Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blessed. So Blessed.

I am blessed. Sometimes struggling, but always blessed. I pulled out a box of old photographs tonight...the kind of box that sits under a bed, abandoned, until a "nesting" mood strikes and this box is rediscovered...and all of its brother and sister boxes, as well. The ones that eluded unpacking since moving in five, no six, years ago.

Yes, that box. The box with the pictures that make my heart sigh. My heart did a lot of sighing tonight. Remembrance, reliving, regret. Isn't it funny what a picture pulls out of the deepest core of someone? And I lost myself there on the floor, feeling those strange feelings. Those feelings the pictures yanked from within me, stretched and snapped out like a rubber band. Do you ever want to be the person in the pictures again? Do you want to relive every moment, full of promise and hope, pain and aching? A second chance to do it right? Or just to relive the very right way you did it first?

I do.

And then I think how blessed I am...from those pictures to here. From that girl to this one. I am blessed. A husband, a family (growing), a home, a church family...I am surrounded by love. And The Greatest Love. Love that will not give me "lesser things" because I am not yet who I need to be. I am thankful for the greatest things that seem the opposite of blessings. Those ironic blessings that hurt and sting. They are from God's hand, too.

I thank God for the blessings through the tears. All the blessings that bubble up and overflow, drowning out the sorrow. Jon, my dear husband, may be sick and struggling. We may not have what I think the "perfect" life should look like, but here are the blessings through the raindrops:

  • He has a good job in which he excels, even on the hardest days with the fewest hours of sleep.
  • He has never had to go on disability.
  • He is able to work from home when he needs to.
  • He is able to be flexible in the hours that he works.
  • Reading stories of others with Lyme Disease, I know it could be so much worse.
  • My children have a father who loves them.
  • I have a husband who loves me, even when I am at my worst.
  • He is still able to support us such that I am able to be home with our children every day.
  • We have everything we need and even more.
  • We have grown...I have grown. That is what really matters.
  • God has never given us more than we could handle.

Thank you, God. Thank you, Friends, for praying us over the bumps. I feel those prayers lift us up.

We are blessed. So blessed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I am struggling. Today I am struggling. Usually, it is okay. I can usually muster up enough hope, enough self-encouragement, enough strength that living with a husband with a chronic illness is fine. I can usually see the glass as half full. But today, I want to throw the glass across the room in defiance of the very question. I am tired of the glass and whatever is in it. I am just so tired of this struggle and tired of hanging onto this hope that, like some carrot on the end of a string, constantly teases and always alludes our grasp.

To give background for those who don't know, my husband has Lyme disease and has struggled with various related health issues for the majority of our marriage. And today, I am sick of it. I wish I could fully trust in God. I wish that the words, "God has a plan and we are thankful for this sickness," would always be right there on my tongue. But they are not. I am thankful for the days that they are. And deep down, I know that He does have a plan and that this patchwork-life will be beautiful in the end, but for today, I struggle with the emotions of trying to reconcile God's hidden plan with the reality of the fully-exposed ugliness of sickness. Today, it is hard to see through the ugliness.

I look at pictures of when we dated and I long to go back and cherish those times of innocent, naive hopefulness and promise. I long to relive the false "knowledge" of a perfect life...the life where my husband comes home from work, sits down to dinner...the same dinner we are all eating...and enjoys conversation with his family. I long for surprise dates and romance. I long for simple evenings of peaceful reading together and sharing thoughts and dreams. I long for weekends that include the husband/father of this family. I long for a man who has the strength to do all the things he wants to do, for a man who does not struggle just to make it through one day.

And then in all this longing, I feel the guilt of self-indulgence, the guilt of a self-focus that forgets that I am not the one suffering. And that our "suffering" is so minimal compared to what others go through. I forget about all the promises that God has kept through the struggle...that He will never leave us or forsake us. I forget about how blessed we are that Jon has never had to go on disability or missed long periods of work. I forget how blessed we are that no matter how exhausted and incoherent he is, he can always work on a computer in genius ways that astound those who work with him. I forget that he is a shining light of God's grace and provision, not just to us, but to those who most need to see that light. I forget that God shows himself faithful, even when Jon cannot do everything he would like to as a husband and father. God picks up the slack.

I know all these things. But, friends, I still struggle with the days of longing that make my heart feel empty and pained. And today is one of the hurting days that my heart could use more hope, more faith. Because, quite frankly, as much as this trial makes us long for heaven, I just want us all to experience "normal," just a taste of it, for at least a little period of our lives together here on this earth.