Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Birthday! It Is Well With My Soul

Today is my 18th birthday!

The first thing I think of when I think of being 18 is being able to sign my own medical papers. I can sign myself in and out of the hospital! Except not really because usually I get medicine that makes me really loopy, so I'm not allowed to sign myself out. It's not that I want to sign the papers, it's just knowing I could. Plus if I sign out I have to pay and that's what parents are for right? :)

I've done a lot in my 18 years! I've been to Europe 3 times, and South America 3 times, all for mission trips. I've traveled across the US multiple times. In 5th grade I received the "Student of Today" award out of all of 5th grade. I did community musicals through out elementary school and middle school, as well as school musicals. When I was in school I got straight A's. But that's not what my life is all about.

In 8th grade I got mono. Through out 9th grade I went from doctor to doctor, seeking answers as to why I was still sick. In 10th grade, I was too sick to go to school, and I went across the country to Nevada and finally got a diagnosis. A few days before my 16th birthday I had my first trip to the ER where I was hooked up to morphine and fluids. A couple months later, I got a PICC line (permanent IV line) placed in my right arm so I could do IVs at home. 7 months later, I had my first surgery to have a port placed in my chest that you access with a 1 inch needle. It goes directly to my heart and is for IVs. I still have the port. Around my 17th birthday, I started having major heart problems from the Lyme. I spent several scary days through out last spring in the hospital with my heart skipping beats and my heart rate over 140 bpm all the time. Within 3 months last year, I had 2 surgeries and had 2 organs removed. My gallbladder wasn't working so that surgery was in late August. The surgeon also cut off adhesions from my liver. A couple months ago in the first week of December, I was hospitalized and then had exploratory surgery. I had appendicitis, internal bleeding, endometriosis, and a cyst the size of an orange. All of this is because of Lyme. I've spent 11 weeks across the country seeing my doctor because no one in my state will treat me. I've been to the ER over 30 times in 2 years. I've been on IVs more days than not, and taken more medicine than anyone I know. Instead of school, friends, driving, sleepovers, and normal teenage things, I'm dealing with hospitals, IVs, pain medicine, doctors, Make a Wish, staying home, low immune system, medicine, more medicine, and conversations that I shouldn't have to understand. But that's not what my life is all about.

"I am a child of God and there is nothing I can do to keep God from loving me. I exist for a purpose, to glorify God in EVERYTHING I do. In the way I talk, in the way I relate, in the way I act, in the way I love. This life will be hard but THAT'S OKAY because I have Jesus to lead me, the word of God to guide me, the church to support me, and one day, Jesus is coming back to take me home so I can BE WITH HIM FOREVER" That's what my life is about. That's what matters.

What has happened the past few years was definitely not in my plans. No one plans to be too sick to go to school and spend years doing treatments, fighting for life. I honestly never thought that I would qualify to have a wish from "Make a Wish".

But God has bigger plans for me.

'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.' Jeremiah 29:11-14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well." Psalm 139:14

"All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

"For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" Ephesians 2:10

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

I could not think of a better way to spend the first few hours of my 18th year of life than to spend it with my church family in prayer at the 24 hours of prayer. After all, that is what my life is about. Growing closer to God and worshiping Him, and shining His light.

A lot of days I still don't understand this road that I'm called to walk. A lot of days I don't like it. But, if God calls me to this which He has, I believe He will get me through it and I'll be stronger than before.

Like the hymm says, it is well with my soul, no matter what.

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."

So today I might not feel good at all. I might cry from the physical pain despite the pain medicine, like I have everyday for several weeks. But I will rejoice because I am blessed, God is still God, and He has a plan for me. A plan bigger than I can imagine.

Thank you for supporting me! I'm so blessed to know you.

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24


  1. I cried.

    Happy birthday, beautiful. I hope you have the most wonderful ever, I truly cannot think of anyone more deserving x x x

  2. I'm praying that year 18 is the best ever. Hugs to you Victoria!

  3. Happy Birthday.

    That song is one of my favorites also.

  4. I hope your birthday was great! You have done many great things for being so young. Here's to many more years of great adventures!