Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Perseverance

















Perseverance: To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.

A bonsai tree...a plant that can grow just about anywhere. Unhealthy soil, or from the side of a mountain. However, it requires time. I have been resting in some "unhealthy soil," and on some days, the mountain seems to be my dwelling place. But isn't it incredible to know that God is taking his time with me?? He's not rushing things. He is constantly taking his time, paying special attention to every specific detail. Growing and nurturing me every second of the way.

I find myself in the midst of a battle. One that seems to defeat me on days when my spirit is broken. The frustrations of the day literally hurled me into the Word. This is where I rest these days...

James 1:2 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3)because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance" and verse 12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

How do I not rest easy when He has given me this very promise? My new challenge: to practice and apply to my trials the perseverance he has developed in me.

Separate from the health issues my husband is dealing with, we recently began fertility by recommendation of our doctor. We began seeing a specialist and underwent some more extensive testing. After many visits it has been determined I have Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a clotting disorder. Our specialist believes this is the most possible cause of our miscarriages. While google has only confused me more :), our specialist has been a great source of information and encouragement. I trust that WHEN we do conceive that precious Ginn Baby, God will grant him the knowledge to treat our situation with special care. I will be on baby aspirin and take two shots of heparin a day to help thin the clotting. He encouraged me that he will monitor us closely, and I believe him.

We still pray daily for Baby Ginn, but know that Wes's health is what needs to be priority at this time. Am I mad? No. Frustrated?...I swallow my pride and proclaim, maybe a little. The specialist gave to us what seemed to be our best chance of conceiving back in August. I was given a shot to assist my body in ovulation. Doctor's orders, just do the dance on this day. Okay, so here many will say, "If you would just relax and stop thinking about it, it'll happen when you least expect it." While I ponder on and consider all advice given, it's much harder than "Don't think about it." While I know that God's timing is perfect and always at work, I also believe that He sent us to a specialist (also a believer) to assist us medically AND encourage us in faith.

Wes was admitted to the hospital on "Dance Day."

Mad, No. Frustrated at the hand we have been dealt, Sure. But I think God respects my honesty. Through each of these "obstacles and discouragements," God is teaching me the very act of perseverance. I consider it to be a true honor that God is taking the time to personally guide me.

I wake up each morning with my faith in tact. Our lives have somewhat "gone up in flames." But the smoke may have been our very cry to Him...we just didn't know it.


"The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but non seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky...He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied."

Even in the midst of all our pain and suffering, God remains constant. He works diligently in the midst of our discouragement. Our hut has been on fire many times, but thankfully the smoke from our trials summoned the very grace of God.

Philippians 4:12, " I have learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Greener for a Reason...

Many emotions haunted my soul these past months. Bear with me, this will have a touch of "Debbie Downer," but I promise the finale is encouraging.

It's difficult to find a worthy starting point. These past months are filled with so many emotions, both tragic and joyful. Let's just begin...

In early June, Wes began having some abdominal discomfort. He's had digestive issues in the past (minor proctitis), but nothing severe enough to not be fixed with medication. He's been pain free and without medication for almost a year now. During this time, he was dealing with a good bit of stress. He was in the middle of a job transfer, his Uncle Larry was struggling with his cancer, and we started to undergo fertility treatments with a specialist. (Talk about too much on your plate). He lost a little bit of weight, but being the stubborn man that he is, decided not to see his doctor. After losing almost 30 lbs., I persuaded him to see his doctor. In late June, a colonoscopy confirmed the diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. He was given "top of the line" medication and was told he would recover in a couple of weeks.

Those couple of weeks turned into long days and hard nights. His uncle, Coach Larry Ginn, lost his battle to cancer. (However, as Christians, this is not a battle lost, but one that is won for Christ. Still hard for our flesh, but glorious for our hearts.) He is well-known in our area for being an Alabama Hall of Fame coach, winning state championships in both basketball and football. But to Wes, he was a second father. A mentor, an example of the coach Wes strives to be. We stayed with him and the family during his last days. Leaving his side was not an option for Wes, but the stress and pain of the situation continued to take a toll on Wes's already tired body.

