the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15a)
And a ruthless trust that has led me through the darkest days of my life.
To be honest, there are days I just want to punch him. His optimism. That ruthless trust. His “take one day at a time” mentality.
I just want to see him freak out a little not whittle my health down to scientific data. Can’t he just worry for once?
But the truth is, if I saw him freak out, it would freak me out even more. If he worried, he wouldn’t be able to speak into my life the way that he does.
Has he handled it perfectly? No.
Have I? Oh mercy, hardly!
In a recent conversation at work our lead pastor told me, “I am convinced that one of the hardest parts of grief is that spouses don’t grieve in the same way, and it’s hard.”
Yes. We have fought over this very thing without realizing that was the root of the fight. I so often equate grief with tears. But grief shows itself in many ways, and he carries his quietly inside his heart.
I want him to understand me and my emotions.
He wants me to understand that he doesn’t have to be emotional to care for me, for us.
The reality is God ordained and quipped this particular man with this particular personality to be my life mate, and he has shown me love in so many ways.
Six and a half years of this roller coaster with my health. Nine surgeries. I can’t remember ONE time that he has complained. He has hated it, he has suffered, we have argued over how to deal with it all, but he has never complained. He has only loved.
That, my friends, is noble strength.
In her book, Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist writes:
I had thought that we became a family the day we were married. What I have found, though, is that the web starts as just one fine filament on that day, and spins and spins around us as life presents itself to us day by day. And on some days, the strands spin around us double-time, spinning us like a top and binding us like rubber cement…
That’s how family gets made. Not by ceremonies or certificates, and not by parties and celebrations. Family gets made when you decide to hold hands and sit shoulder to shoulder when it seems like the sky is falling. Family gets made when the world becomes strange and disorienting, and the only face you recognize is his. Family gets made when the future obscures itself like a solar eclipse, and in the intervening darkness, you decide that no matter what happens in the night, you’ll face it as one.
Last night, we worked on a song together. He has taken the lead, and I sit in my comfortable place of harmonizing. I watched him as we sat next to each other on the couch. The way he threw his head back while he played guitar and sang strongly of his trust in the Lord. “Though he slay me, I will praise Him. Though He take from me. I will bless His name. Though he ruin me, still I will worship.” His eyes caught mine and he grinned while he sang.
I love that smile.
Quietness and trust.
Words that epitomize my husband. The face that I recognize in the darkness. The arms that hold me during the eclipse. The man that I will call my family forever.
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