So....yeah. There's not really any nice way to say this, so I'm just going to say it because anyone who cares about me will want to know.
I don't think the Botox worked.
I can't say definitively because I could be forgetting something my doctor said, or have misinterpreted what he said, but what I remember him telling me is that it will take 7-10 days post-treatment to feel relief. Well, today would be day 10, and today and yesterday were the worst out of the ten, as bad as, if not worse than, things were before I ever got the treatment in the first place. Which kinda leads me to think it hasn't worked. The good news is, though, that he also said it takes some people a couple treatments to work, so all is not lost - relief could come after the round in November, or the one in February, or - who really knows - not at all.
I was okay most of the morning. I sent out texts with the facts to the people I knew would want to know as I got ready for church, and I was even fine through the first half of church, just happy to be back with my family and being able to sing some songs I love and some songs that were new to me. But then Pastor Sean started talking about Romans 8:28-29 and how everything in our lives - good, bad, happy, awful, every bit of it - has a very specific purpose: to make us more like Christ. And that was when I started losing it.
Oh, I kept a straight face through the service; the last thing anyone needed, especially with all the visitors there, was to hear me crying in the front row. But on the inside? I was losing it. My heart was pounding. I felt like I was going to throw up. I wanted to cry, but (thankfully) no tears were on the edge of my eyes. I managed to keep it together until after everything was over and I talked with Pastor Sean. I think it's pretty safe to say I can add him to the list of wonderful men who give me a clue as to what having an earthly dad might be like. I told him, and he prayed over me right there. The power of prayer, my friends; with every passing second as he went to the Lord on my behalf, I could physically feel my body relaxing.
I've had Pastor Sean's words resonating in my head and heart all day. What I'm going through right now is absolutely awful, but knowing that God is using it to mold me, to make me even just a little bit more like His perfect son, that makes it hurt less. It makes a little bit more sense now. That doesn't mean I like it, or I think it's good, because I'll be honest, right now, I really don't. I'd really rather prefer the pain to be gone. But I know once I'm on the other side of this valley, I'll be thankful for it, just like I am for all those brain surgeries because I am now able to see all the good that came out of them. And I don't think that God thinks any less of me because I'm not grateful for this thing right now. There's enough grace to cover my self-centered view.
I'm thankful that God knows that I am doing my best, even when I wish I could be better, and that He's there in so many ways to pick up the slack that I may never be able to carry. I'm thankful that He has given me so many tangible reminders that I am not alone. I'm thankful that He is faithful to remind me of His presence when I need the reminder the most. I'm thankful that He loves me even when I'm frustrated and sad and scared and maybe just a little bit angry. Not angry at Him, because I know He's got a plan that's so much bigger than what I can see. It's more like I'm just angry that I have to live in a world where sin brings on pain like this in the first place. I long for the day when I'm free from it all...for good.
In the end, I don't have a darn clue what He's doing, but I know that He's the same God that I believed in before this whole mess started. I know that He loves me. I know that I am surrounded by so many warriors of Christ who will always pull me back out of the dark pit that the enemy has tried too many times to trap me in. I know that I'm going to keep praising the God who made me, the God who gave me this life, pain and all, because He really is the only one who will carry me through this valley when I don't have the strength to walk it myself. And you know what the really awesome thing is? He knows when I'm running out of strength before I even tell Him.
My God is the highest. My God is the greatest. My God is the Lord of all.
So no matter what happens, I still win. :)