More thoughts as I sit in hospital room with the love of my life
One day I just woke up and realized a stronger storm was coming my way and fast. The first storm never really subsided, but it felt like it was something I could live with, even thrive in. I learned how to dodge the debris, walk against the strong winds, take cover when the rains poured. I had a handle on this style of living. Of course, all because of God's grace. What I don't have a handle on is the idea that this storm could change from a category 4 to a category 5.
A category 5 storm is described as:
"Winds 159 mph or higher: Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months."
(taken from http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php)
I HAD A BEAUTIFUL SYSTEM
I am a mom of 3 beautiful children, I know that aside from being a mom I am also my son's caregiver. It took years to be fully comfortable and confident in this role. I have learned how to manage and juggle many things. I was a master at nursing my infant, while spoon feeding my 9 year old son, while reading a story to my 5 year old daughter. I know how far ahead I have to plan if we are to do anything "normal" such as go to church, the mall, or park. This became second nature and dare I say "easy" because I had my "partner in crime". The one who would take over when I was too exhausted to move another inch, who would stay strong when I was weak, who would remind me of important appointments and race to the left to get things done as I raced to the right to get the other things done. It became a beautiful system after around 15 years of practice. It took me about 15 years to learn that we are not to pick at each other as other couple's do, we have bigger fish to fry, bigger battles to be won. We don't have time to argue over who left the toothpaste cap off or who's sock is on the floor and not in the hamper. It took awhile but we moved beyond the normal "marital" annoyances, to conquer the life of special needs and to enjoy this journey together. Going on a date, was a small victory won, and the synchronized deep breath we would take before walking back into the battlefield. We made a perfect team! Of course, our marriage wasn't perfect. I've had a list of things that I wish he would change and I am sure that he has a list with things that I should change, but that's where we learned about grace. If God can send His perfect son to die for us sinners because He loved us, who was I not to love my husband the way he is and vice versa. This sounds instant when you read it but all of this has taken years to understand and conquer. Not to mention, a lot of surrender; surrendering our pride, our selfish desires and demands.
ANOTHER STORM HITS AND ITS A CATEGORY 5
Watching my husband's health decline has been one of the scariest things I have ever had to face. The tests are still pending, the doctors still investigating, and me, battling, fighting, pushing through fear and uncertainty. My teammate, the love of my life is injured, my partner has been disabled and I fight the feelings of abandonment and loneliness. I now face the responsibility of being a caregiver, not only for my son, but for my husband as well. All of this trying to avoid being his mother and assuring that I stay in an attitude of submission and respect. It took me awhile to become that woman that would lean on a man. When my husband met me, I was a little too strong and independent. I didn't need to rely on anyone! Much less a man!
Having grown up with a single mother who was somewhat bitter towards men due to justifiable reasons, I was ready to attack and conquer life without any man's help. Our first few years of marriage reflected my independent rebellious attitiudes and God had to take me through the process of truth and transformation. I learned about God and how He created us with certain roles and His will and purpose was for me to become a Godly wife, walking in integrity and respect alongside my husband. Trust me, this was not an easy lesson to learn, it took me years to look like a blurry version of this.
THE JOURNEY IN THE STORM
If you have been keeping up with this blog, you know, that we are very experienced in the storms. One thing I have learned through my past storms, is that there will be destruction. I truly believe, that with God's wisdom, I am given the opportunity to decide what gets destroyed and what is saved. I don't think alot of people understand this. I have been given the gift of a free will and I truly believe that this free will can override any emotions or spontaneous thoughts triggered by crisis. I believe God allows certain trials and crisis in my life to burn up certain areas of my attitude, character, emotions that can pose a threat to relationships.
I started writing this almost 2 weeks ago, 1 week ago my husband was hospitalized due to many mini strokes that date back as far as 2 years ago. He is now undergoing many tests to see what is the best thing that can be done to prevent future strokes. We are right in the middle of this storm right now. At this moment I feel emotionally and mentally strong, although my body wants to collapse. This is a roller coaster ride and I may be sitting in my car crying uncontrollably over this situation an hour from now. I am not the most stable person right now; however, having had many storms pass in my life I have developed a sensitivity to God's whisper, giving me hints of what we are to learn from this and this is what I want to share, there will be more as we proceed forward in this battle. So far I can honestly say that:
1) I am not strong enough, but God is strong enough for the both of us.
2) I can choose to allow this trial to destroy my faith in God or I can choose to allow this trial to strengthen my faith as silver is perfected in fire. This is a choice, emotions don't have a say.
3) My emotions may cause me to sink under the waves, but I will call out to Jesus to save me and He will reach out His merciful hand and pull me out before I drown.
4) There may be things in my husband's own personal life that is being molded by the Potters hand and I just may need to be patient during this process.
5) I need others! This is probably one of the hardest things for me to admit. When we have gone through crisis' with our boy, it was God, my husband and me against the world of diagnosis, illness, life-threats; now my best friend and fellow battle buddy is down and I feel so alone! This has caused me to say yes to offers of help, to hugs, to blessings from others. This has caused me to allow others to see me without my "strong, independent, I got this" mask. It has been scary for me, but so far, all I have received is love, care, compassion and meals. God has surrounded me with an amazing family, this includes our natural family and our church family. I love you all (you know who you are).
6) Running away is NOT an option! This is where the "in sickness and health" part takes effect. When I run, I run to Jesus who loves on me, understands me, fills me with more grace, turns me around to walk back into the battle with new strength and determination. One morning I thought I was done, had nothing left, couldn't take the pain any more and than God shows me in His word Psalm 15:4 "...keep their promises even when it hurts." I promised God when I was 14 that I would serve humbly and with a meek attitude, well I'm a work in progress. I promised my husband 18 years ago (19 years on the 15th of this month) that I would stand by his side for richer or for poorer, in sickness and health. So no matter how much it hurts, no matter how exhausting it is, no matter how many times I have to die to me, as longs as God gives me grace for the every day, I am not running away!
7) I am absolutely positive that with one breathe out of God's mouth my husband and son will rise up in complete health and restoration. I am also positive that God is a soveriegn wise Father who has the last word and a very good reason why He hasn't done it yet. I will be still and know He is God.
8) You read this, admire me, come to hospital just to find me in a million sobbing pieces taking my frustrations out on a giant peanut butter chocolate cookie, please be patient with me as I am a work in progress and no where near perfect.
That's it for now, now where's my cookie?