Got Sorrows?

Throat tight, fiercely pounding heart throbs in my ears.

Eyes wet.

And that smell. Why do hospitals always have that smell?

We walked silently to the elevator together after meeting with the doctor.

I wasn’t sure I’d make it. My legs felt funny.

Weak.

Wobbly.

I literally didn’t know what to say.

How does one support, encourage, cheer on, give hope to someone just handed a potential death sentence?

How do I take the next breath, how do I find hope HERE?

God, where are You in this?

I took his hand.

We made small talk about parking as we walked to the elevator.

I wished I didn’t have to drive home.

Alone.

I’d met him at the clinic for the appointment. We looked at the images together with the doctor. The nurses had too much compassion – the kind that said, “We’re so sorry you’ve been given this news.”

The last time a doctor looked at me like this was when I was told I’d lost the baby.

The days are filled with minutia sized moments where every thought is being taken captive, lest I give way completely to fear. I feel fear’s snarl, it’s teeth bared at my neck, saliva dripping, lip-licking tongue and hot breath. It threatens to devour me.

I can’t imagine what it must be like for my friend, the man I married.

The days have become faith-testing moments, one right after another, only to be repeated, over and over again.

God, where are You in this?  Help me see…I’m so blind and everything’s distorted through the tears.

So without going too much into the details, a congenital heart defect we didn’t even know my husband had from birth is rearing it’s ugly head, threatening his life.

We don’t know much yet, but what we do know has us rattled.

We have asked God for a miracle, because the surgery is rather risky. “The riskiest surgery we do,” said the cardiologist.

I’m trying not to be angry at him for that.

Actually, I’m not angry at all, what I’m trying to not be is afraid.

I’m trying to trust God with everything.

Even this.

Even though in the last few months, a friend of mine’s Uncle died with the same condition.

It was the first time I’d ever heard of it in my life.

And now…

As we begin this medical journey, and I look at Dare 22 of The Respect Dare today, I fondly remember ironing all those shirts. Thanks to my own physical disability, I don’t iron much any more, and it’s usually the chore I hate most.

But I’d iron every one of his shirts every single day from here to eternity if it would change the news we’ve been given.

Did You hear that, God? Could we make that trade?

I know, I know better… but still. In the NOW I’m in, I’m grasping through tears at anything that might change this, wondering if I couldn’t please just wake up now and have it be a nightmare…

And the tears just keep coming.

Food’s lost it’s flavor, and the world seems a bit gray, so I’m praying, “Where’s the joy I’m to have, even in this NOW that I’m in?”

Is my faith so small?

Maybe…

Maybe not.

So today, when you get mad at your husband for leaving his socks on the floor, or you trip over his shoes, or he leaves a dish on the counter, be thankful he’s even there to do that.

Maybe take a moment and ponder what it might be like if he wasn’t.

And if you think of it, please join us in praying for a miracle for my husband. For complete, miraculous healing without surgery. And if God says, “No,” please pray for us as we journey through the steps of learning, traveling to specialists, and making appointments.

That like Sarah, I do what is right and do not give way to fear (1 Peter 3:6). And that we are both strong and courageous, Joshua 1:9 style.

Love to you,

~Nina

If you are struggling in your marriage and were hoping for something a little more helpful from me today, please check these posts out:

5 Reasons NOT to Quit Your Marriage

Top 10 Ways To Disrespect Yourself

Tired of Doing it All?

Have We Walked Away from Femininity?

For Wives with Young Kids

For Parents of Tweens, Teens, and Twenty-Somethings

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Comments

  1. suzy says

    Makes me think of my mom being told by her doctor about her congenital heart defect (only in a nonchalant way). Since she had never known she had a hole in her heart since birth, she went home and researched the medications she was being prescribed by same doctor. Turned out it was a side effect of a particular one. She quit the meds, and quit seeing the doctor who has now lost her license for overprescribing. It was scary, and we are very thankful for answers and healing. Prayers for your answers and healing as well.

  2. says

    I know how scared I felt when I found out about my husband’s failing aortic valve and that he needed open heart surgery at the young age of 42. I can only imaging how it feels to have to go through this. Know you are covered in prayer.

  3. Tiffaine says

    Nina,
    You are in my prayers always, but I will pray a specific prayer for your husband, and one for you that you will be showered with His peace and that you will be shown the reason for this very soon.

    • Linda says

      Nina- I am lifting you and your husband up before the Lord-for total healing. God loves you and will be your constant strength! I pray you feel His presence and power working through you! Linda

  4. Lacy K. says

    I’ve prayed for your husband to have miraculous healing to glorify God’s name, and for grace upon your lives as you walk through this. No trial is wasted, God always recycles every hurt for good for those who love Him and are called according to his purpose. My heart breaks with you, and I will continue to pray for you as God brings you to my mind.

    • Nina says

      Lacy.
      What a pretty name. :)
      I don’t know why your heart breaking brought such comfort to me today, but I am thankful you shared this. And you are right, I know there is rich learning ahead, I know it can’t cost me everything, but I confess, I do not want to walk this road alone.

      I was thankful when he gave me permission to share about his health.

      And your words spur me on today.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  5. says

    Oh Dear Nina,
    I kept praying as I read your post that it was going to go in a different direction. I prayed for you husband several times yesterday and I KNOW our God is big and can bear your tears and struggles. I will continue to pray for the LORD to completely and miraculously heal your husband and that He would be glorified. And I pray for you and send you hugs.

    • Nina says

      Thank you, Stephanie. You are right – our God is BIG. And even if He says, “No,” to the miracle we desire, I know He is busy working another in its stead, one that blesses immeasurably.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  6. Gerri says

    I believe that even those whose marriages are in a place of pain can/should stop and say, “What if they weren’t here? Would these small annoyances really matter?” I believe you taught some people to take that look today. I pray for miraculous healing and if not total healing, then peace throughout the journey.

