If your marriage is a mess, or even just difficult, have you ever wished he was dead? Have you ever wondered if you’d even miss your husband if he died?
Or are you comfortable in your anger and hurt and can’t wrap your brain around the thought?
Maybe like me, you also take a lot for granted.
Like you never ponder his (or your) mortality, and so you’re just upset at him all the time. Maybe you’re conflict avoidant and refusing to deal with the issues in your marriage. Maybe you’re just choosing to fight or ignore him, and live a completely separate life.
If he died, would you wish things had been different?
Can I gently encourage you to learn something from this Now that I’m struggling through? Can what we’re facing somehow move you towards doing something different, even if you are afraid it won’t work? Even if you’ve tried about 300 other times? — because God’s timing for healing isn’t always our timing?
This holiday, I tried hard to do better. I woke up and was thankful that I did.
When my husband woke, I was really thankful for that, especially given the ugly Now we’re in. I know God means it for Good, and I know He’s always about His business, and I know it’s sin on my part to disagree with the path He’s chosen, but honestly, I don’t like it.
Not one bit.
I just don’t.
I would have picked something else, like a non-fiction book on whatever topic it was we’re supposed to be straining our growing hearts toward through this Now.
But I didn’t get asked.
And I confess, a few days before Thanksgiving, I was angry.
Angry that I even have to consider what lies ahead. Angry that He tells me some things, and leaves other things hidden.
I know anger is a secondary emotion… what I was really feeling was fear.
Because I’ve been through two thoracic surgeries with our two boys.
I know how week-long hospital stays work. I’m afraid of that time.
And I’m afraid because I’ve had experience. I’ve dealt with nurses who aren’t paying attention and make major mistakes like epidurals running out resulting in horrifying pain for one of my sons. I’ve had a nurse try to steal my son’s narcotics. I’ve set the timers for the medications, woken every two to three hours round the clock, often before they went off, and called the nurses myself when they were late with pain relief.
I’ve slept on the chairs, not showered for a week.
I’ve sat not knowing when to be concerned at the alarms going off, and being afraid because I didn’t know then how little oxygen is too little… and wondering why does pneumonia happen and require oxygen in the first place… and other things I won’t mention because, well, they’re just not meant to be shared with anyone outside of family.
But then come the Psalms. These pages in my bible are growing thinner, I think, because I’ve been in those chapters so often this year.
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
After the Psalms come His peace… actually somewhere in the middle.
I remember to breathe again – and then do the next thing.
His Word is breath and life to me… and reminds me that He is in control, that He allows what He wants to, and that my job is to worship and obey.
Worship and obey.
How do I know what to obey? By “meditating on His law” in other words, knowing the Word, daily ingesting it, daily filling my mind with more Christian than secular influences. It’s a struggle, yes, but worth doing. Necessary. I’m a mess when I don’t, and I wish I did it more consistently.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. God, give me breath today that I might utter back praise to You. Fill me with Your Spirit, Your Word is my daily bread, I need nothing else but to read it, to think about it, to pray it back to You in worship, and then obey it. Thank You that the more of You I get, the more of You I want. I love the thirst for Your Word, Your Truth. You are the only thing I need. In Jesus name, amen and amen.
When I look back on what’s true, what He’s already done I see change. I remember writing a post about being terrified of riding this horse.
Now, thanks to God and an amazing trainer, I am no longer afraid.
Last week, I road blindfolded without reins – up a hill. It was awesome.
I had already pushed through the fear, faced it nearly daily for months, even though I’d gotten to this place where I dreaded riding because I was so afraid of getting hurt.
Because I didn’t quit, though, I’m different. More confident in literally every area of my life. You can’t go around fear, you can only go through it. Awful at the time, worth it at the end.
It helped tremendously that I had a trainer that I trusted enough to just do whatever he said.
Once in a while, my brain goes to the “What If’s” of this Now… but then I remember other things, like how we “just happened” to find out about his condition, and how we’re so incredibly blessed to even know about it… and how we both have breath, and we are praising Him for that.
My DH spent all day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving doing what he loves to do – brilliantly weaving flavors together, filling our house with the aromas of herbs, meat, and comfort. I spent parts of the day on and off doing what I do with him, just following him around the kitchen helping. I did make a pie. It was epic… so was his turkey and stuffing.
We gave thanks together as a family, and the words seemed to have more weight, more meaning to them this year.
Why is that? Why do we get so blind? Why does familiarity often breed contempt instead of contentment? Why do we focus so much on what’s wrong instead of what God wants us to see? Why does it so often take a crisis or a threat for us to be reminded of how awesome everything really is if we’ll just SEE the way He does?
I don’t know about you, but I too often in the midst of the minutia moments of a day think about the wrong things. This Now, in particular, has that struggle at full throttle.
And it’s sin.
Lately, I’ve been wondering, as I’ve been thinking too-soon in our marriage about the mortality of my life partner… I know I would miss him terribly if he died, as would our kids. I would more than notice – I’d be a tiny bit happy for him, jealous even, because I know where he’s going, but I would also be agonizingly lonely.
Lonelier than I’ve ever been, even in the roughest spots in our marriage.
Do you ever think about that – I mean really think about how you would feel if your husband died?
Do you ever then wonder if HE would miss YOU if you died? Do you wonder what kind of wife you’ve been? What kind of wife you’ve become?
Has the pain in your marriage changed you? Have you gone through it or around it?
For better or for worse?
I don’t honestly even know. I know I’ve been far FAR from the perfect wife.
As for me, right now, I’ll take all the second chances available. Desperate-to-do-better style.
To be completely transparent, I am either completely blind to the possibilities or have peace about the outcome for us. We’re at an amazing hospital with stellar results for the procedure(s) he’ll go through. I would like to think that if something bad was to happen (and the odds are small for that) God would be preparing me for that. He’s not. I could be wrong, but I’m not going to think about those things. I acknowledge death is always a possibility (his daily commute should have me shaking – city traffic is worse than velociraptors as far as I’m concerned).
But instead, I’m clinging to Philippians 4:8, preaching His Word to myself multiple times a day, lest that other guy gain ground.
Quite honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing, or how this will be in the middle of the next Now. I’m not looking forward to it, but am trying to experience and be His grace to myself and others.
But for today, I choose to be Thankful. I choose to SEE.
Are you struggling, too? Do those questions above slay your broken heart like they do mine?
We all need heart surgery, don’t we? Would love to hear from you about yours today. And thank you for being here. I’m grateful you are on the journey with me.
Love to you,