity I have actually been doing since I was a child –minus some of the angry scribbling.

It is simple enough that a child could do it, and I think a child understand it.

This video explains the process including how to adapt it for kids –even special needs kids.

This is one of the first times I have made a video, and I apologize in advance for all the times I say “Umm.” I am obviously not comfortable with the medium of video yet, and I smiled at my own discomfort when I replayed the video. I had also hoped to be able to caption the video for my hearing-impaired friends, but my computer was not cooperating. I may be able to do it sometime in the future but not today.

If you have any questions about the video or the method I use, please ask! I am happy to help.

I hope this was helpful in learning to de-stress.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

faith, illness

8 Things That People Say That Make Me Not Want to Talk About My Miscarriages

Almost 3 weeks ago, I had a miscarriage.

Miscarriage number seven.

Seven babies that I’ll never meet.

Seven babies that I held in my heart, but I’ll never hold in my arms.

This time, I didn’t want to talk about it.

If you’ve read my blog you know I’m pretty open about the stuff I deal with –from icky health stuff to being a rebellious middle schooler.

I know that’s not healthy –it’s not good to hold all the sadness inside.

But this time –no matter how much my heart ached, I didn’t want to talk about it.

Why was this issue so much deeper of hurt? So much more tender? So much more raw?

I’m not entirely sure.

But what I do know is that people have said some pretty horrendous things to me in the past about my miscarriages.

Those unkindly spoken things have made me not want to talk about it –not even to my own friends and family.

I talked about the first two miscarriages pretty openly, but the in between ones, not so much because people would say ridiculously insensitive and offensive things like this:


 

1) “You are in sin for only having two kids.”

People judge me for only having two kids.

But here’s the thing:  I have nine children — nine!– I just don’t get to hold them all right now.

There’s a Big Family Club that I’ll never be a part of –through no fault of my own.

Simply because my children died.

I wanted a big family.

But, I’ve been treated like I am deficient for only having a small family.

In my heart, I have many children but in my home, I have very few.

Here’s the rub: I don’t think it would be wrong if we had decided to only have two kids. But, we didn’t choose this.

You never know someone’s life story. So how about we just stop judging things that are not clearly and absolutely stated in scripture?

It’s really low to tell someone who just lost a baby that they’re in sin for not having more live babies, but yes, I’ve been told that –as if somehow I controlled which babies lived and which ones died.


 

2) “God took your baby because He knew the baby would be bad.”

Some people think God took my baby because He knew it would be a bad person.

This is a really horrible thing to say to someone.

Is that supposed to make me feel better? Am I supposed to say: “Oh, good, well, if he was going to be a sinner than I’m glad he died”?

We are all sinners.

God’s love and grace are there for a reason.

We need it.

All of us.

I do think God has a reason for this happening that I can’t see, but I reject the notion that it was because my child would be a sinner.

Or less worthy of life.

Or whatever.


 

3) “Your baby went to hell.”

If you believe that babies who die do not go to heaven, please do not tell me: I do not want to know.

It just adds a second layer of guilt because then I’m sending my child to hell if I miscarry.

I have enough guilt and stress due to the fact that I can’t carry a baby to term.

I know that the Bible doesn’t have a lot to say about the death of a child, but I would rather choose to believe that my children are waiting for me in Heaven than to think that my inability to carry to term sent my children to Hell.

This turns my stomach.

It’s really heartless and cruel to say this to someone who just lost a baby.

If you believe this, I don’t want to talk to you about my miscarriage.


 

4) “It’s lack of faith that you stopped trying to have babies.”

The last time I miscarried was about 4 years ago, and after that, a friend sent me an article about a lady who had 20 miscarriages before she had one live birth.

The insinuation was that if I really had faith then I would keep trying to have babies –no matter how sick I was, no matter how many babies died, no matter how difficult the pregnancies, no matter what the fallout.

This idea is part of the Quiverfull movement which I’ve spoken out against — the idea that women are here to have babies and shouldn’t stop having them in any situation.

I think it was completely reasonable of my husband and me to decide –after losing six babies– that we were done.

