In 2011 after many long years of chronic pain &abnormal results at regular yearly checkups I finally followed my doctor’s desperate urges and saw a fertility specialist. The consultation led to a laparoscopic surgery which led to my diagnosis of Stage IV Endometriosis and Infertility. Wow! At the young age of 23, recently engaged (9-11-11), this changed my whole world!!
My fiancé (Leroy) and I cried and prayed. With my fertility specialist saying that we had a small window of opportunity to try, we asked the pastors at our church to intercede asking God to open my womb so that I could bear at least one child. We were engaged (9/11/11) had our wedding (11/11/11). After our two precious months of engagement were over, we immediately began attempts to conceive. Weeks passed with no positive results but constantly receiving phone calls from the doctor reminding me that my time is short and that if I didn’t have an emergency hysterectomy my endometriosis would soon spread to vital organs and become fatal. [The pressure!!]
In January 2012, God gave me peace. I finally understood that I had been praying for healing from my infirmity for years and He was ready to take away the pain; it just wouldn’t be in the way that I assumed. See, I assumed that God would allow me to bear at least one child before my big surgery but that’s not what He had in mind… When I went to my husband and told him that God wasn’t going to open my womb he told me that God had revealed this to him before we got engaged and he had recently gotten his confirmation of that revelation.
When God speaks, He speaks… It’s a done deal…
I set my date for the hysterectomy (2/15/12) and immediately started praying with my sister (Lady Amber) against all bitterness. I had committed in my heart to not have the surgery until I was 100% sure that my heart was guarded from all bitterness and anger. I refused to be a barren, bitter woman who despised every other woman who had a child and I refused to despise God for His perfect plan over my life just because it wasn’t what I wanted and because I didn’t understand it… Praise God for answered prayers!!!
February 15, 2012 I had a complete hysterectomy and due to the spreading of my endometriosis my appendix was also removed. Recovery was painful both physically and emotionally. I felt so empty inside (literally and figuratively). Not only were my physical organs removed but my dreams of having 5 children went with them. My dreams of having a baby girl named Ava with my hazel eyes and my husband’s nose were ripped right from under me. My vision of having bad little infant boys running around the house being destructive with only their diaper on was taken from my grips… … … … … In a span of 5 months my entire vision for my life had changed! After 10 long years of chronic pain and encouraging myself by thinking about my future children as I endured the pain; it was all made to be in vain.
Ok! On to the good stuff! GOD IS SO AMAZING!! That was 3 years ago and God has guarded my heart from all bitterness and hatred over these years. There are many days when I have felt that no one understands [I mean, what other 23yr old do you know who is barren and going through menopause.]; but God, Himself has come and comforted me. He has blessed me with a wonderful son through marriage, Leroy Hezekiah Holden IV, who can carry down my husband’s legacy and name. A beautiful son whom I able to love and teach about Jesus! A son who calls me mama! [And I became his mama when he was only 4. So prayerfully we have much more to look forward to together.]
There is no cure for endometriosis. I still very much have this condition and I live with it daily; however the physical pain is gone, for now, due to my surgery. On top of living with this condition I am currently in my 3rd year of another interesting journey called MENOPAUSE *insert dramatic music*. LoL. To my relief my body is beginning to adjust well to the changes. I have had the honor of speaking with ladies over the age of 50 about menopause because they are on the brink of entering this stage of life. How awkward to hear a 26yr old telling a 62yr old tips and experiences about going through menopause.
I praise Jesus for this confidence that He has given me to finally share my testimony publicly without reservations. I’ve never been ashamed of my condition but I’ve tried to avoid people feeling sorry for me and pitying me. I’m not a victim. We live in a world that is perishing. Things happen and sickness exists. Everyone is battling something and that’s okay. The battle shouldn’t be the focus; God’s supreme control over the battle should be the focus.
I have so many ‘children’ in my life! OH, the joy is seeing my precious nieces and nephews be born, start walking, talking, running half naked around the house, doing the baby bounce dance and so much more. OH, the joy of seeing my son (my prince Hezi) quote scripture, tell random jokes, participate in school plays, take on my mannerisms and shower me with questions on a daily basis!
If you’re still reading I want you to know that my purpose in sharing this is to put God on display! Even when things don’t go how we plan and it’s okay because God is in control and He’s trustworthy. So often we feel like we ‘deserve’ a certain outcome or path in life and we forget that life isn’t about us. All throughout the Bible we see people with different ailments and illnesses that ultimately pointed to God’s greatness. When we are weak, He is strong. I want to glorify God through my condition! I want to encourage other women who have endometriosis. I want to love on those women who are barren as I am. I want to encourage women who may not have endometriosis but have painful menstrual cycles. I want to inspire those women who are step moms… I can sympathize with all of these individuals and prayerfully God will use me to speak victory into their lives.
Live in victory and glorify God with whatever situation you are given knowing that He doesn’t allow situations so that they will harm you; rather they are intended for your good and His glory. If you don’t believe that just look at my family. Team Holden is not dead or dragging over our situation. We are walking with our heads held high and following Jesus Christ to the best of our ability. This has only brought us closer and has made us stronger in the Lord!
(Picture above= 11/11/2011. Age 23)
(Picture above= 12/2014. Age 26)