12 years ago, Joel & I said these words to each other – and we meant them. We thought we’d had some tough times – job changes, car trouble, waiting to adopt children, things breaking in the house, computer crash, & flat tires. All of those things are inevitable problems, inconveniences, or “hard".
But little did we know God was going to call use to the last 6 months of “worse.” Taking 6 months to diagnose I was 5 years overdue for open heart surgery. (Nice that the doctors couldn’t catch it before then). Or what I thought was worse. It’s been a time of growth for both of us. We’ve grown closer to each other, talked more kindly to each other, spent more time in the Word.
It has had it’s hard times too – I’m humiliated to have to depend on Joel to put my socks & shoes, to cut up my food for the first 2 weeks because I was too sore to use a fork & knife, to help brush my teeth, to even communicate to another person. He had to & still has to do a lot of things for me. He’s managed my medicines, appointments, taken me to the ER at all times of the night. He stayed with me almost every night in the hospital (on the rare times he came home to see the kids, my dad stayed with me).
Sometimes those “worse” times really can be a “better” time – but you can’t see it then. The suffering & agony (words by Pastor Brad) really do draw you closer to God & each other or make you a bitter, self-pity person. To tell you the truth, I’ve been both. Definitely bitter at the dumb doctors who let this go on so long; definitely self pity – nobody has it as hard as I do. Don’t complain about your stupid IBS around me – especially when you make spicy food you know is going to make you sick. Don’t complain about traffic – at least you can drive. Don’t complain about grocery shopping with your kids – at least you can take them. shut up people. But I figured out, sometimes those things ARE the hardest things in their lives, or sometimes we lose sight of what’s really important.
I still have a long way to go in recovery, rehab, therapy & growing in Christ. But I feel like I am finally in a new chapter of my life.