Maybe someone else has the ability to go through loss after loss after loss and keep trying, but I have two living children and I need to –as much as possible– be here for them.

It’s not lack of faith.

It’s prudence.

It’s reasonable.

Maybe if you’re healthy, losing a baby might not be as big of a deal? (Someone told me that.) 

But if you’ve got over 20 medical diagnoses like me, that loss is incredibly difficult –especially healthwise since I get significantly sicker after each pregnancy.

I’m glad that the lady in the article kept trying and got her miracle baby. But, I already have two miracles, and I need to be well enough to actually be invested in their lives.

What’s the point of having them if you are unable to raise them in the Lord which actually is commanded? –as opposed to trying to have a specific number of children which is not commanded.


 

5) “Great, you miscarried; that means you can get pregnant. You should try again.”

They dismiss the pain of the loss and the health risks as if it’s nothing to worry about. I’m glad that for them that it’s nothing, but for me, it’s not nothing.

It’s serious and hard.

Besides, I don’t want another baby.

If I was going to have a baby, I wanted that baby –don’t treat it like it wasn’t a real person.

I don’t want another baby at all, honestly.

I’m not trying to have more, and this pregnancy was not intentional –unlike previous pregnancies that ended in miscarriages (I didn’t even know I could get pregnant anymore).

We’re done, and I’m okay with that.

It seems to be other people who have a problem with the fact that I only have two (alive) kids and don’t plan to have more.

Why are people so invested in the intimate lives of other people? Do they not have enough problems in their own lives? They have to worry about mine?

I don’t think I should have to tell people that I have lost seven babies to have them leave me alone about having more babies –I think it is none of their stinking business.


 

6) “You hate big families.”

I think the hardest thing about the miscarriages is that people have accused me of hating big families because I speak out about the false doctrine of the Quiverfull Movement.

They see that I only have two living babies and make asinine assumptions and accusations like that I hate anyone who has more than 4 kids.

But I have more than 4 kids!

I have nine children.

I don’t hate big families.

I have a big family.

Part of my family is in heaven.

They treat me like I’m against them –they have an us-versus-them mentality.

I am on the side of big families.

And –more importantly–I’m also on the side of accurate Bible interpretation.

I’m also on the side of small families.

Because the Bible doesn’t specify how big your family has to be.

I’m on the side of families.

Period.


 

7) “You should just adopt.”

People criticize me for not adopting, but these are the same people who know that my family has to take care of me because I’m so sick.

I think most of my friends and family don’t really understand how sick I am.

I don’t think anyone would allow me to adopt, but if they did, would it even be wise?

To bring a young child into my home that I physically can’t care for?  

That my 12-year-old and 15-year-old would end up raising?

And what if I die?

My children are old enough that they can mostly take care of themselves if I die.

The same is not true if we bring new little people into our home.

This doesn’t even begin to address the fact that we’d have to move to a larger house which I’m not able to do –moving is very hard and very stressful.

I applaud and appreciate the women I know who are involved in foster care and adoption.

They are ministers to a group of children who desperately need it.

But don’t accuse people who are too sick to be involved in your ministry of not caring or being in sin.

We feel enough guilt about the things we’re not able to do without your help to make us feel worse.


 

8) “You never even met the baby –it shouldn’t be this big of a deal.”

Some people have said that since it wasn’t a child that I lived with or held it then shouldn’t hurt.

But it does.

Believe me: it does.

Deeply.

Significantly.

Intensely.

And every day.

People who say these kinds of things seem to simply not understand.

Some of my miscarriages have been very early, and I didn’t even know I was pregnant until I miscarried.

For a long time, I didn’t let myself mourn because I told myself it shouldn’t be a big deal.

After seven miscarriages, I know that it is a big deal.

Every life matters –no matter how small or how brief.

I choose not to confide in people who treat life so flippantly as to say a miscarried baby doesn’t matter.


 

Another thing that bothers me isn’t something people say; it’s an attitude. 

An attitude of ingratitude toward God for the children He’s given them. 

