Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Semi Colon!

Two years ago today, I published the very first post on Semi Colon from a hospital room decorated with mismatched 1980's blue and green floral curtains. I was about to undergo my first surgery, a colectomy & J pouch creation (laparoscopic total proctocolectomy with ileoanal anastomosis and diverting loop ileostomy) and didn't want to have to answer a million phone calls, emails, and texts asking for updates. ;)

Semi Colon has become a place where I narrate my health adventures with (usually) good humor and reflect on how these adventures affect me spiritually, or more importantly, what they show me about God. Blogging has been a great way for me to put my thoughts in order and re-focus on Jesus.

I am so thankful for you, my readers, who have been nothing but kind, caring, funny, respectful, supportive, and many other wonderful adjectives. You have encouraged me when I've been discouraged. I hope that, in some small way, following my journey has drawn you closer to God and encouraged you to faithfully live out your life, to walk each day, in a way that honors God. Because that is way more important than being "healthy."

Why is this so important? How can I (and you!) have hope and peace with God when I'm stuck in a body doesn't work right or in situations that are incredibly tough?

One day, each one of us will leave our bodies behind (I will just have 7.5 feet less of guts to leave behind than most of you). One day, you will die. Tough topic for a birthday blog, but true. And you will face God, the God who made you. The God whose standards you can never perfectly keep. The God who gave you a conscience you can't even live up to. And when you face Him, it won't matter what your health was like, what kind of diet you ate, what kind of good things you did or didn't do. Someone has to pay for those things you did wrong. And our attempts to make things right with God just fall so short (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6). We deserve punishment because of that.

But God - (beautiful words!) demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, part of the Romans 5:1-11 challenge!). He took the punishment our sins deserve (II Cor 5:21). If we come to God in repentance and faith, we are justified - made righteous in God's eyes - because of Jesus' death in our place. This gives us peace with God, and a hope for the future, a hope that does not disappoint us (Romans 5:1-5).

Dear readers, as a follower of Christ, I beg you on His behalf, be reconciled to God (II Cor 5:20)! Please do not wait. If you don't have this hope, if you know that you lack a peace with God, ask for His forgiveness. Turn to Him in faith and He will be your Lord, your King. If you have a question, send me a comment or message (I preview them, so if you prefer yours to NOT be published, just let me know).

Please, right now, spend 5 minutes thinking about this... and if you already are following Christ, spend 5 minutes reminding yourself WHY. What is important in life, and what is not? Knowing Jesus is the most important thing (Philippians 3:7-14).

In the next year, look for some changes coming to Semi Colon. Blogging has opened up the doors for me to meet other people who have UC and people going through surgeries. This has been such a blessing. I'm working on organizing and more clearly presenting "my story," but mainly, I will start publishing posts on tips and tricks for hospital stays, surgeries, procedures, and living with an ileostomy. I hope to make Semi Colon a resource for people who are on the ever-exciting journey of living life with IBD.

The tag line for Semi Colon is "my journey to a life without ulcerative colitis." As I learned today, that journey still continues...

Happy Birthday, Semi Colon.

Hannah ;)

(see post below for today's update)

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