What’s the Story?

At 29 years old, while I was 16 weeks pregnant, I was diagnosed with a paraganglioma.  So begins the most recent “story” of Val, right??

To be honest, the story part feels stuck.  I have felt strongly lately that God is calling me to use my words and to tell my stories.  In written word, in voice, I’m not sure yet.  Every story-teller loves a good twist in the plot,right?  And surely this has been a pretty big twist.  This has been the biggest happening in my life for over a year now.  God has walked me through each and every facet of the process.  He has been there.  And even though I don’t have answers to why or how or what will come next I know there was purpose to all of it.  This I know.

But I don’t know what the story is.  I can’t tell you what I’ve learned.  I can’t condense it all into a talk to give in 30 minutes or less.

And it bugs me.

I should have something to say.  Getting a tumor when you’re 29–having the invincibility that we all possess shaken up irrevocably….  Having all of that happen with a babe in my womb and two other beauties to care for….

There should be a story there.  There should be words to put forth.  I should be able to tell you what God taught me through the experience, what the unexpected blessings were, and where I found goodness in the midst of it.

God did teach me, there were unexpected blessings, and I did find goodness in the midst of it, but I don’t know how to put words to any of it.  I can’t even concretely tell you about any of those things.

And it bugs me.

Part of it is that I don’t feel like my story is enough in the face of more difficult journeys that I’ve heard about.  I discredit my status as a survivor telling myself it was all really ‘no big deal,’ and I guess in doing so I rob myself of my own story.  Regardless of how it compares to the travails of others, it is still MY story and a part of who I am.  Maybe it’s because I’ve robbed myself of it, but still I’m not sure what the story is….

And it bugs me.

I can’t distill it all into sound bytes or make it palatable for certain audiences, but I CAN inform you until you want to smack me upside the head to get me to shut up.

I can talk til I’m blue in the face about the details of my disease and the nuances of the tumors involved with it.  I can really and truly bore people that way, and I probably do too often.  Still, I just can’t formulate a take-away point or a main idea or a higher-purpose for the pain sort of message.

And…. it bugs me.  Can you tell?

I’ll keep on looking and keep on living in my story and hopefully one way or another learn to own it and stop comparing it to the story of others and maybe one of these days I’ll be smacked upside the head with some profound realizations to share for the edification of others.

Until then, I’m just a girl, looking for her story and playing with her words in the meantime.


3 thoughts on “What’s the Story?

  1. Dear Val,

    I will have to look up paraganglioma…I’m glad to hear that you are a survivor. It is a big deal. God doesn’t compare our suffering… He cares about all of it.

    I could relate to you when you said it bugged you… may I share with you my two favorite “P” words… please show yourself “patience” as you “process” these big and weighty matters that you have gone through… along with being a mother…your plate is quite full.

    Sending you a HUG, if that is okay, although we have never met, and praying that God would continue to be with you in your journey and that you would sense His love and peace with you as you process your story.

  2. Val,
    I’m so glad you stopped by my blog today, and I’m equally grateful I stumbled upon yours. I can relate with so much of what you wrote – feeling like there has to be some grand life tragedy in order to have something worth writing about, and a story worth sharing. All the advice I have to offer is just – write what you know. Write about whatever you want, with as much honesty as you did this post. You have a tremendous story – with or without tumors. An illness is just one piece of your story, but it isn’t the whole of it – not even close. We all connect with each other’s stories so long as they are honest and real. If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a part of a blogging community, it’s that God connects us through our honest stories. So write on, friend!

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