After continued weight loss and continuous pain, he underwent a treatment of Remicade. A therapy used for Crohn's Disease patients. After this treatment proved no relief, we sought after the opinion of a specialist. The specialist decided to alter his medication and encouraged us that things should improve soon. I never would have guessed that soon was somewhat far away...

On August 10th, Wes was admitted to a hospital in Birmingham due to severe malnutrition and ulcers in his colon and esophagus. Scopes confirmed the ulcers in his colon were "the worst he'd ever seen" and they had spread to his esophagus. (Which explains why Wes was chasing all his food with buttermilk.)

After being admitted to a room, he weighted in at....ready for this?...110lbs. Oh you read it right. He had lost a total of 50 lbs. He was placed on a strict liquid diet the first few days while they discussed a diagnosis. After several days, and many consults with different specialists, our diagnosis is Ulcerative Colitis AND Crohn's Disease. They can't make a clear separation in the two, so they're saying he has both.

We spent the next week and a half receiving excellent care in one of the best hospitals around. He was given a pic line in his arm where they hooked up a TPN (nutrition bag) to help with the malnutrition. His condition improved daily and we were able to go home (with TPN bag in tact) the middle of the next week.

We've been home and recovering for several weeks now. I am happy to report he is improving greatly!! He is back up to 161lbs. He still receives TPN through his pic line. We will ween down to every other day tomorrow. He is back at work a few days a week and is enjoying being able to be with his students. He's not coaching yet, but anxious to get back into it.

His diet is still strict. We now eat lots of fish and chicken, rice, and fiber. He's been pain free (with no pain meds) since he's been home.

We have an amazing support system. Family and friends never ceased to encourage, support, and carry us these past months. We'll never truly be able to sufficiently thank them.

Despite the emotional condition of our summer, my heart still smiles. God is forever showing me His truths. He has granted me a responsibility to prove the impossible. That no matter what the difficulty, discouragement, or trial, you must always find your true joy in Him. Now don't get me wrong, my strength crumbled to dust many a time these past months. But it won't defeat me. I choose daily to stand firm on His word.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I leave you with this...
"The grass is always greener on the other side, but remember it took a lot of manure to get it that way."










Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For what we do not YET have...

This has been our most recent focus..."But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Romans 8:25 Not gonna lie, I sometimes have to check myself on the "patient" part, but the "yet" in this scripture gives me the bumps; the good kind.

Our journey these past couple of years has been a long one; emotionally and physically exhausting. But how great are His promises? "...we hope for what we do not YET have." I have been reminded daily of the yet, and as I stated in earlier posts, "our hopes endures." I can't help but allow my faith to rest in those words.

So here we are, waiting for our YET...praying for our YET.

As most know, we are now in the midst of our fourth month on fertility. While on the meds, my ovaries are overstimulated in hopes of producing a mature egg. Month one was disappointing, not producing any eggs. Month two and three, somewhat better luck. I produced one egg during those months. Month three was much more mature. Knowing that "it only takes one" we hoped for the best and asked our prayer warriors to man their stands. Well...as I know God listens every month, he answered differently this month. 

Today was our 14 day sonogram, otherwise noted by my best friend, the "egg hunt." :)  (mommymccoy.blogspot.com) My doctor was out of town so we had to go to the hospital for our appointment. As we waited in the room I said a quick prayer and reassured my sweet husband..."This is our month. Get ready for Baby Ginn." The ultrasound girl was precious, she didn't realize what my appointment was for until we started talking of our history and I told her we were looking for follicles. I went on to tell her our warriors were praying for big numbers this month, so be sure to not disappoint. I wasn't prepared for what she said next...

"Tell them the prayers worked. I see atleast eight in your right ovary, and ten in your left." Cue the chill bumps...yup, just got 'em again! I sat up to look and there they were. All our lil' hopes on one screen. She pointed to them as she counted. And for every one she counted, my thoughts screamed "Lil' Miracle One, Lil' Miracle Two...Eight, Nine, Ten." I couldn't even believe it...but then again, why not? We serve an ever so faithful God right? And He's preparing us for our YET

My sweet husband...I get tickled just thinking about the look on his face as he watched her count. His reaction, "We need to get some bunk beds." :)

So we now again, wait. And try ever so earnestly to do it "patiently." Will this be the month for Baby Ginn? It's not a definite. But do we serve a Father faithful to His promises? Most definitely. Our YET is in the making...so get ready for it. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

In Honor of a Man...

