Sunday, December 1, 2013

I Haven't Been Living Out Loud...

So.  I haven't been living out loud.  I've been quiet on here.  (well, before my Thanksgiving Day post) Because, well, because I'm kind of tired of being "that person."  You know the one.  The one that always has a prayer request.  Always has a "need." Always has an ailment.  Always has a "thing" going on.

Have you ever heard of an "EGR" person?  Growing up, we classified certain "special" people as EGR. (forgive me, this sounds horrible, I know.)  "EGR" stands for Extra Grace Required.  You know, the one who is just a little needy.  Maybe seeking attention.  Maybe they know how to push buttons.  Or make social situations awkward.  Maybe they complain a lot.  Or they talk a lot. Or insert themselves into situations they weren't invited into.  You know.  Someone who requires a little more grace than the average person.  Well, this past week, I have been feeling like an EGR.  Not in the ways listed above, but in an "I seem to always have a 'thing'" sort of way.  Doctor's appointments made me late to important social events.  I needed help with the kids on several occasions so I could squeeze more Dr appointments in.  I feel like the friend that needs extra grace.  Extra help.  Extra attention.  The one who you have to pause and ask "How are you doing?" when you see her, because you just know her life is a hot mess.  And I hate being that person.  I don't want to inconvenience someone with having to help me - let alone make them even pause their already busy life to inquire how I am doing.  A question I don't even know how to answer.  (Spiritually?  I'm doing great.  Physically?  Who knows.  Emotionally?  Depends on the day.  Etc... )

In an attempt to not be an EGR (which I clearly am, but was in denial), I kept quiet on here.  I also avoided intimate conversations.  I posted a need for child care on Facebook instead of just texting close friends.  Because I couldn't stand the thought of putting someone specific on the spot to help me out.  So I threw it out to the entire world - the black abyss of FB - which somehow felt easier.  Over the weekend, I even went as far as to tell someone not pray for me.  What?!?  I know.  So bizarre.  Someone said, "I am praying for you."  And I responded with, "Don't worry about me.  Don't pray for me.  Just pray for Jon."  In an attempt to not be an EGR, I asked someone to stop praying for me.  Because I believed in that moment, that somehow not praying for me would mean I was OK.  But I wasn't OK.  It would mean I didn't need anything from anyone.  Even though I really did.

In one of my first posts ever, (in the blog titled Living Out Loud) I said, "I will be honest, when I sat down to write this, I felt like I was writing to ask each of you for a million dollars. That is how big of an "ask" I feel it is when I ask you to use your time and energy on prayers for Jon."  I still feel that way to this day.  Jon and I are so overwhelmed and humbled that you would spend time approaching God on our behalf.  But somehow down this road, when the doctor's found the tumor in my bone, etc.. I began to believe that praying for Jon AND me was just too big of an "ask."  And even as we got more tests done and other doctor's appointments happened, I started to think this past week that the updates were just too much.  That you all had prayed more than we deserve.  We are in debt to you enough already.  How can we possibly continue to tell the story and ask you to continue to pray over specifics as the story unfolds?  I mean, we're 7 weeks post-op.  That's 7 weeks of being a major EGR.  That's a really long time.  We have overstayed our welcome, I am sure.  

Now obviously this is difficult to write.  Simply because it's so embarrassing to admit.  How did I get here??  Honestly?  I started to believe lies.  I started to feel unworthy.  I began to feel embarrassed.  And worst of all?  I got prideful.  What is it that makes me cringe at the thought of being an EGR?  Pride.  I don't want to be that person that needs help.  Needs prayer.  Needs extra grace.  Those people are, well, tough to love.  I don't want to be tough to love.  I want to be easy to love.  You need help?  I'll be there.  You need prayer?  I'll pray for you.  I want to be the one that's easy to do life with. I pride myself on being an "easy" person.  But the reality is, it's tough to do life with me right now.  I'm late.  And distracted.  I'm tired.  And overwhelmed.  I'm engaged in our conversation one minute, then have to pick up the phone in the middle of your sentence to talk to a Dr that's calling.  I need last minute child care.  My husband is doing fantastic at times and struggles at times.  He gets updates from doctors that change from day to day.  I get updates from doctors that change from day to day.  We are a freaking roller coaster.  And I wish it weren't this way, but it just is.  And so tonight, I'm coming to grips with this reality:  I need you.  Still.   There.  I said it.  We need you.  We need your prayers.  Jon needs your prayers.  For him.  For me.  Still.  Yes, even after 7 weeks.  And probably for 7 more.  And maybe 7 more after that.

