Sunday, May 5, 2013

Let's get personal

Today I moved most of my stuff out of my dorm. The place that I've called home for basically the past year. The place that my heart warms up when seeing is about to no longer be my home. My house in Lufkin is about to be my home forever (or however long my forever may be.) Because of this I am sad. I have been very sad lately just because of how things are going. I see myself losing my abilities do so simple things everyday. I can't leave my dorm for more than an hour or two without needing a four hour nap. I have to take higher dosage nausea pills now because my old ones don't work. If I'm eating, it's not because I'm hungry, it's because I know that I'll be sick until I put something in my stomach. I'm losing weight. I'm losing energy. I'm lost in general.
I have no motivation to do well on finals. I really see no point in studying. I'd rather just sleep. Or watch tv. I just want to lay in bed all day and take an abundance of showers because those make me feel better.  But soon I'll be out of college and truly be floating, and I wrestle with the idea daily.
I know God has a plan and I trust it, but there's still a part of me that's sad every time something doesn't work out. Africa is a no go and because of that my heart is broken. I cry basically every time I talk about it or think about it (so basically every day). It's seriously something that I've always wanted. More than kids. More than marriage. I wanted to visit Africa. I'm  positive that my heart is there and can't be fixed because a part of me will always want to be there.
Because I can't control most of the things that are happening to me, I've tried to do so in other ways. I broke up with my boyfriend a week (or two) ago. Sometimes I wonder if it was the right choice, but I think I function best alone in times like this. I'm cutting the metaphorical ties that weren't really keeping me from doing anything, but they're cut. Maybe I did it so I wouldn't feel as though I would have to worry as much or think of a whole bunch of people when making decisions, but either way it's already been done so does reason matter? I'm sure if I'm meant to have a significant other during these next few years, then something will happen, but as for now I really think I'm supposed to do this by myself.
So this is me. This is what lost looks like. Hopefully soon, I  know what floating feels like. Because I know that I'm not doing that now. There are still a few more things that I need to let go of before I can really float on and depend solely on God's plan. And I know that's going to be hard because I'm a planner and this not knowing what's going to happen next thing is kind of killing me. Instead of floating I feel like I'm walking into the ocean with my pockets full of every single thing that will keep me grounded, but I'm emptying my pockets one by one. Slowly but surely, these pockets will eventually be empty.

Sorry for the depressing blog post! I might take a step back from blogging until I can write some more uplifting things. I like feeling happy and I like writing happy things, but I just haven't been feeling it lately. And if this is how most people are going to remember me, then I don't want to be remembered like this.

Also, my birthday is coming up. I'll be nineteen on May 9 and I think it would be really cool if you could just leave me the title of a book you would want me to have and why. I'm dedicating my summer to reading and I would love hear what y'all love and why you think I would love it.


  1. Oh, lizzie: I am glad that you are being honest; if you are feeling sad, just say so. It is okay. Don't give up on Africa. You are right, God has a plan for you, and it is so very hard to give up all that planning that you like to do, because that is your Earthly security. But God has a plan that is so big, even you, as intelligent and sensitive as you are, can't see right now. If it makes you feel better to deal with things without having to worry about other people's feelings, or their baggage, that is okay, too. You might change your mind, you might not. I am sorry that you are giving up your dorm room, and that wonderful independent living you have enjoyed. Just keep on writing and letting out those sad feelings, and keep emptying your pockets of all the things that are weighing you down. Happy thoughts and times will return, you know. Like you said, God has a plan for you. His plan is bigger than anything even you can think of. I know you probably have read "The Shack", but it is an awesome book. Take care, Betsy Smith, Lufkin High School Counselor.