  My heart has been leading me this month to pour out it's contents. This is where my mind is at the moment...

 This month last year was a month of much emotion. So much was happening for our family, but my focus is particular.

 Mike Rogers, a devoted husband, proud "daddy," brother, son, friend....

 Though a year later, I am prepared for the emotional struggle that will burden my sister Monica and her family. As I proclaimed earlier, "Time doesn't necessarily heal wounds, but God surely does." A year after, not his death, but his healing, I can truly believe their wounds are still fresh. As if it was yesterday they will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on that day. I hope that the spirit of God calms their frustrations and His peace answers all their questions. 

 In the short years I knew Mike, he was a man truly devoted to the women of his life. I truly believe it is the only reason he fought his battle for so long. His strength is to be envied. I feel proud to know that Mike left his "girls" in the hands of so many of us. A responsibility I make priority. In Honor of Mike, forever remembered and always loved.

 To Monica, my sister. You always say you wish you had my strength...are you kidding me?? I see the strength of God Himself when you just speak of your daddy. Your smile on your wedding day is proof God's peace is real. You have overcome a trial that so many fear. I pray God continues to grant you the strength that you don't even realize you have. I hope this month, He helps you to remember and focus on all the amazing things you shared. The good times and memories that you will one day share with your kids. Rest easy and know that God is still God, and you are still His child. Your daddy IS so proud. I love you.

 Julie Bug, same goes for you sweet sister. Keep that head up. Your strength is incredible, and don't you ever doubt that. You know how much your daddy loved you, always rest in that. And how much more does your Heavenly Father love you?! So lay your frustrations at His feet. I love you.

 All my Love to my other family, the Rogers. I pray that God continues to heal your hurt. I love you.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Four years ago, to the day....

 It's time I give credit where credit is due. 

 Four years ago this very day I experienced the day that all girls dream of. Wes took me to a romantic dinner at Logan's. (Being sarcastic about the romantic part). :) Sweet tea, country music, peanuts and all...perfect! It truly was. His nervousness was precious. 

 So anyway, long story short, I said "yes" on this night four years ago. And so begins our journey. It's been a ride! But one that I wouldn't dare take with anyone but Wes.  Hard to believe our life together began with a little stalking...on his part. (He'll tell you different) :)

 I have learned over the years that contrary to Jerry Maguire, Wes does not "complete me." He "compliments" me. I am who God created me to be, and Wes compliments every part of me. He is the laughter that makes my heart smile. Even right now, I'm trying to write pleasant things in his honor and he's stressing me out... :) (As he cackles). 

 He is a man of commitment, integrity, and discipline. He is my partner in accountability and in crime. He is my safe place. I hide my deepest emotions and feelings inside his heart. 

 Over the last several months, God has done a work in Wes's life. It is amazing to see a glimpse of the Man of God continuously being created in him. He has become the drive in me to be a better person, friend, and especially a better wife to him. 

 Marriage can be hard, but you must realize the foundation is Christ. And that's how it was created to be. How much easier are your trials together when you acknowledge it! 

 So kudos to my Man of incredible faith, enduring patience, and fear of God. I am honored to have him as the spiritual leader of our family. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Evidence is Everywhere...


 We began this week with some serious high hopes. Emotions were high in the midst of certain possibilities for Wes and I, but luckily we serve a God that truly carries our lives in the strength of his very own hands. 

 The constant disappointment can begin to wear on your soul, your mind, and sometimes your very being. It continues to create questions that sometimes seem to always go unanswered. But again I say, what a faithful God we serve. 

 God, on a daily basis, is molding and forming my heart into exactly what He desires for it to be. And from what we know at this very time, He's just not done! The anxiety of starting our family sometimes has me screaming, " Hurry up already!" But how much more perfect will it be when it is in His timing and not ours. In the last few months, God has created a new passion in Wes and I. Not only for each other, but for the very thing our marriage was founded and created on...HIM. A new desire for Him is just what he has in store for us at this time. He is preparing us for something incredible...oh you just wait!

