If I stopped at my previous post it would be enough to work through in a lifetime. Those experiences by itself are enough, right? I wish it ended there, I wish it even began there, but it didn’t. I walked miles before I even lost Natalie, and my journey was only beginning with agony during that time. I wish I knew that then. Then again, maybe I don’t. I would have in no way described myself as innocent or naïve then, but in the grand scheme of things as I look back, I probably still even was. I look wondrously at those who go through horrible things and then somehow with a switch of a light, life just works out, gets better, redeems itself with something more beautiful then they could have ever imagined. This is what I thought would happen after I lost Natalie. Surely that was it, all I could ever picture living through. My path would certainly demonstrate one could live through such pain and then have something to show that you did it, you made it through and were faithful and then you got the desire of your heart ten times fold. Right? Wrong.
I assumed I was depressed. My body was slow, almost sloth-like. Taking a step was like having two huge men hanging on each of my legs. But I lost my baby, it made sense, so I just kept pushing myself. I would snap out of it soon. I wanted to try and get pregnant again because it seemed like the window of time my body would be able to was short. I knew what had to be done differently this time with shots and doctors, so I dreamed of that making things better. But the Olivia I knew was fading. I had no energy at all.
On January 10, 2004 I became so sick that I was taken to the ER. That day everyone was trying to make me eat and drink and I just felt so full and unable to. I didn’t know that walking into the hospital that I wouldn’t come out until March that same year a completely different person. The old Olivia was dead now. I would no longer be able to have the energy and ability to be who I thought I was. Kidney failure is a scary thing when you are only 23. Especially when the reason you are in kidney failure is that your body is so confused that it actually began attacking organs thinking they were foreign objects needing to protect you against. I have written specifically about this time of on my blog more than any other topic (see archives 2004/2005). The surgeries, dialysis, beginning chemotherapy, having to learn to walk because my muscles atrophied. Living in constant pain and agony, having to be in ICU 3 times, not thinking I would live and wondering what it will feel like to die.
It was during this same time that the Lord showed me an amazing display of His Love. It was during this time that I had to rely on the love of others to help me get well. It was during this time that I found out who was going to stick by me and believe in me. But many people didn’t, even those who promised to. I was beginning to unravel. Everything I thought I had was gone. No baby, no health, and no family. I was alone. But I knew God was there. He had a plan. He wouldn’t let me live for no reason. I wanted to show Him I was worth it.
When I left the hospital, I really had no idea who I was. I couldn’t run or play sports anymore. I couldn’t hold down a job. I still had years of chemotherapy to take. I hadn’t even had time to grieve Natalie. I was angry and hurt. How could this be?
For months I struggled and conversed with God about how I felt. I told Him exactly what I thought about what happened, and about how I felt He was responsible and owed me an explanation. “If You’re going to allow pain like that in someone’s life, then You need to give me a reason, or give me a way to deal with it!” I’d say. It went on like this for months.
I was going to drive myself crazy with trying to find a reason it all happened, especially Natalie. I would go through the “What if’s” and “Why’s” over and over again, day after day. But it finally came to a point where I had to figure out what I was going to do about all of it. Who was I going to be? What was I going to listen to? Even if there was no explanation, I mean EVER, I had to figure out my thoughts. What was I going to do?
I was going to BELIEVE.