Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Chapter 6--"the bearded lady"

My husband calls this journal the "warts and all version." Here's some more.....

As a child, i was expected to be the first among my friends to get married and have children. As a child, i planned to have many children and to marry and start having them by age 20. When i was in college, i planned to be a great teacher and have a career and be successful--or move to Germany and be a missionary working with a church in former East Germany (but that part was before we decided for sure to get married).

Anyway, the point is that lots of things change.

This is a particularly "warty" entry because i don't talk about this stuff much. But i was going through my journal the other day and found myself horribly disturbed by the overwhelming concentration on a desire to have children.

Like i said, i've always planned to have lots of kids and never even considered anything that would hinder that.

When i was nineteen, James and i were planning to get married and i went for my first "female" exam because i thought i should have birth control while i finished college.

The doctor i went to was concerned and sent me for an ultrasound, which revealed some of the symptoms of an "abnormality" called "polycystic ovarian syndrome." If you don't know what that is, the name doesn't really give it away. "PCOS" (for short because the other one takes way too long to type over and over again) was named for the hundreds of tiny cysts that form on the ovaries--or actually the falopian opening as i understand it...........but that's really not important right now. Outwardly, the symptoms tend to be, well, disturbing. I've done a lot of reading on this subject, and it seems that a lot of women carry PCOS and don't even know it because it is at a less severe level, and it doesn't really affect them that much. In its severity, however.....

Do you ever remember reading a book from 100 or so years ago in which there was a fair or carnival, and one of the attractions was a "bearded lady" ? I'm sure you thought that the bearded lady must be wearing a costume, but i have a hunch she wasn't. She probably had PCOS. PCOS is a big mystery for the most part to many and most doctors.....but it's easy to diagnose because of the "hirsutism." (that just means hairy). If you search your memory, you probably remember at least one or two times when the sight of a particularly hairy woman carved its image into your memory. You may have noticed really hairy arms or suspiciously thick stubble on the chin. The other day i actually saw a woman with a full blown goatee.

The other main symptom of severe PCOS is obesity. They go hand-in-hand. In fact besides aggressive hormone treatment, the only thing that doctors seems to agree will help PCOS is to lose weight--of course one of the symptoms of PCOS is that it causes weight gain.

Now, i have pretty much all the symptoms (that i know of) of severe PCOS. You might not have noticed easily because i --- well, i shave everything you can see. The whole hairiness thing is something that i'll have to share my personal struggle with in a different entry. But get this, after reading my journal entries about wanting babies, i'm thankful. I'm actually becoming thankful for this problem i face every day.

Here's why: i realized that while i was so consumed with the desire to have children, i was not consumed with God. Many times i have prayed in my life for God to make me what He wants me to be and to remove those things that are displeasing to Him. Well, there you go. God wants me to desire HIM more than anything. And that includes the natural desires that He gave us, if they in any way compete with Him.

So, i guess it's time to say "thank You" and "i trust You, Lord, to do exactly what You want to do in my life, whether i understand it or not."


  1. My dear Lisbeth,

    I love your name. It is so beautiful and feminine, as you are. I am so blessed to have been able to get to know you some over the past few months.

    Know that God is pleased with the response of your heart toward Him. I have had many opportunities in my past to find that I was seeking someone or something else to fill deep needs in my heart, only to come to the place where, broken, I realized that He was the ONLY ONE who COULD fill my needs and complete me. Most of my demands were on John until one day I realized (as God was healing me) that if I could just let go of those demands on John to be god to me, that we would have a much better marriage and friendship. It was very very difficult to just let go. It was as if I was somehow dependent on being dependent on another. I didn't want to take my hands off of John to grab ahold of God. It was very frightening to me. I still can't understand how I could've been so deceived, but that was all I knew. God was gracious and patient with me... and one day, (as all other days) I was picking up the phone to call John because I needed to talk to him...needed to be needy of him so that we could connect somewhat... and I realized that John was not what I needed, but that God was the only One I needed... so... I put the phone back on the cradle...and stood there standing, facing the wall, and cried out to God, tears streaming down my face...and committed to the fact that God WAS the only One for me...and that I would release John as my idol... not expect life from him, but take God's life and breath as my life from now on.... Immediately after I released John and grabbed ahold of God.........the phone rang.... and it was John! He NEVER phoned me... it was a miracle.... He was just calling to check on me! So, that was approximately 15 years ago... and I've learned the principle of releasing the things or ones that take the place of affection toward God.

    And God most times actually rewards me with exactly what I thought I wanted all the time... but it was from HIS HAND, not my grasp...

    I love you 'beth...

    You are a wonderful little sister. I cannot wait to see all the new and marvelous things that will be occurring in your life in the near future.

    oh, and btw, I have dealt with what my doctor was saying was probably POCS back about 15-18 years ago...

    I speak ORDER and WHOLENESS and HEALING and HEALTHINESS to the body of my dear little sister Lisbeth Rogers.. in the precious and holy NAME OF JESUS.



  2. Hi Beth,
    I read this post around the end of April yet didn't have time to make a comment.

    Wow.. thanks for sharing what you have gone through. What a very hard thing in your life. That is great that you know that you don't want it to compete with God.. and that is what God also wants for you to know.. His presence in your life being even more special to you. I'm sooo glad you are close to God. So happy for you!!! When Jere & Mere told me that you & your hubby were drawing close to God.. my heart rejoices a lot.

    Cause He's, ya know, a great God.

    Thank you for being friends with me while I was pregnant & having a little baby... & being happy for me. That shows me how real your love is.

    Praying God's will for your life as well.

    Have a great summer, you ~*~happy beautiful lady~*~

  3. I love the rawness of this post. I too experience exactly what you experience. I too have had all the thoughts that you have had. I too wrestle with the uncertainties that come with PCOS. I was thought to be the first to have babies and get married. I wasn't the first to get married and I haven't had babies yet. Most of my friends have had babies or are pregnant. I have had to step back and wonder why God gave me this body. What purpose can I serve with being infertile? Here's a post that touched on my thoughts: E-mail me if you ever wanna talk about anything. Seems like we are going through a lot of the same things.


  4. thanks for sharing your story! I really admire your faith. I constantly need reminders that God wants me to focus on him, I'm always afraid of what he will do in my life since I so often focus n other things. I know we are not meant to live in fear but I guess this is one manifestation of my sin. I just hope that when the trials of my life are revealed I will turn to him as you have. Thanks again for your inspiring story.


What do you think about that?