 I get caught up monthly, praying the same selfish prayer. But this past week, God made sure I was aware of Him. The evidence of His peace was everywhere. Sometimes bolder than others. Atleast once, if not twice a day, our Christian radio station played my testimonial song "Our Hope Endures" by Natalie Grant. He knew just when I needed it. I witnessed an amazing sunset on Monday. The opportunity to join an upcoming bible study, as a couple. Encouragement from friends and family....He truly is Everywhere. 

 And He loves me just enough to make sure I feel Him. Even in the small things. 

 This year holds great potential for Wes and I. Thankfully "His mercies are new every morning." We have a long way to go, but we rest in knowing that God is preparing us for something great. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Christmas in February

Again I say, don't judge...

The "non-redneck" portion of my conscious won tonite and we decided to finally store away our Christmas decorations. Now grant me some credit, our outdoor decs have been in the rubbermaid since December. But our trees and random Santas and stockings were still standing gloriously indoors. And I must confess...we even plugged in the lights a time or two this week. :) 

To be honest, I thought if I left it up, Wes would sneak a few extra presents under it....yea, didn't happen. 

I'm actually early this year taking it down. I believe it was Spring Break (late April) before it came down last year. Hypocrisy, I know.

I would love to be one of those women who stay on top of it and get it down the day after Christmas, but I shall not follow in the footsteps of my Mom, Auntie, and Grandmother. I am the black sheep. 

Due to basketball season, we have small amounts of time for anything else. So free time is not spent on vacuuming up broken ornaments and trying to get that tree back in the box that I swear it came in.

 


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Declaration for 2009

 Sunday afternoon I departed from my home, excitedly on my way to Cleveland to visit some on my favorite people in the world! My McCoys....(the Weeks and Rumble's too!) :) The quiet drive was just what I needed to clear my head and clean out my soul.

 2008 brought obvious emotions. Joy, fear, frustration, anxiety. The drive was just what I needed to confront those feelings head on. And I have decided to declare war on all the things that make my spirit feel weaker than God wills it to be. 

 I arrived in Cleveland, snuggled up with my Rowe, and had an amazing "start of the new year" chat with my Bestie.  We spoke of dreams, goals, blessings, and trials. It's so crazy how truly alike we can be! I discussed with her my goal for the near future. Her and Knox had recently made plans for the same goal, only theirs had a cool slogan...which I am now stealing, okay, borrowing!

"Grow Where You're Planted"

 God has placed many desires in Wes and I's life. This past year, I was consumed with our desire to be parents. It is a special responsibility that we pray for daily. I feel God, in this very moment, is still preparing our hearts for His true blessings. While the thought of this responsibility kept me driven, it also left me burdened. Broken with the fact that it's just not our time. Touched by the undescribable joy twice, yet torn at the alternate path we were given. My thoughts and feelings became controlled by this one desire, this one dream. I have now realized the magnitude of time being lost. 

 The dream, and desire, still rests strong on our minds daily. We speak of our children often and smile and laugh on the thought of memories to be made in the near future. (Whether Gabby will marry Rowe McCoy, or Cooper will be his Best Buddy!) But if I have learned one thing from 2008, I am striving to "Grow Where I'm Planted." 

 I feel God has granted me many responsibilities and "roles" in life. One, to be a mother. I pray daily that God continues the growth in Wes and I. We want our desires to be those that God has set for us. Not our own. His timing will be perfect. But I am not only meant to be a mom. God has "planted" me for this very time, to be a wife, a daughter, friend, sister, teacher, aunt, etc. 

 God has blessed me with an amazing husband. And I have been granted this amazing chance to use this time for him, and for us. His career creates an obvious busy-ness in our life. Quality time for the two of us is few and far between. So I choose today to spend some much needed time thinking of us. God has granted us some extra time to enjoy each other, and I'll be darned (d-a-r-n-e-d) :) if I let another second go by without acknowledging it. 

 I have amazing family and friends. They have been our constant encouragement in these last two years. They have allowed me to grieve and heal on my own terms. No questions asked. I now choose to be a loved daughter, a selfless friend, and a proud Aunt. I choose to focus on the roles and tasks at hand. God created these responsibilities also specifically for me, and I now devote my love to these roles. 

 i choose...to "Grow Where I'm Planted."