Updated: Mar 28
"It feels like I've lost a part of who I use to be."
The words could hardly leave my mouth without getting a lump in my throat.
My brother Ben sat on the edge of my bed the other day, listening. He is such a good man. I wasn't going cry, but then he hugged me. :)
I was doing so well this year, so far. I thought I had kicked the Rocky Mnt sickness but last week it relapsed, which means extreme exhaustion and headaches- falling asleep in the middle of people's conversations & feeling like your head is going to explode. I had thought I'd leave it behind me as a great little chapter in my story.
But would it be too optimistic to say, I am still in the middle of it, and it is probably one of the best chapters?
I kind of think God looked down and said, "Look at her go! We need to make sure she doesn't wander too far. Let's have this tiny little tick bite her just to knock her down enough to remind her that she is only a vapor." ;)
I know if left in default mode, I would wander so far from Him.
I can't tell you how thankful I am that God does not leave me in default mode.
You know, it's funny, because I don't like to be bound to anything. My independence is extremely important to me.
At least, that's what I've thought.
But that day, 6 months ago, thousands of miles from home, when I realized there was a chance of this sickness being fatal if left untreated, and it had been untreated until that day- the first thing that came to my mind was the hymn that says,
"Let thy goodness bind my wandering heart to thee."
I sang it. I read it. I wrote it on my arm. If I had a tattoo, I'd make it one.
The truth sank in for me. I actually do want to be bound-
not because of how weak I am, or scary circumstances. Those are real things. But it's that goodness that I want to be close to.
I want to be bound to Him because of how good He is.
Thank God He allowed me to fall flat on my face with this sickness. That was good of Him. He continues to pull me close. I can't even believe it.
Everything else fades in light of that. Isn't that the point of my life? Isn't that all I really want and need?
It's such a hard thing to explain.
This challenge that I hate, at the same time, I love.
I mean, I don't jump around for joy about it, but I've learned to hold it and give thanks. Sometimes I cry while holding it- because it hurts, because I'm grieving what's gone while embracing what is.
So, now, when I look at my life and think,
"It feels like I've lost a part of who I use to be."
I remind myself..... yes.....Yes, I have.
We all have, and will continue to.
Isn't that life?
Giving and taking. Changing. Moving. Like the waves. Why do I always come back to that? [the waves]
I think I'm going to make this my new logo... (the C is a wave)
"I have seen enough to know that Your love's the only anchor for my soul.
So, please, don't even let me go, if you do I would be lost forever, Lord.
Swept away by the waves of the storm.
Oh, Lord of the wind and the waves if you're with us we will not be afraid.
No storm can ever separate us from Jesus, You're mighty to save."
-Josh Garrels, Anchor of my Soul
Anyway, back to the story. I had been doing SO well, but one round of treatment wasn't enough, and I probably pushed a little too hard too soon causing a relapse.
You know how you sometimes think, "How horrible this has happened! I would be such a better person if this hadn't happened."
I got to that point last week. There was so much more I wanted to be doing with my life, but there I was, in bed.
I messaged my health coach- Kelly Reins.
She turned everything negative thing I could think of into hope.
I kind of picture her like this goddess with a sword who I summon from my dark valleys and she always rides in and helps slay all the bad guys.
When I'm too worn to figure out what to do next, she gives me a battle plan.
I don't know what I'd do without Kelly. She has a heart of gold and always, always points me in the right direction. She's been to hell and back with her own tick borne illness journey, and you can see it in her strength and wisdom. No wonder I picture her wielding a sword.
So last night, she sat me down for a "buck up buttercup" session.
I told her I felt impatient. That I just want someone to tell me more clearly about what I have and where I'm at- in writing- make it official. No more of this "We just can't really know how long it will be." nonsense. ;)
"Of course you want confidence that you'll make it through
but you never know what the Lord will have in store for you. We have promises and we don't.
But here are some absolutes- If you continue to treat a co-infection, it will die. If you detox, it will leave your body.
If we don't get this eradicated by the time we are 99 and climbing mountains still, and we die, we will have new bodies. Some people who have been through this are now running marathons.
I think you have a lot to look forward to and I wouldn't worry about a long ways out but plan on having to do maintenance and keep treating for a while.
There’s a lot to look forward to in any challenge because it’s a refining fire.
There's something about the challenge to say, “Let me see how I can become better in any way, shape or form."
Because a better me makes me happier, a better me helps other people, a better me is a better storyteller, right? A better me has more insight and empathy.
It transforms especially in the kind of thing you do. It gives a lot of power, emphasis and feeling to what you do.
Take it and channel it and use it and "Kami it"."
"We need a hashtag. #kamiit . Ya know, give it the old Kami 1, 2."
Ugh. I have so many good people in my life. We have made so many good memories the past month... and as much as I can talk about relapse, there is a heck of a lot of progress and exciting things happening, and I have saved the best for last. :)
In the past few weeks, more work has poured in that the last two years put together and I want to take the very best care of my clients that I possibly can! I feel like it's time to expand my business but I'm not entirely sure what that will entail yet and am weighing options.
I finally feel like I accomplished what I set out to do by going to Nashville--
My goal was to grow a clientele there, as well as growing my experiences and myself as a person. I felt like my work didn't grow as much as I had wanted, and the other day I found some left over fliers I had printed up and hung all over Nashville for wedding photography. I kind of just shook my head and thought, "What a waste, you didn't get any leads from this."
That night my phone rang.
It was a bride, and she found me from those fliers. She could probably hear my smile. Within days, 3 more jobs were booked in Nashville and I was probably jumping around my tiny house for joy. The dream was still alive and growing- going back to work in that city periodically, and to spend time there with my friends and family.
So, I just wanted to encourage you and myself- to be patient. Keep planting seeds. You never know what ones will sprout, but at least you will know that you did all that you could!!!
The best news is that I've picked Alaska as my next storytelling destination.
I remember sitting at the bar in my parent's house about a month ago, telling my Dad how my heart was being drawn to Alaska. I wish I could remember our whole conversation, because it was one of the best ones of my life. There were tears in both of our eyes by the end. We both love Alaska and the heritage it's given us. It just doesn't leave some peoples' hearts.
He shared some of his AK adventures that I'd never heard before. And I told him how I felt led to go back to my roots, to tell the stories of the fishermen, to help bridge the gap between the industry and the public. The public knows nothing about how amazing the fishing community really is- and how rapidly it's dying out. "The Last Frontier"- where the land ends and the sea begins. Where people live in cabins, and the sun never goes down. Where my Dad use to hunt, fish and gather artifacts, like oil lamps, when he was young. Where my great grandparents settled.
It was one of the rare times, actually the only time, when I've told my Dad about leaving home and he nodded his head- "Go".
Dream jobs have been lined up and I can't wait to share them with you.
So, I will be spending the next 6 months working in Alaska, the West Coast and Nashville.
All of my favorite places, all in the same year.