Last month I told you all about our 10th anniversary and a health issue that took us by surprise. I subsequently received the first diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy – although I am not diabetic. The neuropathy, somehow triggered the secondary condition, erythromelalgia. We were only able to arrive at this diagnosis after many months and visits to different specialists with tons of bloodwork in the process. Suffice to say, with all this still going on, we haven’t had time to do any of the things we wanted to do for our 10th anniversary. We hadn’t had time to give ourselves the gift of a celebration. But then, as I mourned those thoughts just last night, I felt my spirit say “Wendy, I’ve given you the best gift of all”. You know how His word says all things will work together for our good? Well, it never fails to show itself true.
I immediately recalled to mind all the things that I’ve seen as God’s grace towards us. Things our marriage needed.
- My husband now has a deeper understanding of the things that I, as his wife, need in order to feel safe, supported and loved. Words of affirmation is an important one.
- I now have a better understanding of the things that my husband fears most, like being able to provide for all our earthly needs. You see, in a lot of ways a man’s very identity is wrapped up in his ability to work and provide. It’s part of God’s design for them as leaders in the household. Quite often, even if a wife is bringing home an income, when men aren’t able to do their part (due job loss, under-employment, etc.) and live out that God-given responsibility it affects them in profound ways.
- I’ve seen my children grow in patience and compassion towards me, never complaining when they have to get up at 6:00am, or leave the house at impromptu times, or do school in the car while we trek to another appointment. Even strangers have seen their goodness; they get so many compliments (and sometimes gifts from others) for being good while in the doctor’s office waiting area. 🙂
EVERYDAY. IS. A. GIFT
- I have solidified that every day, truly, is a gift.
- Suffering has a transformative power. I feel I am a better, more compassionate, more aware version of myself. I am especially aware of others’ suffering.
- I’ve learnt to always be on the lookout for his goodness towards me and us. He’s a good father.
- I’ve been the recipient of the healing power of intercessory prayer. I went from barely being able to walk on two feet steadily to being able to walk briskly, as I go about my daily activities. To know others are praying for us gives us great hope as a family.
- I’ve learnt I must have laser focus to my days. Get the must haves done and don’t worry about the rest. This means knowing what priorities are important to my husband as well.
- I affirm my love to my husband more often now. (He’s loving that) 🙂
- I try to cuddle with him more. (He’s really loving that!) LOL.
I am grateful for His gifts, but I also don’t want you to have a false sense of how I’m feeling, physically. I am functioning better than I did at the onset of this, (praise God) but the reality is I am in some type of pain daily, I can’t do everything my mind and heart want to do. I am finding my new normal. There are days I worry. Get anxious. Cry. There are days that are super-awesome and days that are just blah. Most days though I am happy! I try to never lose sight of all the goodness around me.
The good news is we still have the opportunity to celebrate at a later date, if we so choose. Right now He is helping us to see this as a season of opportunity to grow in the weak areas of our marriage. The pressure was on (was it ever!) but we didn’t crumble, we’re still standing. Stronger. I know my physical health challenges will one day be a memory but the gifts of grace that we’ve received has added enduring armor to our marriage.
How has a season of suffering in your marriage helped you to grow? What lessons were most valuable?
Please feel free to share this with a friend who may be going through a time of illness in their marriage as well. Believe it or not, when I need encouragement, I go back and re-read my own blog posts! Lol.