  2. You are my hero sounds fairly insignificant. But you are. Being sad is normal. You are the strongest person I know. You are the bravest person I know. During these dark times, rely on your faith and your family. Your family adores you and your faith will never fail you. I grew up with your father, aunt Darbs, and uncle Pancho. God bless you and safe travels back to Lufkin! Oh and I went to college in Naco-nowhere..just a short drive from Lufkin. Take care and never apologize for feeling sad, <3 Jeannene Lewis Shaw

  3. Dear Sweet Lizzie,

    I have silently been following your blog ever since I heard about your diagnosis from your dad. My ex-husband and I had the pleasure of meeting you, your sister, and your mother while you lived in Hawaii. You were such lovely young ladies.

    Your witty yet frank documentation of your life journey has inspired me have helped me to see the positive in the bleakest of situations. We all have bad days Lizzie. Your openness provides such depth to your story. Thank you for sharing so much with us. You and your family are in my prayers every day. I think you are an absolutely amazing young woman.

    Take care dear Lizzie.
    Debra Kellems

  4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is ALWAYS one of my favorites!

  5. God Bless you and your precious heart and soul Lizzie!! You are such a blessing and inspiration to all!! God has a plan for all of us. We rest in his hands because he is in control.

  6. Alif the Unseen. By G. Willow Wilson.
    You have to get your Middle Eastern Fix in there somewhere!

    Love you.

  7. Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick because it's about a teenage survivor. Not of cancer, but of life. It's a YA book and while I'm far from young, I still love it.

    You can write without posting. I say this as a writer who writes a lot without posting it anywhere. Sometimes I write for me.

    Keep emptying those pockets, Lizzie!

  8. I too am a silent follower of your blog since the very beginning. Keep writing even if your sad, I once heard in a sermon that you should let your peers know your struggles so that you have more people praying for you. As far as what you should read this summer.. Set up and email acct and share it on your blog. Let your followers bombard you with what an inspiration you are, maybe you will see how many people you have praying for you. Somehow Gods plan for you will eventually be revealed. Keep dreaming of Africa Lizzie!!

  9. It makes me sad that you don't get your wish to see Africa because of how passionate you are about it. I wish you could have everything you want in life, because you are a truely amazing person and if there is anyone in this huge world who deserves great things, it's you. Keep your head up & your heart strong.

  10. Hi Lizzie I have been following your story through Walker and Katelyn McWilliams. My wife, Judy, and I are long term friends of the Foster family and Walker stayed with us in Adelaide South Australia while he was doing his Uni placement. Katelyn and I walked up Ayers Rock in Central Australia hand in hand - was 3 or 4 years old at the time. She walked and her Dad crawled and her mother was frantic that her little girl would fall off - but she just walked up to the top without any problems.

    So happy birthday to you - our love to you Judy and Peter Schneider.

  11. Happy Birthday Lizzie!!! I'm thinking really hard about my favorite book!!! You know being a Math teacher that favorite book might be a Calculus book!!! Not really, but I'll get back to you later on it! I knew who you were when you were in high school but didn't have the privilege to get to teach you!!! Occasionally I see a student that just glows not only from the outside but the inside too!!! That's what I remember about you from LHS!!! Just a whole lot of glowing!!! You're in my thoughts and prayers!!! Mrs. Anderson

  12. Hi Lizzie. I don't know you, but got to know of you through Linda & Charles Durham. She has told me of your journey and of your witness. I thiink you are very brave and level headed young lady. God has something special in mind for you because it's not everyone that He gives the opportunity to grow in their spirituality as quickly as you have had the opportunity. I know you are sometimes lonely and I know that probably every day you yearn for something better. And I sure don't understand because I'm not walking in your shoes; however, the one think I know for sure is that your God loves you, He's holding you in His loving hands, gently stroking your sweet cheek, and gently tellling you of your journey. What a great gift you are receiving. I am going to keep up with you and I will pray for you. Would you please pray for me? Anon

  13. Hi Lizzie
    You don't know me, but my name is Lauren and I'm friends with Ruth Watkins. She asked me to suggest some books to you. Naturally while I was here, I read your post. I just want to tell you that being sad is nothing to feel ashamed about. I haven't been in your situation personally, but my grandfather had bone cancer and lived with my family the last year of his life. It was probably the hardest year of my life. It's so difficult to watch someone you love become a lesser version of themselves. To watch them struggle to do basic things that healthy people take for granted and then watched them get frustrated or embarrassed because they have to ask for help. His frustration became my frustration. His hurt became my tears. His embarrassment became my frustration with others that wouldn't at least let him try. This disease truly affects everyone around you and I know that is something that will feel like a burden and a blessing. You are extremely brave to be ready to try and take this on alone. But you are not alone. Your family will be behind you, your friends will be behind you, and even though I don't know you, I am behind you as well. This journey is all about having people behind you; having people that are willing to let you have your sad days, but that are ready and excited to be there for the good days - and you will have good days too. Don't lose hope, don't lose faith, don't lose courage. This disease is going to try to take everything it can from you. But I pray that you don't let this disease take you away from yourself. Don't lose your spark, your inner self. That's the one thing that will keep you and your family going; that spark. That irreplaceable flame. Even if it is dimmer than it once was, that flame will brighten many of the days ahead.

    As far as book suggestions go, I'm a sucker for cheesy girly books that some people might hide behind other book covers! Lol Feel free to hide them too!
    I think any Sarah Dessen book is great - who doesn't love happy endings.
    Beth Kendrick is fantastic and will make you laugh all the time, so anything she writes is great too.
    If you haven't read the Hunger Games yet, I highly suggest you get on that too,because they are pretty wonderful.
    queen of babble - meg cabot
    the mediator series - meg cabot
    water for elephants ---the movie was good too.

    Told you, you'd probably want to hide those, so I wanted to give you this link I found on Pinterest!

    If you've ever seen Gilmore Girls (which if you haven't you need to make that a priority immediately!!), you know how crazy Rory is about books. That site has all of the books she has ever read/mentioned on the show! It's like 250 books, so I think that's way more than enough(:
    Praying for you sweet girl.


  14. One of my favorite books is Pillars of the Earth. It's a great read. If you have have a kindle or ebook reader I will get it to you. I just need your email address Lizzie. I have not met you, but I am a life long friend of your dad. He is so proud of you. My name is Tom Hotaling. PLease email me at if you would like to start reading it.

    My very best,


  15. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I've read this book 4 times and each time I read it, I get something different from it. The basic plot: boy goes on a life journey and while he's gone he is introduced to 3 people that have the energy to change his life: for good or bad, the choice is his. Ergo the title- turning things to gold. It's an easy read but deep and enjoyable.

    Hugs and Smiles,

  16. Happy Birthday, Lizzie! As always, your blog never ceases to amaze and inspire me. As difficult as cancer and all you are going through is to deal with, I am just amazed at how God is using you!! Your open and honest approach, your sense of humor, your descriptive is all very refreshing, and at the same time a tremendous blessing!
    I'm sorry you are having to give up your dorm room and move back to your house in Lufkin - I know that's difficult for you, after a year of being on your own. But I know that no matter where you are, God is going to use you - we've read evidence of that already!
    As far as books are concerned, I would have to agree about The Shack (a great read!) and also A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin. And if you haven't seen the movie The Help (I liked the movie more than the book), it's a good one, too!
    Praying for you......
    Lanita Anderson

  17. Lizzie, thank you for the blog and thank you for sticking it out in Austin for a year. Even without getting to know you well myself, I have gotten to see you be a real blessing to others in the UT Navs. We, and many others, are praying for you and your family, and especially now (and I welcome specific requests, as I am sure your Heavenly Father does too :)). Psalm 62 has been important in my life these last two weeks and I believe it lines up well with the idea of emptying your pockets. May you come to a greater understanding of and confidence in God's love for you in Christ, even in - especially in - the very tough times.
    -- Demyan (

  18. I do not know you, but I have been reading about you in the Lufkin Daily. Your blog is very inspiring to me. Keep pushing strong! In my prayers and thoughts.

  19. A million little pieces by james frey