    • Nina says

      Any good that ever comes is all Jesus… and God is just so good all the time. Thank you for the kind words – I am offering my tears, worry, concern, back up to Him as an offering, trying to be grateful, trying to see His goodness moment to moment. Not easy. Thank you for your prayers. My husband and I are blessed to have them, Gerri.

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  7. Christina says

    I wish I could put my arms around you right now. I will be praying for a miracle in your husband and family.

  8. Mary Lou says

    Praying Colossians 1:9-11 for you:Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. (Colossians 1:9-12 MSG).

    Hugs and prayers.
    ml

  9. says

    Thank you for encouraging us in your crazy difficult season. My husband says he almost lost me twice, once to divorce then almost death. It changed our relationship, I remember the fear in his eyes, afraid he would be left alone. I know your a reader and probably getting a lot of advice, but I want to tell you of Joni Erickson Tada’s book “A Place of Healing” of all the things people handed me to read (and it was a lot) this is the one….

    • Nina says

      Thank you, Jennifer. I really admire Joni Erickson Tada. :) I mean, WOW-Style admire. :) She’s lovely.

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  10. says

    My heart goes out you and your husband, Nina. May both of you find strength in God and grow closer to Him and each other. I’ll be praying for you.

    Thank you for finding encouraging words for us to appreciate our husbands, when you are in the midst of this situation.

    God will carry you through. Be strong in the Lord and his mighty power (Ephesians 6:10)

    • Nina says

      Aixa,

      There’s always so much learning, isn’t there? :) And if He’s good, all the time, there has to be good in this, too.

      Thank you for your prayers!

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  11. Elizabeth says

    Nina, My heart is with you! My tall, slim husband unexpectedly and without explanation lost over 40 pounds ten years ago and only gained 10 back. He has not one ounce of extra fat and if this happened again he’d go into organ failure. . . . We did everything medically we could to find the cause and couldn’t, so decided to live in each day, savoring the small pleasures and time we’ve been given together. You’re so RIGHT that whatever small irritations we might feel with each other definitely pale against the possibility that we could lose each other. May you and your husband find peace in knowing that God is with you through everything, and that so many of your readers and friends here are praying for you both. Much love and big hugs!

    • Nina says

      Elizabeth.

      I’m so glad you are here. Thank you for taking the time to encourage me.

      Like becoming pregnant, I suddenly understand a different group of women now that I’m like them. I just don’t want to add any new titles, like “widow,” any time soon.

      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  12. Wendy Lempner says

    I’m so sorry to hear this… and for your pain. I will pray for your husband and your family. God will get you all through this and He will use it for good in some way. Be strong in Him and know He loves you all so much!

  13. Ann C. says

    Today is our 41st wedding anniversary. My mind has been remembering all of our years together and how God has worked many miracles in both of our lives. You see, my husband has been a paraplegic for 46 years. Life expectancy was 25 years. When you are young that seems like forever. We climb a mountain every day just to see another day. Jesus will see you through but it will be moment to moment communion with Him. He will provide for all of your needs. Run to Him for His peace that only He can give. My prayer will be for complete healing for your husband and an extra sense of His presence with you and your family as you journey through this valley.

    • Nina says

      Doesn’t it always come back to that? Moment to moment is always the goal, regardless of the now we’re in… tough to remember sometimes. The enemy is good at what he does. Thank you for sharing with me today. You are right. :) Glad God blessed you and your husband both with 41 years – and hopefully, prayerfully, many many more! :)
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  14. learningever says

    Oh my dear sister, please do NOT bother yourself at this time with questioning why you don’t have “joy” and questioning your faith as a result. These scriptures are invitations into joy and exhortations to the church as a whole. God wants to comfort and lift you up in this time, not burden you. The Evangelical church has fostered some of this inaccurate thinking. We have been taught this and have come to believe it is true. It is so hurtful!

    I spent a lot of time looking into topics related to suffering as our adult son died slowly of colon cancer. My conclusion was.. Ok is good, and not ok is time to spend some good crying out to God time. I had to schedule mourning time as I would feel it build. Give yourself lots of grace(and others too). Please, please.. Don’t burden yourself with expectations of “joy”. There will be some amidst the sadness and pain and Jesus will be enough to get you through whatever comes. That I KNOW!

    Praying!

    • Nina says

      :) Thank you for the encouragement – I don’t feel guilt, I know joy is possible, but I’d be lying if I said I was in the midst of it at the moment. I want it, I want more of Him, and that’s probably more than enough, right? :) And I’m so sorry about your son. Prayers for you, too, beloved. :)
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  15. says

    Nina,
    So pure. Possibly the greatest struggle believers face is that willingness, faithfulness, delightfulness to put our whole trust in Him. The ‘whys’ are everywhere and in this moment when you may be feeling defeated, abandoned or just terrified we will help you. Pray with you. Fight with you. The fortitude you have is enabled by your love, your belief, your grace to fight with Him. He is not against you. Whatever the outcome, He wants your passion for the life you have now to resonate. Just as we fight for the children we bear in nearly every breathing moment of their lives, we should fight for those we have met, grown with and fallen in love with along the way. I know you are fighting and I know you are trusting. You are not alone. My thoughts are with you, my friend.

    • Nina says

      Katherine – YOU. :)
      Yes, trust. It’s a huge word, one I need to actively choose multiple times a day now. And I know you know.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

  16. says

    Remember like 2 years ago I shared an article with you that said that asking “why” is sometimes the a big statement of faith because by asking why we realize the answer we get might be that we don’t get to know or that we could never understand. God’s big picture is beautiful. You puzzle piece might be a little grey. But it’s part of one huge gorgeous love story.

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