caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

on a roller coaster with an open gown

i never really have been much of a roller coaster person. people think that because i am outgoing and bubbly that i am also daring and adventurous, but trust me, i am a wimp. even growing up, in the supposed “rowdy” teen years, i was pretty boring, pretty tame. pretty fearful i guess you could say. we lived fairly near six flags and so it wasn’t uncommon to go there multiple times a year with my friends. but, i was VERY much more interested in looking for cute boys than for actually riding the rides. for those of you who are locals as well, you will completely understand when i say that i was literally like 14 years old before i rode anything faster than the judge roy scream. (big, fat weenie ride designed with 9 years olds in mind….ok, maybe 6 year olds, i;m being nice to myself) i would rotate through that, the log ride and the mine train. yep, a dare-devil, i was not.

well, today, let me say, that i have been strapped to a roller coaster, that i honestly don’t remember signing up to ride on. i feel like i did the time i wasn’t paying attention and accidentally got in line with my friends and got busy chatting and flirting in line with boys around us (yes, i was a bit boy crazy, but that is a topic for a whole other blog post!) and wasn’t paying attention to what ride we were actually waiting for. ya know, once you are deep in the middle of the zig and the zag of those ridiculous lines, you kinda lose track of where you are…especially when you are more concerned on trying to figure out of that boy looks more like joey or jordan from nkotb. (girls of the 1990’s, you know exactly what i’m talking about) anyway, i got up to the front and realized that we were, in fact, in line for the shock wave. um, hello the SHOCK WAVE!?!?! my heart starts racing out of control….is that the one that goes at like MOCH SPEED in loops or something and then, oh ya, just after you have lost your healthy lunch of cotton candy and some form of meat fried on a stick…then you recover nicely with whiplash and get to do it all over again backwards!?!? um, can you say…no thank you. no way. no how. not gonna happen. i didn’t care (for once in the height of my social years) what “coolness” this was costing me…i was getting out of that line and i was getting out QUICK!!! i did not care if joey and jordan were actually riding the ride with us, i…was…out.

today, as i type this blog entry, i do so for the very first time from an actual hospital bed. and trust me, i did NOT sign up for this roller coaster ride either. yesterday and today have carried me through ups and downs emotionally, physically, spiritually…all of it. i have been whipped around, and up and down, loop-de-looped more than i’d like to admit…and while i am thankful to not literally have lost my lunch, i have felt as though i just might about every other hour or so. this ride has actually been a lot longer than just these last few days, though. if you have read any of my blogs, you know that. and if you know me at all, then you know that i have been whipping around on this baby for months and months, actually years now. i got on the ride when it was titled Meningitis Mania back in the fall of 2007 and who knew i’d still be holding on for dear life almost three years later when the ride has changed to Adrenal Fre-fall? well, God knew. thank Him for that!

we still don’t have answers. i take that back. we have some answers. some of the medical “stuff” they come in and say has been good. in fact, THANK YOU JESUS, a lot of it has been. i have heard a few things about normal kidney and liver function (praise you, Father) and that they looked for markers for lupus and other autoimmune diseases that have came back negative. (again i give glory to you, God) although, in my COMPLETELY non-medical mind, i almost said something brilliant like “hmm…markers, eh? i was kinda hoping we’d be going a little more in depth that crayola at this point, eh guys?” just once i wish i knew enough about the human body to be able to contribute, to feel like i understand. thankfully, i TRUST and serve the One who thought up the idea of DNA, so i am good with that.

but, i’m not sugar-coating this for anyone…that isn’t me. there have been soooo many times today alone when i have cried out in frustration. why? is it because i don’t trust God? no. is it because i am weak in my faith? i don’t think so. is it because i am scared? well, sure….this stuff is scary stuff. you spend the better part of a year lying around in pain every day with new and confusing symptoms coming about every so often and tell me that wouldn’t concern you a bit. i’d think you’d be lying. or at least a whole lot better at faking than me. and i’ve gotten pretty good at that. i’ve gotten good at putting on a happy face, my whole life…i love making people happy. actually, i love being happy. so…that is why sometime soon i am going to come up with a “top ten coolest things about being in the hospital” list for you. but not tonight…i’m too tired.

no, tonight is about this ride. ya know, the roller coaster one. did i mention i didn’t sign up for it? did i mention that i didn’t like roller coasters? ok, just checking. i know God is reading my thoughts, and He doesn’t technically need reminding…but it think He is ok with me typing it again.