Believe me: somewhere out there is women who would gladly endure your worst day just to hold a child or just to have her dead child back again. 

And, if you can’t understand that, I’m going to have a hard time talking to you about how painful these miscarriages have been. 

Do not, I beg you, take your children for granted. 

Just like when you lose a loved one, after a miscarriage you go through the grieving process: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

For a long time I was in the denial stage because if I don’t talk about it, it’s not real, right? That was especially true of miscarriages 3 through 6.

This time, I think I’m somewhere between denial and anger.

But, I’m giving myself permission to hurt and grieve this time.  

I think that is helping.

I’ve burst into tears over stock photos of baby girls. I’ve spent hours up at night crying over the fact that I’ll never get to play dress up or tea party with my daughter or braid her hair.

For some reason, this miscarriage brought all the years of horrible experiences –all those intense emotions– bubbling to the surface.

All the heartache of broken dreams.

The empty arms just feel so much more empty.

I was too upset, too hurt to talk about it.

This time.

I’m not sure why.

It just is.

So, I cling to my Savior and to the knowledge that one day the canvas of time will be unrolled like a tapestry and the Great Redeemer will trace His fingers across the lines of time and eternity and explain every hurt, every heartache, every loss.

It will make sense, and we will see that His plan was wonderful, providential, and worth it.

He who catches my tears in a bottle knows how much I hurt.

For now, I hurt a lot.

But I trust Him no matter how much I hurt.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

If you liked this post, you might enjoy these as well:


I’m a Real Mom: Coming to Grips with Disabled Motherhood 


Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen to Good People?


Too Much Information: 10 Unexpected Symptoms of My Illness That It’s Taboo to Talk About 


“You Hate Big Families!” –A Discussion About How to Respond Biblically When Someone Disagrees with You


Does the Bible Command Us to Keep Having Babies? An Argument Against the Quiverfull Movement


illness

Thyroid Disease: Is This Butterfly-shaped Organ Messing Up Your Life?

Unless you have thyroid disease, you’re probably not familiar with it.

And even if you have heard of it, you probably think it causes weight gain and is easily fixed by a small pill.

There are a few –very few– people who are able to fix thyroid disease by only taking a pill.

But unfortunately, that’s not the norm.

At all.

For a long time, I believed it was all I needed.

Because that’s what I was told.

I wish I had not believed that lie.

Thyroid disease is so very much more complicated.

Who knew that a little butterfly-shaped organ could mess with my life so entirely?

Did you know that researchers estimate that most thyroid issues are actually cases of Hashimoto’s –autoimmune thyroid disease?

Did you know that researchers estimate that most of those cases have gone undiagnosed?

So, not only is this disease incredibly complicated to treat affecting almost every part of your body, but it goes undiagnosed

That’s what happened to me.

I was undiagnosed for a decade (actually, a doctor did the test but didn’t tell me the result).

The following quote is what I wish someone had told me 12 years ago:

“The thyroid is very important gland in the human body. It plays a very vital role in the overall health of the human body. It is basically butterfly-shaped gland that is located on the front of your neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe.

“It has two side lobes, connected by a bridge in the middle which is known as isthmus. It is an endocrine gland that is responsible for controlling the metabolism (energy produced and used in the body) and regulates the body’s sensitivity to hormones.

“Any kind of anomaly in the thyroid gland can cause number of health issues. It mainly triggers the autoimmune diseases. The main problem that it creates is the issue of hypothyroidism.

“Hypothyroidism causes various types of problems like changes in the menstrual cycle, constipation, depression, dry hair and hair loss, dry skin, fatigue, greater sensitivity to cold, slow heart rate, swelling of thyroid gland, unexplained weight loss and gain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

“If the problem of hypothyroidism goes unchecked it can cause other troubles such as heart problems, infertility, joint pain and obesity.”

Your thyroid delivers chemicals to every cell in your body.

So, if your thyroid isn’t working properly, it will affect your entire body.

If I had read this before 2011, I could have avoided double carpal tunnel surgery –what I needed was the right thyroid medication.

There is so much information available now that I wish had been available back then.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes