6 ER only visits (when I wasn't admitted to the hospital)
5 Hospital admissions
46 Days in the hospital
14 Humira shots self-administered
1 Surgery (believe, me, one was enough for this year!)
2 PICC lines
3 Weeks on TPN
14 Days without food after surgery (and only a few sips of water)
365 Days on steroids
4 Blood Transfusions
11 Current daily medications
7 Doctors currently involved in my care
87 Grade on my cumulative physics final
3.5 Hours that my graduation ceremony lasted
3 Months since I started my new job
35 Approximate bottles of V8 juice drunk
72 Number of saline flushes used on Mr. Clean (2 each day for 36 days)
0 Days I have missed my colon
11 Verses of Romans 5 memorized
Innumerable bags of IV fluids, sleepless nights, impossible decisions, doctor's appointments, pill bottles, days I barely got out of bed... then there's the countless flowers, cards, teddy bears, socks, and prayers received from loving family and friends and wonderful people I don't even know.
Last year, I anticipated that I'd graduate. That I'd have my second surgery and have a J pouch, not an ostomy. That I'd take Organic Chemistry II. That I'd get a job. As you can see, God allowed some of these things to happen as I thought they might. Others, though, God has not allowed to come to fruition. He's changed my paths. But last year, even as I wrote about things I hoped might happen in 2010, I said, "I am not so much about accomplishing earthly goals like graduation and a specific career. I would much rather just follow where God leads me. If He leads me away from the path I'm currently on, I'm okay with that... His way is always best." And this has certainly been true, again and again.
This year has seen tremendous difficulty and hardship beyond what I could possibly have imagined. But it's also brought incredible growth. God has so clearly revealed that it's NOT about me; it's all about Him. That I am not a great spiritual giant capable of facing whatever trial comes my way. That I do not possess such strength and faith that I can stand unmoved as wave after wave passes over me.
Instead, I've learned that I am weak. I've seen myself fall, over and over again. I've seen that I am broken and poor. And in the midst of my faltering, that's when I've seen His strength. As many times as I fail, He grants me His faith. I've seen that when I fall, He may not necessarily pick me back up again. He may make me stay in the hard places, but He remains there with me. I've seen that anything good that's come of this has been from Him, because it's obviously not from me. Let me be broken, that He may be shown strong. Let me be weak so that others see Him. As Paul says it in I Corinthians 1:27-2:5, "And God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong... that no man should boast before God. But by His doing, you are in Christ Jesus... that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord... that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." It's His power that I've seen this year and continue to lean on. I'm done making predictions on what this year will bring; it's enough for me to just cling to His power and boast in Him.