i have seen so many doctors over these months and months. i have heard piece of advice after piece of advice from well-meaning family and friends who are telling me to “get better” as if it were something i wasn’t trying to do each day. sometimes i wanna say, “nah, no thanks..i’m kinda digging all this attention” ugh, seriously. i am starting to forget what normalcy feels like. that ain’t good.

honestly, i try to keep my balance on this ride. i balance on HIS grace, hovering between thinking about it not at all, and trying to lie still, not feel the pain and just hanging out, reading books about His strength, His peace…watching tv….chillin’ with my amazing kiddos and hubby…..acting like it will all be ok when i stand up…of course i know better. it won’t be. unless He heals me, which so far, He hasn’t chosen to do. and i have to be ok with that. i hover between that and just the opposite, thinking about it all the time….researching…talking with anyone who has been through something similar…reading blogs, articles online, etc….to try and find symptoms like mine, make comparisons, rule out the really bad stuff. that is dangerous though, because when you hover that way, the enemy likes to try and push you over, every so slightly, knowing that, at least for me, that leads to worry and fear…and once he has me there, he has me further from my Strength, my Peace, my Rock. (see John 16:33 and Psalm 92:15)

so…i hover….somewhere in the middle. i’m sitting in the middle seat of the middle car of this ride i am on. this roller coaster ride that i did not sign up for. and did i mention that i do not like roller coasters? (ok, Lord, sorry, last time! 🙂 i hover here because this is where trust lives. this is where i rest in the fact that God has this all figured out, but at the same time, i am responsible to myself and to my family to take care of myself as best i can, and that means seeking medical help when i need it. but, not out of fear or obsessive worry. (which is so easy to get that way when you are in pain month after month with no clear answers….really think that through, how would you handle the ride?)

i think what i like least about them is the lack of control. uh, oh…confession time. it is true though. the way you feel when the ride whips your head this way and the way your stomach drops out when the whole ride plummets 75 feet toward the ground. (um, i’m sorry, and people pay their hard-earned money for this!?!? baffling to me, really.) i do not like all the change, and i especially do not like the unexpectedness of it. but most of all, i hate feeling out of control. is it just me? can anyone relate to where i’m at here? although we would like to think we have control of our lives, we absolutely do not. sooo many of us need to feel like we do. i was one of them. if there is one huge thing i’m learning (and for the record, there’s not…there are about 214 huge things i’m learning…and i’m so thankful for that!)…it is that He really has control, and i am simply to trust in His goodness and His plan. Proverbs 16:9 says “in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” i do not like being whipped all around on this ride, but i know that i know that i know…that He will not allow me on here for one more second than need be to fulfill His plan. do i have to be smiling and singing praise music the whole ride? no. but can i? would it be a better ride if i were? absolutely. so, i try. sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. my closest friends and family can surely vouch for that.

my plan was to come to this park, ride the easiest ride here, win a huge stuffed animal and maybe get my charicature done (but just the black and white one though…the color ones are a rip off!)…but obviously that was not His plan for me here. and i would rather spend every day with Him in His plan that one day without Him fulfilling my plan. but once again…i’m not sugar-coating here….this….is….H A R D.

so, for now…i will just sit still, fold down my safety bar and pray for just that…safety. today i happen to be riding this roller coaster with a hospital gown on, so i guess i’ll also pray for no large gusts of wind…cause that would be down right embarrassing. 🙂

Lord, i love you. i trust you. sometime, as you know, i let my emotions get the best of me. thank you for holding on to me extra tight during those times. thank you for understanding me in such an intimate way that you know my feelings and thoughts and actions and REactions better than i do. this is scary for me and for my family, Lord. but we love you and we trust you. i thank you for how you have held me so far. thank you for the countless ways you have shown yourself big already. i commit this all to you. i want this to be used for you. but, i’m being honest here Lord, if it is your will, i also want to live and long and healthy life with the amazing family and friends you have blessed me with. let me shout from the rooftops how you have gotten me through. let me tell them all how you rescued me from the depths and healed me. i love you. thank you for getting me through this day. thank you for protecting the hearts of my precious babies. watch over us all and keep us safe, as i know you do. amen.

Psalm 56:3 “when i am afraid, i will trust in You.”

Psalm 138:8 “the Lord will perfect that which concerns me.”

Jer 17:14 “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

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One thought on “on a roller coaster with an open gown

  1. Anonymous on said:

    One thing I know for sure is He is so proud of you, Caroline. You are showing everyone you know how to fight the good fight and bring God glory through the toughest of circumstances. I put in a request for you at our church so there are even more people holding fast with you and praying for your roller coaster to end soon!

    Take care,

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