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IMG_6248They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  So what words would you pick for the above picture?  What thousand words describes the smile that is on my face as I celebrate one of my close friends getting married?  Happiness?  Excitement?  Absolutely.  But you never know what goes on behind a picture.  That is the thing with this world of social media.  We only see the good and exciting and never the hard moments and it paints an unrealistic picture of life.  But what if I told you that leading up to this moment of pure joy I was an anxious ball of nerves.  That last week prior to flying to Houston for my friend’s wedding the dosage of one of the hormones I am on became much too high and my body completely fell apart–something that only exacerbated the anxiety that was already there over this trip.  You don’t see that in a picture.  But it was there.  Oh believe me, it was there.

This health journey has been overwhelming, and I still have a ways to go before my body is recovered.  And it was a rough week leading up to my departure to Texas.  To be honest, I had been slowly anticipating Sandi’s wedding for months, almost marking it as the point that I needed to be better by.  I had been putting a lot of pressure on this past weekend for months, trying not to think about a trip throwing off my carefully regimented diet and doctor’s appointments and wondering if I would be stressed about being stressed.  I had some bad days leading up to last Friday, when I flew to Houston.  This whole health crisis, and especially the anxiety that has come with it, has just made me feel so incapable in many ways.  Like all of these things that others can simply and effortlessly go out and do just feels so impossible to me in some ways.  And I hate it because it is like my body is fighting against me.  Because I wanted nothing more than to go to Houston and celebrate with my friends but my body wasn’t letting me enjoy it.  And the thing is, life doesn’t slow down.  It keeps going on around me whether I am fully participating or hiding inside my apartment.  And I want to be part of it all.  To live fully.  That has always been my prayer.

So yes, there was a lot riding on this trip to Houston.  I knew that if I could make it through this trip, that I was in some ways turning a page on this whole healing journey, even if my body will still need more time to get with the program.  And then I got to Houston and I was fine.  Miraculously fine.  Still thinking too much about how I was feeling and constantly evaluating if I was okay and wishing I wasn’t so attuned to how I was feeling or wondering if something was going to make me feel anxious.  But with each passing moment in Texas, I relaxed more and more.  And I did it.  I lived.  I lived fully and embraced the moment and the couple I was there to celebrate, and I surely danced my heart out like I didn’t have a care in the world.

Sandi was the most beautiful bride!  I felt so blessed that I got to be part of her special day and stand up there with her in this most momentous of moments.  Smiling with tears in my eyes as I watched her and Jimmy say their vows.  I’m happy for them, most definitely.  But also happy in a way that can also see how marriage is a blessing and a celebration mirroring the relationship that we have with the LORD.  Beautiful in every way.

There was a moment this weekend right when we were walking into the rehearsal dinner–Cristi, Cait, and I were some of the first people there and as we walked in and were standing around we were handed glasses of wine.  We were all just standing there and chatting and maybe it sounds silly but I just felt like such an adult.  Like here I am in Texas to watch my friend get married and we’re standing around and drinking wine and talking about life and how did we get here?  And there is a sadness attached to that, because it means that so much is behind me.  But then there is also still so much up ahead and so much to look forward to.  And I decided in that moment that I didn’t want to worry anymore about whether I felt capable or anxious–I just wanted to live.  Fully live.  Because life is going forward and it is a glorious journey and I want to be part of it.  I want to live.  I want to experience so many of these things for myself and not worry if I can or if these things are possible for me.  With God all things are possible.

So I went to Texas, and I did it.  I had no idea how I would feed myself or if my body would hate me the whole time, but I did it.  I brought snacks with me and basically was starving the majority of the weekend, but I still had the best time.  I felt beautiful and so enjoyed getting ready with the girls and simply being with these people that I love so much and mean so much to me–the kind of friends that I have been praying to have for so many years.  I loved watching Sandi and Jimmy get married and being part of the celebration.  And in a moment of total not-Kelly-ness, I even ate the dinner provided at the venue!  Anyone who knows me well knows how crazy I am about all my food allergies and dietary restrictions, which has basically been ruling my life since January.  I haven’t even eaten out once since the panic attack turned major health crisis that was my birthday.  And then I just took a chance and ate some of the food which was huge for me!  Of course, it was helped along by the cocktail I downed on an empty stomach after the ceremony–it made me brave.  Cristi literally prayed over my plate as they put food on it, and I was totally fine.  I ate and fed my starving stomach and then danced my heart out until they made us leave.  I stopped caring about how I was feeling and just had fun with my friends and it was the best thing ever.

The wedding was amazing in every single way, but one of my favorite moments of the day was when Cristi, Cait, and I got in the car after the wedding was over.  I glanced over at the two of them and with a big smile on my face declared that I did it.  I made it through the weekend that I had so long been anticipating and I had so much fun.  And these two girls that have been walking this whole health journey with me both smiled back at me and Cait said “Kelly’s back” and I knew in that moment that a part of me that had been buried all of these months was back.

Like I said, I still have a road ahead of me, but I am no longer going to believe the lie that I am incapable, because that is simply not true.  That limits God and makes it about me, but I serve a limitless God.  Because of Him, I am capable.  I am capable of impossible things and He has given me this one life and I want to live it to the fullest.  Because it is short and I don’t want to waste it.  He can do amazing things.  More than I could ever ask or imagine.

There will be more hard days ahead, and there may be times when I have to remind myself moment by moment that I am capable.  I am.  I reclaimed part of myself this weekend–part of my life and personality that has been hindered these last months, and seeing this self again has filled me with such joy and just a sense of ability to be able to have so many great moments for myself.  It is good.  It is very good.  And I am thankful.  May I see more of this person in the days to come.

So congrats, Sandi and Jimmy.  I couldn’t be more happy for you!

PS–sorry some of the pics are bad quality.  But what do you expect from an iPhone when you are dancing like a crazy person with your best friends?!

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