I committed to Living Out Loud when this all started, and after 10 days of pulling back, I'm re-engaging.  When I pulled back, I felt alone.  I felt less-than.  I felt like I was a burden.  I felt like I was hiding parts of myself.  What about in your life?  Have you started to pull back?  We all go through ruts where we start disengaging in life.  Our circumstances weigh us down and we retreat.  We don't want to bother the people around us with our junk, so we just keep quiet and hope it will work itself out.  Here's what I know:  I know true community is beautiful.  And healthy.  And I know that hiding brings fear.  And pain.  And is unhealthy.  So I'm coming back out and I invite you to join me.  Calling all EGR's!  :)  If we're honest, we ALL are EGR's at some point(s) in our lives.  Every EGR has a story.  A reason why they talk so much, or invite themselves into things they weren't invited to, or seek attention, or whatever it is that makes them an EGR.  It's not something to be embarrassed of or to hide from.  Nor is it something to judge.  If you're in it with me right now, the wisest thing to do is to surround yourself with people who are willing to lavish that grace on you.  People who will love you.  Still.  Even in your messiness. Even if you are a little tough to love these days.

So I'm opening myself back up.  I'm admitting I need you.  And I'm allowing you to fill a need...

So here's our update...  And a few ways we would ask for you to continue to pray...

1) Jon's eye pain has worsened.  :(  However, on Tuesday, Jon saw his neuro-opthemologist and was told he is a candidate to have the surgery on his eyelid.  They will put a gold weight in his eyelid which will (hopefully) enable him to blink again.  This will be a huge blessing!  Our surgeon doesn't have any openings until January, but has put Jon on a wait list in case anything opens up sooner.  Would you pray that something opens up and Jon gets in sooner than later?  His eye bothers him so much...  He describes the pain as "having an ice pick in my eye." Um, ouch.  He's such a trooper, but I know he's in much pain.  We'd love to get him in for that surgery asap.

2) On Tuesday, Jon will see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor that specializes in surgery after brain trauma.  Would you pray that this Dr is wise and gives us clear direction on any future surgeries that might be needed regarding Jon's face and the wisest timeline for those?

3) I had my MRI on the tumor in my hip last Friday.  I go in for a bone scan this Thursday morning.  (shot in the hip at 9:15am and then the scan at 12:15)  Would you pray that the results from both of those tests would come back with good news?  My hope is that the tumor would be able to be left alone and would be harmless.

4) (This is what I was holding back)  Last week I found out that when they were running the scope of tests for my hip pain, that yes, they found a tumor in my bone, but they also found a cyst in my ovary.  If you are a female, you know that cysts in ovaries are very common.  I had one in my last pregnancy, and I have had them in my ovaries before.  They are harmless and common.  However, this cyst is not a normal cyst - it's a complex cyst.  Instead of it being clear and filled with fluid, this cyst is solid.  My ovary is 3 centimeters and the cyst is 3.2 centimeters.  Instead of the perimeter being a clean line, it is jagged.  All that to say, my doctor called me in to her office to discuss this with me last week, and on Monday I will go to a new Doctor to discuss it with him.  Would you pray that the cyst would go away?  I hesitated mentioning this, because I hate to throw one more thing into the mix.  However, my prayer is that it would be gone, so I ask for you to join with me in that prayer.

I know this post has no great value.  And most of it is me confessing my pride.  But thank you for letting me continue to process on here.  And thank you for standing in the gap for us.  Thank you for praying.  And praying more.  There is MUCH to be thankful for.  And at the same time, there is much to pray for.  Thank you for bearing our burden with us.  We are grateful.
With love and gratitude,
A major EGR friend.


