Monday, November 16, 2015

Some Say That Heaven is Far Away

Well, hello there, friends and family,

About 10 days ago, I was with a specialist deciding what day we'd have our next appointment for more testing and in the exact moment my mom went to check her phone calendar, a message from my sister showed up inviting us to join them in Disneyland. My mom asked the doctor if I would be able to attend and the doctor said, "You've suffered enough, sweetie. Go enjoy Disney and get your mind off of all this and then we'll see you on the 19th." 

So I did something crazy. I went to Disneyland. And it was probably the best thing I could have ever done. Sure, I probably pushed myself way more than I should have and I probably should have been in bed sleeping instead of closing out the night on Haunted Mansion but in regards to my ├ínimo and emotional health, nothing could have helped me more. 

Coming home has been a huge culture shock, way more than when I arrived in Bolivia and the fact that I spend most of my time at home, doing nothing and feeling useless, hasn't been so easy either. So I finally got out of the house and let the Happiest Place on Earth work its magic on me. It gave me hope and strength and mostly helped me feel a little more normal. In a time when everything is so unsure, it was nice to go to a place that feels so familiar and homey. 

This week, I'll be having my (hopefully) final procedure to figure out what the heck is going on with this body of mine. Not super excited about it but I am super excited for answers and information so I can decide what to do next. All that's been confirmed is that there's definitely evidence of an autoimmune disease, but we can't tell which one until after my procedure this Thursday. So I guess Disneyland was my way of escaping reality and pretending that this week's results won't completely alter my life forever and ever. 

I'm doing well overall. Feeling about 90% healthy but 100% anxious. I can't express enough gratitude to my incredible family who is being so patient and loving with me. They've done so much for me and continue to help me daily as I adjust to life back home and the English language and the fact that everyone is married/pregnant. 

But through it all, I find strength in the same simple things that gave me strength every day in Bolivia. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth today. God hears and answers prayers. Jesus Christ lived on this earth, suffered and died for our sins and weaknesses, and was resurrected to save each one of us. We are able to receive exaltation if we follow His example and come unto Him. I know these things are true because the Spirit has taught and testified to me and I know these things of myself. I know that He has a perfect plan for us and He loves us more than we can imagine. Pray to Him, learn of Him, do something more to be like Him. I know that He is the source of true and lasting joy. 

With much love,
Jen Gauger 

P.S. Here's a photo update for y'all. :)

 Thanks, Dad, for letting me go on exchanges with your companion. :)
 The only thing cooler than a fanny pack is a fanny pack from Tarija.
 Barium Smoothies. Not as delicious as you think.
 Changed out the title "Hermana" for "Auntie" and it's the only thing keeping me sane.
 Shout out to my dad for buying overpriced strawberries to satisfy the cravings of someone who hasn't eaten them in far too long.
When in America, do as the Americans.

1 comment:

  1. You're one strong Hermana. I love you. Thanks for keeping me sane and secretly knowing how I always feel when I don't even have to say a word.