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Waiting, Anxiously

So last night, just as I was feeling a little bit better from the TMJ, I ended up tearing off half my toenail on one of my toes. It started bleeding and was really painful…

And then I just really ran to God and started asking Him how I could make this stop. And the answer I got was from Hosea. I realized that I really have changed in ways that have distanced me from God. So I’ve been praying that He would stop these health incidents and I feel that the key to it is really deepening my relationship with Him again and walking more closely with Him like I did those years ago.

I’ll do just that. Every day is its own battle but I’m going to stick by as close to my God as I can and just pray, pray that He won’t let another health incident happen. I pray that it will end here.

Hoping and praying…

I have no idea what to expect.

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Giant Lightbulb

So right as my mosquito bites were healing, I got extreme TMJ pain … the worse that I’ve ever had. And I used to have TMJ pain that I would have to take four ibuprofen four at a time. But I’ve been using ibuprofen so much that I feel like it doesn’t even have an effect on me anymore.

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, things have finally gotten scary. I went from feeling, “okay, well, this sucks but it’ll get better” to “now I’m getting worried, what am I doing wrong?” to “what’s going to happen next?”

And so today, as I was swimming in a sea of pain while lying in bed, I realized that I’ve been praying to God about this pain and looking at random verses but I have never really been investigating His word. So I decided to put on a sermon about God and health issues while laying in bed trying to not throw up.

As I listened to the sermon, I had a couple of strong realizations:

First, that maybe this is happening because I need to become humble again. If you know me, you know that I love to be active and workout. It’s what gives me that extra burst of energy. But I haven’t worked out in months because it’s been one health thing after another. And each one is getting worse.

The ideal image I had of myself was always of an energetic and athletic person. Before all this started and went into full swing, I was doing more cardio and loving it. Now I’m lucky if I get my daily walk in.

If you asked me to envision a scenario where not exercising would ever be good for me, I’d laugh. But now I realize that maybe this is happening so that I can become more down to earth again.

Second, maybe God wants me to slow down. Part of the reason why I was so anxious about going out there and exploring new things once I graduated (had plans to travel, go to resorts, sky dive, learn a new sport, etc) was because I felt insecure whenever I slowed down.

Even just lying down there was a huge obstacle for me. Unless it’s to sleep, I don’t like to down and just close my eyes and wait. It took this huge wave of pain radiating across my face and my shoulders and my neck and even my stomach to make me lie down and be still.

I realized also that life won’t end when I work. I can do these things when I work too. Maybe not as much but maybe just on the weekends. The hours will be rough but I can still live life and be happy.

Third, I was keeping most of this to myself. At first, when it was all unusual and not normal and chronic, I told my friends about it and they would all be very sympathetic. But like I mentioned before, it’s only a matter of time when people get sick about hearing about your problems. Eventually when they see you it’s the first thing they ask, “how’s your pain?”

But then in this sermon I realized that I haven’t really been going to other Christians and trying to investigate why this is all happening. The speaker spoke about going to the elders of the church and being prayed over. Why, in these six months, have I not done that?

Instead, I’ve been praying and reading random Bible verses but maybe God wants me to go to church so that I can ask other Christians – especially my pastor – about it.

Recently, I’ve been wondering, “What WILL God do next? Am I going to break my arm? Am I going to get yet another infection? Is all my hair going to fall out?”

But really, the only way to find out why this is happening is to ask God. And I’m barely starting to realize that to find out what God thinks, maybe I have to turn to other Christians too. Maybe I can’t just rely on my own prayers and random Bible verses.

So when the speaker mentioned ruthless independence in his message and how sickness can move us to want to go to other people in church for help, it struck me. I plan to go to church this Sunday and prayerfully, I can talk to the pastor after service and ask him.

Before all of this happened, I really did live in my own world where life was like a television show and I was the main character. It was the Ophie Show. But now, now maybe it’s not. What do you do when all the lights in your studio turn off and the cameras stop working? You start to realize who you are beneath that once confident, slightly arrogant exterior whose biggest worry was that her arms would get flabby again.

