On Monday morning, I confidently entered the hospital with my husband. I had an 8:00 a.m. appointment with my surgeon at a clinic located in a downtown hospital. Because we lived about 20 miles away and rush hour traffic can be unpredictable, we decided to leave in plenty of time. If we got there early, we could always get a paper and head to the cafeteria for awhile.
We arrived about 45 minutes early. The clinic wasn't open yet. We headed to the cafeteria and spent some time reading and discussing articles we were reading in the paper. Actually, I have to admit I do most of the discussing:)
I was feeling great. I had a lot of people encouraging and praying for me. I'd been spending a lot of time with God through prayer and the Word. I felt strong and confident that God had everything under control... no matter what. We headed back to the clinic.
Suddenly, I stopped. I was terrified to move. I knew if I so much as took another step, I would break down and cry, scream or do both. My cry out to God died on my lips. My husband had kept on walking. I looked at his retreating back with pleading eyes. I suddenly felt completely alone and lost.
My husband turned around and saw me standing there. I looked at him mutely. I'm sure he could see the agony in my eyes. Without a word, he came back to me. I tried to speak and failed. Then finally, in a trembling voice I said, "I can't."
He took my hand and gently put it in the crook of his arm. Then he waited. "If I move, I'll totally lose it." I whispered.
"That's okay." he replied. He squeezed my hand tightly between his body and his arm. "We'll just wait together."
I tightened my hold on his arm and took one step. Then another and another. I could move and I wasn't going hysterical.
I felt strength flowing through me. I wasn't alone. We're in this together.
We often hear the analogy of God as our father. In fact, if you've been blessed to have a godly father, you've learned a lot about God through his example. The same is true in marriage. A lot of times, husbands take the brunt of criticism and none of us are perfect. I have to say, however, that I have probably learned more about God through my husband than any other way. That's probably how it should be.
My husband has taught me that God loves for us to dream and encourages us to develop our talents and abilities. He has taught me that God loves us unconditionally. If my husband can forgive me for all of my mistakes and love me inspite of my shortcomings, surely God can! He has taught me that God delights in me. Although my husband is good at remembering those big occasions, he delights in giving me little surprises unexpectedly. In fact, I got one this week. After our visit to the surgeon, he dropped me off at school. When he picked me up, there was a tiny plastic container with a single piece of chocolate in it. Now, this was not an ordinary piece of dark chocolate. This came from a special place and had been handmade by a chocolatier.This is the sort of chocolate that makes most women smile, smell, take a bite of, scream and then break into a huge smile. Oh, and amazingly one does the trick. I guess it's because it's so perfect. Okay, it's a woman thing but I have to admit, my husband always smiles at my reaction. I think God smiles when we delight in the little gifts he gives us as well.
In sickness and in health. Most people don't think about the sickness part too much on their wedding day. The reality is, if you have a long marriage you may very well have to face it at some point in your marriage. While the good times are great (and what you hope for) it's the poor times, worse times and sick times that are the building blocks of a marriage. Those times will either draw you closer together or tear you apart. It is my prayer that we allow God to help us turn the difficult times into stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.
*8/18/11--This blog is now part of a series entitled Walking With God In The Midst of Cancer