We have an update from my husband’s recent cardiology visit.
So I’ve been walking around with my own heart caught in my throat for about a week.
Do you remember that feeling? When I think of my childhood and the bullying, this is the feeling I remember most.
Tears flow easily. Fear threatens me constantly.
You may know what’s going on – or you may not. Bottom line, my husband has a congenital heart defect and another heart condition that was caught “accidentally,” and we’re in a Now we didn’t anticipate.
What do I do?
What do I do when I have no control?
Ah, Eve, your mistake and God’s consequence haunts me even to this day. I can’t control. I used to know that. At least before I knew about this.
But what do I do in this Now? When life spins outside my realm of influence such that I feel less like an active participant, and more like a spectator, a bystander, watching events unfold, wondering where they will lead next?
My body is betraying me. It reveals my fears and sorrow. My mind doesn’t dwell on thoughts of “what if,” but they do lurk in the shadows, they lick around the edges of my peripheral vision, like wisps of smoke that are there and then not. But my shoulders and neck and back muscles reveal what is true. And I am too close to the edge of the emotional cliff, you know the one, where the smallest of things bring tears.
And sometimes I realize I’ve been holding my breath.
Food’s lost its flavor, sleep difficult at best.
My husband’s cardiologist’s latest orders included the cessation of caffeine. So we’re switching to decaf. Under normal circumstances, I’d fuss a bit. But I literally can’t handle stimulants right now. My addiction to adrenaline (hence the horseback riding and love of public speaking) is all I can deal with – and it’s not daily, so that’s good.
How do I sit here and WAIT for the reports to come back, wait for conversations to take place, wait for potential decisions to be made by men who don’t even really know my husband? How do I just WAIT on that?
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, right?
Am I waiting well?
I don’t know.
The Roesners are all clinging a little tighter to each other these days.
And I confess, the daily common difficulties of marriage frustrate me even more than before.
We may have so very little time.
Someone will make a decision – one that could keep him on planet Earth for a while longer – or one that puts him at greater risk – all based on just 3 millimeters of change.
3 millimeters that could have been 3 miles for the result moves him from, “Oh you can wait a while, we’ll monitor it,” to, “Um, you need to call the surgeon. You may need to schedule this.” We didn’t think that last one would be here so soon.
We thought we had more time.
We might – but we simply just have to wait. Talking to world renowned cardiac surgeons apparently takes a while. Last time we waited over 3 hours for about 7 minutes of his time. “Come back when it’s XYZ,” he said. And here we are at XYZ.
So plans of Christmas or summer vacation include the dark grey life-depleting environment of a hospital in Cleveland, when we thought we had years, and now we have months.
So we cling to hope of a miracle, yet. And just wait.
And we work on our broken hearts, both of us.
And I work. A lot. Because that is a great distraction. And I hurt. And I feel alone, even when I’m surrounded by people.
When I forget to breathe, when I forget the names of my friends, I just look up through blurred vision, asking, “Will You show me Your face in the midst of THIS now? Because I can’t see, and I can’t think. All I can do is cry.” Then I imagine myself curling up in a ball, fetal-style, in His lap. His hand strokes my hair. I can nearly feel it, He seems so close sometimes. Abba, Father. Daddy.
God help us.
Sometimes He seems so far away…I wonder about Him.
I wonder if His plan for me includes REALLY being alone, widow-style. I wonder also if my concern for my husband’s heart condition and the threat of something happening at any moment and him having just minutes to get somewhere or he dies… if that causes my own heart damage.
He is God.
He does what He wants.
I know He loves me. I know He loves my kids and my husband. But I’m not a fool. I also know He’s always about His business over my comfort, my desires.
And that, THAT is the thing that frightens me the most.
So every day, I’m praying Leah’s prayers as she blogs in gratitude for her husband.
And can I just gently, softly, kindly, remind you to be grateful also?
I confess I’m having to actively choose gratitude in the minutia moments of the average day.
Because the simple truth is that we ALL need heart surgery.
So I offer an actively chosen sacrifice of thanksgiving for the Now that we’re in.
Psalm 50:22-23 ESV
“Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver. “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God.”
And I’d be lying I didn’t admit to you that a small part of me bargains with God…
Father, if I love this much, if I obey this much, if it costs me everything in my heart at this moment and yesterday and tomorrow, can’t we then please please please have a miracle if I’ve been pleasing to You?
And my raw heart remembers as the words swim in my blurred vision that He loves me, and nothing I can say or do can add or take away from that.
Last week, a beautiful woman from the Daughters of Sarah video pilot class summed up her experience in the class as she tearfully said, “If I was the only person on Earth, He would have come and died just for me, He loves me that much.”
So today, in an effort to fight against the fear that threatens to devour me, will you join me in a Thanksgiving dare? Even if things are hard in your marriage, can you choose to see your husband the way God does – as precious, important, a rare treasure?
What is your favorite thing about your husband? What are you thankful for today?
As for me (other than the simple fact that God’s allowing him to be breathing still, which isn’t minor), it is his work ethic. Great at what he does, he works hard, serving those he works with so they can get the best results. He’s brilliant, and works hard, even though he could get by with less effort. And I am thankful for this example of excellence – it’s Biblical
Check Colossians 3:23-24 NASB
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
Okay. Your turn. Add yours in the comments.
And thank you for being on the journey with me.
Love to you,