If you are a Christian and you are reading this, I really ask you to pray for me. Any prayer will help. 

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A Realization About Pain

 

Shortly after writing my last post, I prayed to God a very angry prayer. I asked Him, “Lord, what is it next? :/ What’s going to happen next? I don’t even want to know. I don’t understand You.”

And in a moment of clarity, He showed me that by choosing to trust Him even IF something else happens and even when I don’t understand – I’m honoring Him and making a decision to move forward in my faith.

Once again, my jaw and the left side of my teeth hurt. But I choose to trust in Him even when it’s hard. There’s a reason for all of this.

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Trying to Understand

After visiting three – yes three dentists – on Monday and being told that I might have a cyst, I got two mosquito bites that turned into these huge swollen bumps. The first one was over 4 inches in diameter and the second one is a bit smaller but equally as itchy. Thus, I couldn’t go play tennis with my friend on Wednesday nor could I go and have coffee with someone I met from church on Thursday. It was hard to even walk on Wednesday morning and I ended up sleeping half the day away after taking Benadryl.

I really don’t understand God and I would say I’m starting to struggle but the struggle to understand what He’s doing has already started. When I ask Him about it, I always get turned to verses in Job or places in Psalms where the psalmist speaks about God’s discipline in light of the trials in life.

I don’t know if I will ever understand what He’s doing. What I do know is that there’s this fear in my heart as I’m wondering ‘what’s next’. A dental cyst when I take meticulous care of my teeth? A car crash? Breaking a limb? What does God have planned for me next?

The upside to this that I understand Job now better than I ever have before. The reason why God allowed Job to go through those trials wasn’t to prove Satan wrong or to see whether or not Job was really true. It was to reveal things to Job that Job didn’t know about himself. Job claimed that he was perfect and free from sin and that he was a just man but God showed him that he wasn’t.

And something occurred to me the other day that maybe these trials are happening in anticipation of what God is going to do in my life for the future.

As I’m writing this, I’m still slightly in pain and just feeling 50% miserable. I don’t get it. I really don’t.

I wish God would show me why. What am I doing wrong?

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Updates on Health

A.) I’m 100% going to get a new general dentist. The one I have now was super sweet and really great to work with initially but my visits recently have changed my mind about her.  A few months ago, she gave me free movie tickets when I got my wisdom teeth removed (definitely not something that was done for everyone) and even gave me a huge discount on Nitrous. I got discounts for a lot of stuff and know everyone in the office on a first-name basis (since I’m usually the type of person who will go to one dentist, one optometrist and etc for life, I like to get to know as many people in the office as possible to establish a relationship). But I feel like through this health saga, she has gotten impatient with me and so I feel like I could get better care somewhere else.

Also, I wish she would charge me for all the times I come to see her. She doesn’t charge me for a lot of my visits and then she ends up rushing through some of them which is not good. So I’ve decided to just try out a new dentist in the area who looks really good.

As someone who does client work, I know that most people who don’t get paid to do their work won’t do that great of a job at it. So that’s why I’d rather pay. I’d pay over $500 if you just give me the care that I need and not rush through.

The first time I went to see her about this pain, she gave me amoxicillin and then rushed to her next appointment. Very disappointing.

B.) It turns out I might have a cyst where my teeth have been hurting on and off for the past month. I take great care of my teeth and brush and floss three times a day. So this is rather discouraging :/. It might not be a cyst but my endo wants me to see a specialist to make sure. He said it’s not root canal related.

C.) I’m exhausted. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt normal.

The bright side is that I have two coffee dates with two new friends from church this week. I had coffee with one this week and she is just so energetic and easy to talk to. I feel like it was a success!

I have another one coming up so that’ll be fun :).

I also have a tennis date with my good friend this week too. I can’t play tennis really well but it’ll be fun.