  1. Love to stand in the Gap with you all. Had too many moments, being too prideful to ask and realized that most of us will have a season that requires us to put our pride aside and ask. In return we are blessed and allow others to use their gifts to bless us. Praying.

  2. Thank you for this post. I'm grateful for the opportunity to stand in the gap for you & your family. I, too, would much rather be the "giver" rather than the "requestor". Thanks for showing me that my pride has been having a major field day. I don't want to be an EGR either. Alas, I need help. I can't do it alone. He is strong in my weakness. What a blessing. Signed, a fellow EGR.

  3. Deanna- do you know how many people WANT to pray for your family? I barely know you from back when you had 1 child. :) My parents were here for Thanksgiving and they were praying for you. My 3rd Grade girls in SS at Shadow Mountain pray for your family. Our kids choir director has been on pins and needles waiting to hear about YOU. You are not needy and not someone who is hard to deal with cause you need extra grace. You are loved by so many who don't even know you.

  4. Love you deanna. You're real and awesome and we need more people like you in our lives. Cysts are not fun; I had an 11x14 cm cyst removed. If you need another opinion dr. Norris Walsh at Saddleback . She is a wonderful Dr. Love u friend!

  5. You are sharing your story. The ups and downs, the forward and backward. THAT has great value! Thank you!

  6.'re right, you're a mess! Fortunately, God never tires of us!
    And, neither will I.
    Love you.

  7. "I know this post has no value"? No, dear Deanna, you're wrong about that. God nudged me in a specific area of my life (that beautiful bit about disengaging) as I was reading this; and I needed it. Thank you for continuing to share this wonderful work of refinement that the Lord is enacting in your life in the middle of this preponderance of trials! ~Karen

  8. Deanna, I have and am sure others have felt so much of what you have confessed. When I was pregnant with Christian our freshman year I found myself in the spotlight continuously and what often felt uncomfortable to me God used it to show me how incredible His people are! Now, finally on the other side of my "hot mess" era, I have such a different outlook on people that are struggling, whether by own choices or unexpected life circumstances. What I can tell you is that, although uncomfortable at the time, all of the prayers and support I received, I have come to covet later. I wish I could go back and thank everyone. All I can do now is pay it forward. I don't have the financial means to give what I would like to give, and living a thousand miles away leaves me unable to give my time and share the load of others giving theirs. What I can prayers. When we are walking alongside our broken loved ones, it is devastating not being able to make it better. All I have is my prayers. I encourage you to focus on how much you are loved and the community you are apart that you honestly created out of being the woman of God that He designed you to be. We are wanting to lift you up just as you have to us, whether through your heart, your music or your words. You are loved...God is so good!!! Praying for you, Jon and your beautiful babies!!!

  9. I haven't talked to Jon in years or ever had the pleasure of meeting you yet but just know that thru the medium of FB Jon and I have been able to stay in distant contact since HS and we are praying for you in the Roberts' home. Praying for healing in both of you. God is good and will use this hurdle to advance His kingdom as you already know. Always praying whether you ask or not:) God bless, Kevin and Kourtnie Roberts

  10. Lifting you and your family in my thoughts and prayers - sending love along the spiritual highway

  11. We're honored to pray for you and Jon. Thank you for the update. ♥

  12. Just about an hour before I read your post here I was reflecting on the fact that I am in a place in life right now that I don't want to be in; I feel like God has me in a season of putting me in emotional places that I used to find annoying or judge in other people. Wow, it is so humbling. And I am so glad to read your post here....perfect timing to my heart.

    I am so glad that you are living your journey out loud....and more importantly that you are doing it with so much transparency. To say it is inspirational wouldn't begin to cover it. Thank you for leaning in and letting God use you through this.....and thank you for asking for prayer so that we can pray! I might not be able to take your kids for you or bring you food...but I can pray....and it is a wonderful feeling to feel like you can give to someone. :)