Aug 27

“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.” – Psalm 118:6

That’s right, I will not fear because wherever I go, God is with me. Before I realized that God is with me, I was confused. I felt that he was punishing me for something I did.

It all started one morning. On February 20, I experienced severe pain at 5 a.m. I went to the hospital in town, and they said that it was normal menstrual pain. I was told to go home. The next month, the pain returned. This time, the doctor said I could have a bad appendix. By April, I ended up in the ER again, but this time I was diagnosed with depression. The doctor told my parents that I was overthinking my pain. I felt like a liar to my parents. I prayed that my pain could be heard and be treated. God heard my prayers on May 10, I ended up in the ER in the morning and the doctors did nothing. I stayed until 7 p.m. in my room but no action. My parents got desperate and we went to Alexandria. Immediately, I had my appendix removed. As we made our way to the operating room, I remember my mom crying and fell to the ground. As anesthesia ran through my vein, I prayed that God would do a miracle. I woke up at around 11 p.m. and fell asleep with my mom on my side. The next morning, the surgeon came up and found something peculiar around my appendix. I found out I have endometriosis. At first I didn’t know what it was. I looked things up and read about my condition. I was frightened and scared. I wasn’t sure what to do. On May 16, I got my first laparoscopy done. My priest came to my room before surgery and we prayed.

After surgery, I had to get into treatment. Doctors say I can’t get pregnant in the future, but I have hopes. I pray that I could prove them wrong and become a mom, I pray that the guy I marry will accept me for me, because I want his support and to feel loved. I know God is capable of doing anything and I know he’ll find a way to get me through this. I’m only 16, and I’ve never thought too much about my future. I never thought of marrying someone and having to explain to him that his support and love will mean a lot to me when we marry. I never thought my life was going to be so hard. But what I do know is that God has a plan for me as he has for anyone. I don’t know who I’m going to marry, but I know that we’ll make it through together.

This year, I experienced the presence of God at a Steubenville Conference in St. Paul. During adoration, I closed my eyes and prayed,

“God, you put me through this journey for a reason, please walk with me, I need you.”

There was a voice in my head saying,

“I will never abandon you, you are my daughter.”

That day, my heart raced for joy and now I know that I will never walk alone. Even when I commit sin and feel like I don’t deserve God, I know that he will continue loving me and with no doubt, know that I BELONG. Because he is almighty and the journey that I’m going through, he’ll walk with me. The times that I don’t feel beautiful, feel like I’m a terrible person, or simply feel that I’m letting him down, he’s going to lift me up and ask me to walk with him. Because he will never leave anyone alone. He’s going to make you feel beautiful and welcome you into his arms. You’ll feel his warmth and most importantly, his love. Whether you are going through the same journey as me, feel like you aren’t good enough, or feel like you don’t belong, he will lift you up and will hear you wherever you are. We all belong.

Itzel Sanchez is currently a high school student at Hancock School. She grew up in the State of Mexico and has been Catholic her entire life. Ten years ago, she immigrated to the United States. Itzel loves helping people at the center she works, Options for Women, in Morris. Itzel enjoys reading, meeting new people, traveling, and learning new things. She hopes to continue serving communities and become a paramedic.

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Reed Douglas Heidelberger August 29, 2019

Thank you for sharing your story! I’m sure it was easy to write about something so personal, but you did it very well.

Keep up your hope, trust, and prayer! (And writing!) There is hope even with endometriosis.

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