And finally, I have a movie with date with another girl friend on Saturday. We’re going to see Wonder Woman at this fancy upscale movie theater with big leather seats and where they deliver food directly to where you’re sitting.

I’m also planning to check out Toastmasters soon. The last time I went to a meeting, I ended up winning a ribbon for best table topics (: . I stopped attending once I got involved on campus but it was a really great experience.

I’m still in pain right now but I’ve learned that life doesn’t stop when you feel uncomfortable.

God also gave me these two verses:

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Cor 4:16-18
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27
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Going to Church!!

I went to church today for the first time in a long time. It was a positive experience. The church is located in this really nice building and the walk to get to the sermon was scenic and refreshing. The weather was also really nice today too. I really liked the message as the pastor said something that touched my heart. Basically, that in order to have wisdom, it’s important to focus on God and to engage with Jesus so we  can put things in the right perspective. I wrote and underlined the words Right Perspective in my notebook.

In all the things that have happened lately, it is more essential for me than ever to have the Right Perspective and to see everything that happens for what it is. When I was in pain again, I finally asked God, “What’s the deal, Lord? I thought You said I would be healed by now…”

And then I opened to a random page in my Bible and there it was. Job 39. Where God is showing Job just how little he really knows. Where God is reminding Job that even when things don’t seem to make a lick of sense, He is still in control.

And well, that’s what’s happening here. My perspective is “Yes, life isn’t perfect. But God is in control and there’s a reason why everything is happening. This isn’t purposeless.”

After the message, I went ahead and met some of the members of the church who were very friendly. There’s actually quite a few accountants in the congregation. I met someone who works at KPMG and there’s also another who used to work at the firm I’ll be staring with.

I realized though that I felt really nervous for some reason. During worship, I looked up and around and realized, “Oh my gosh. I don’t know anyone here. I’m totally alone ;_;.” It’s been a long time since I felt this type of nervousness :/. Maybe it’s because everyone pretty much already knows each other.

Regardless, they were easy to talk to and it was a good experience. I’m grateful to the Lord. I came in with an open mind and overall it was pretty good. The thing is though that I realized that I need to work on my communication skills. It’s weird to say because I’m known for being a strong communicator and a good public speaker but a.) I haven’t been going out in literally months and b.) I’ve always somewhat struggled with group conversations.

So… I guess these are things that I need to work on. However, I’m keeping everything in the Right Perspective. I’m doing my best, anyway, to trust in God. And here’s to hoping that He’ll reward it.

~~

On a random note, we had a rowdy customer a few days ago who refused to pay his balance due before we delivered his product. He said to my mom, “I’m going to write you a blistering review on Yelp! Good luck staying open in the future!”

This prompted me to look up our Yelp page. There was this one customer who took a picture of our driver and put it on Yelp and left a huge 1-star review. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was removed for “violating the terms of service”. God is good :).

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Summer Crush

I’m still in pain :/. But if there’s anything I’ve learned these past six months, it’s that sometimes you just have to move on regardless of the pain. I woke up yesterday wincing and it was a conscious decision to decide to even crack open my devotional and pray. I thought He would heal me by now so I don’t understand but I choose to have faith. But in a way, I feel that I have grown. I’m certain I’ve grown. I feel a new maturity that I have never felt before.

It’s as I sit here feeling uncomfortable, tired and fatigued (can’t exercise until I get this looked at and I’ve been on a liquid diet because I can’t chew), I’m thinking about a date I could have went on many semesters ago. I accidentally stumbled upon a bar in Anaheim on Yelp. I thought the name – the Blind Rabbit – sounded familiar until I realized that was where he had suggested we go for our first date.

drink.jpeg

As I think about to the way he asked me out, I can’t help but smile. We haven’t spoken in years as he graduated before me and is already working but I think I remember it fondly because of how it made me feel. This is embarrassing but I think of him when I hear the song ‘Summer Boy’ by Lady Gaga. When’s the last time I went out on a proper date, let alone go out at all? I had all this stuff planned for the break between work and graduating but I haven’t been able to do much of it because I’ve been getting sick one time after the other. But there’s a reason for everything…

Anyway, it started when we went out to lunch with a mutual friend. It was the day that my firm came to do a speaking event at our school. There he was in the audience, dressed in a crisp white shirt that showed off his muscles pretty well. He was cute and people noticed. Someone told me, I forgot who, that when he walked into the theater to do a presentation for our board information session the semester before, the president of the club remarked that he was a good-looking fellow.

