When your husband is what? I don’t even know what to call it.
In danger? At risk of dying?
6:30am. He’s leaving for work.
I watched him lift his uber-heavy computer backpack and cringed.
How much does that weigh?
Is it more than he’s allowed to lift?
Will that be the thing that sends us to the hospital?
But does it weigh more than he’s allowed to lift?
I want to ask.
HOW can I ask?
How can I ask without sounding like a mom.
“Is that okay for you to lift?” I asked.
It was fine.
More than fine. I’m over-reacting.
I’m not caffeinated, either.
One should not have thoughts or give voice to them without being fully conscious.
How does one do this? How do I HELP in the middle of this now that I’m in?
How do we have discussion about these things without me turning into his mother?
He doesn’t want me to be his mom – he already has one, and she’s awesome.
I don’t want to BE a mother – at least not to the man I married.
I love being a mom to the people I gave birth to.
But how does this change everything?
June 22, 2014. We celebrate 23 years of marriage. 29 years of friendship, too.
And I had no idea that I’ve joined a club.
It’s not one that I would ever want to sign up for, either.
Out of the woodwork they come – women whose husbands have had life-threatening illnesses.
“How are you really?” she asked.
“Oh, Nina, I’m so sorry,” choked another.
“Let me know if there’s anything you need,” they said.
“How can I pray for you?” is the most frequent.
Unsolicited, the calls come, responses to prayer chain news.
One of my friends, one I hadn’t seen in a while, even messaged me to offer ironing.
My girlfriends encouraged me to go out to dinner with them one night this week. I went. That was hard, but I was so glad I did.
My friend on a missions trip in ROMANIA calls me just to see how I am.
And another ministry leader friend of mine force squeezed her time enough between plane trips and meetings to have a cup with me. She came bearing chocolate. “I desperately want to see you!” she’d said. How anyone could love ME enough to be desperate to see me makes me cry. I’m rich beyond measure with such beautiful women in my life. I love them all so.
They teach me how to love.
And I’m thankful.
How much He loves us to send love through His children. Children that have their own heartaches, women who have suffered well.
I love the body of Christ, and how it puts physical feet, hands, and arms to His love.
Sometimes, I confess, I forget to breathe. I find myself standing at the kitchen sink, busy waiting BUSY WAITING…how is it that I am busy waiting?? Does that make any sense??… for the next doctor’s appointment, washing out the coffee cups, staring at the soap and the leftover crema washing down the sink, and I realize I am holding my breath.
Because he bought the cappuccino machine for me…for our anniversary.
Because I didn’t even drink coffee til he took all of us to Germany last year… and in the damp cold rain, the warmth of a cappuccino perked me up and helped the painkillers go down and I could do another day of making the memory of a lifetime with our family…
And I think of how I hate traveling and how he loves it and so I go anyway…
And dread it then love the places we go…
I think of how marriage changes us, hopefully for the better.
I think of how He’s changed me.
I wonder how different we both are after nearly a quarter of a century together.
And suddenly there are tears swirling down the sink with the soap…and the whole world is blurry again.
How long til I adjust to this news and my eyes stop being so wet all the time?
And sometimes, Philippians 4:8 will flutter into my heart, and I will inhale, and ask, “God, what IS true? What IS good? What IS right, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy and excellent in the middle of this now that I’m in?” And even though I can’t see the good of the now that He’s chosen for us, I can be thankful that He is still in control, and I can choose to trust Him, choose to breathe Him.
Because without Him, I’ll just crumble to the floor in my kitchen and stay there.
My greatest fear is this unknown of how to be a wife NOW. How do I love well in the middle of THIS? How do I be brave like Sarah and not give way to the fear that threatens to change everything?
How do I not absorb that fear like a wounded dog and bite those around me? Too many apologies this morning to undeserving children, and it’s not even 9am, and I need another cup of coffee.
Advice came from one of my wonderful sisters who said, “He needs a friend. Just be his friend.”
What does that look like?
It’s bumbly and I’m awkward.
And while it looks like we need a miracle or he needs a risky scary heart surgery,
my friend Jesus reminds me WE ALL DO.
And the me that I used to be before I met my Savior has had a transplant.
For that, I’m eternally thankful.
So I pray, and I remember I’m not alone, and I love as best I can. And I believe my God is just saying, “This is nothing I can’t handle. I’ve got this. Just be. Do the next thing. Stop yer frettin’ child.” Sometimes, in my head, He waxes a bit southern, probably because I was born a yankee.
All are welcome here – all who believe in my Son.
And I’m glad you are on the journey with me, because I feel lonely when I’m all alone.
Maybe you do too?
I’m super thankful for all the prep work for our Daughters of Sarah Boot Camp Retreat next week. We have people from 6 states coming, and I can’t wait to worship with them. The work He’s given me to do keeps me breathing right now. It’s very good. Not the work that I’m doing, mind you, although I think it will be good when it is done, but just having the work to do, if that makes any sense at all, even. Ugh. I finished the Daughters participant manual, am working on the facilitator guide, the journal is almost done, and my new book is nearly finished… still so much to do, like put the presentation together… good thing this stuff energizes me…
He’s always good.
And I want to thank you for your prayers and your emails, and the cards – you are all just precious to me. Jim and I covet your prayers as we just keep breathing until we know whether there’s been a miracle, or whether/when we’ll take a turn towards surgery on this journey.
Love to you,