Married Life: In Sickness and In Health, Part 2

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Continued…{If you haven’t read Part 1, you can read it here.} In sickness and in health. I wonder if any of us really think about what those words mean before we vow them? I know I didn’t. I was nineteen years old when I uttered them from my lips. We were young, we were healthy, we had our whole lives ahead of us. That only happens to other people, not us…

My husband just celebrated his 40th birthday. We make jokes about how we’re getting old as we laugh about old times. Reality always finds its way back into our conversations no matter where they take place. I know he never imagined he would be unable to work and feel the way he does at his age. Those aren’t the types of things you dream about when you daydream about your life together. We used to sit and think about buying our first home together, having kids, our careers, and every fun thing we could do together as a family. Not once did the words living in pain, disability, stroke in any sense of the word, or no quality of life come up in our daydreams together. No, the picture we painted looked a lot different from the picture we’re living now.

All of this has had me thinking, do any of us really think about the vows we’re committing to before we speak them? Would I have said yes had I known every trial and every difficultly that was going to come our way was coming? Would he have purposed and committed to those vows had he known that his life would be where it was at today? Would these two young kids stand before everyone and say I do, no matter what, if they knew what it was going to mean?

Let me say once again, I know our story isn’t like so many others that I have watched before my eyes take place in the lives of friends and family. I know we are tremendously blessed and very grateful that we’re still here together and have hope. But in any case, it has still made me stir some of these thoughts around.

It hasn’t been easy. Many of our struggles only we know about, well us and God. So I know as I write these words, He knows exactly where my heart is coming from. Please remember that as you read. Sickness changes people and not just the ones who are sick. It’s a heavy weight to carry when it begins to affect us in ways we never thought imaginable. It affects the whole family because we are one unit in motion together. Many sleepless nights full of tears, arguments as we wrestle with what’s going on around us, stress as we try to figure out the dreaded financial aspect of life, and frustration as we try to figure out how to navigate this new way of life together all while keeping everything in tact.

In tact…maybe God doesn’t want it to stay in tact. That’s been my thoughts on several occasions. Maybe, just maybe, He’s wanting to rebuild and reconstruct us once again. I’m not naive to think that I have it all together or that we have it all together. I live inside of me, I know the train wreck I can be. I know there’s always room for improvement and improvement means to make things better. How can I fight that? Making things better is very promising. God is a God of promises, and He’s also my God who keeps His promises! That gives me hope!

Regardless of how difficult this journey has been so far, I know my God isn’t done yet. I may be tired, okay, flat-out exhausted, but I know that rejuvenation is coming, I know that the resurrection is on the way. I’m not so worried about me, I want it for my husband. I want his pain to go away and not just because of medications but because of God’s healing power. I want him to be full of laughter and life again, I want to see him doing the things he enjoys doing again, I want to see our family as we once were again because he’s better not because of a mask.

So how do I know that I would have still said yes that day if I had known what all yes meant? I know it because I’m more concerned with him than I am myself. The easiest answers throughout all of this would have benefited me and what I wanted, the more difficult choices have been because I want what’s best for him. Even though my flesh screams one thing, my heart and soul whispers another and I desire to listen to the whispers, no matter the trial. {Thank you Holy Spirit for dwelling in me and giving me guidance and direction.}

Truth is, I can’t imagine my life without him and that includes everything we have went through together. In the 22 1/2 years we’ve been together we have been through the ringer more than a few times, but the funny thing about that ringer, it gets out of us what weighs us down and keeps us from being who God wants us to be. It sets us free to love one another in ways we could never do on our own. It makes us stronger.

We’re stronger together and I know that to be true based off of reality, not fiction. Stronger together is not what the enemy wants, weaker apart is what he’s after. He knew the day we said in sickness and in health that we meant it and though he may try to weaken us, Christ in us strengthens us to live out this life together that we treasure and enjoy.

Marriage isn’t going to be easy, difficulties will come and trials will knock us down. It’s not how fast we get up but that we get up together that makes all the difference. Vows aren’t words, they are commitments to keep and to honor.

To my Gorgeous, you’re still my boy! 😉 I’ll always be your girl, baby! I love you more today than I did the day I said yes. A love like this CAN move the mountains because it’s the love that Christ has given us for one another, in sickness and in health!