A mutual friend of ours came up to me after the meeting and asked if I wanted to go to lunch with them. A light bulb went off. “Yea,” I said. “Oh, by the way, did you ask (let’s call him Tom) Tom if he was coming too?”

“No,” our friend said. “But that’s a good idea.”

Later on, I’d learn that Tom decided to come only because he heard I was coming. So we met at this burger place right across from campus. My operations management professor, who I had a crush on for a few months as well, was awkwardly sitting next to us and would hear the entire exchange.

It started off with a few flirtatious jokes. I said, “so why aren’t you married yet?” and he grinned and replied, “Well, I was waiting for you.” Then I’d giggle and our mutual friend would pause for a long moment. “I’m going to get a soda,” our mutual friend said. The two of us, with my operations professor in the background eating a burger, immediately turned to look at each other. A soft smile crept up on his lips.

“Hey,” he leaned forward. I leaned forward as well. “So, Ophie, do you want to hang out sometime?” He bit his lips and grinned. “Like, on a date? I think you’re really cute and sweet and I want to get to know you better.”

And in that moment I paused. I realized that as cute he was, for some reason, I just didn’t feel anything powerful. I think it was because of this date I went on a few weeks before that ended really, really badly.

But I said yes. He said he wanted to meet at the Blind Rabbit and I remember thinking that that was a bad sign – that if he wanted to have our first date at a bar, he probably wasn’t too serious about me. Now that I see the Yelp reviews more closely, it looks like it’s actually a great place for a first date. It’s romantic, darkly lit and it’s…  A BAR!! With alcohol. I actually didn’t drink back then but I like to drink now for social purposes. How fun would a date like that be now -__-‘.

Even if it’s nothing serious, I’d love to just get dressed up and go on a date again. Pull on my Levi’s, a cute top and a pair of black booties. Sit on a stool and say flirtatious stuff and just be able to look in his eyes and see attraction. But… if we’re being honest, that’s not going to happen for a long time. :/

bar.jpg

 

The Blind Rabbit never happened because I cancelled and we ended up having our date at… the guess… SCHOOL LIBRARY! Not even in the library but outside of it on some benches underneath the threes.

It’s a shame. He was cute. I’d see him a few times during the semester. Once, he was carrying a giant box of water back to his car after our speaker meeting. I remember walking with him and inwardly smiling at how muscley his arms were as he hoisted the giant pack of water on his shoulder. I poked his arm and said, “Dang, you’ve got nice arms.”

Anyway, that was the most of it. We haven’t talked since. But I hope he is doing well. I think if I hadn’t gone on that previous date, maybe we would have had at least one or two dates. He was good on the eyes and he was also someone who could make you laugh. Regardless, life is too short to focus on the past. It was just a funny, bubbly memory that made me realize that “dang! I must be at least somewhat attractive if a guy like this wants to ask me out…” and confidence is what I need most right now in what might be one of the most stressful periods of my life where it seems like my health is under attack every week.

Like I said, I don’t know why I don’t feel better but I choose to trust God. But I feel like I’ve grown so much from all the ordeals I’ve gone through. And even with Tom, I guess things didn’t work out for a reason. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be. I know that in order to follow Christ, I have to take the good and the bad. The good is all those times that God has come through for me in explicable ways and all the times He will come through for me in the future and just having the blessing of knowing Him. The bad? These health issues and missing out on smaller pleasures like dates at a bar. For now, anyway.