Sunday, March 6, 2016

More than just a shattered life

In my last post, I mentioned that my husband announced he wanted out of the marriage, that he couldn't stand to see me suffer any longer... oh, and he had met someone else. Someone healthy, active, someone he could live life with (my words not his). While I have reached a place of acceptance, my heart breaks all over again every time I see a picture of us, with his family, on our honeymoon, all the incredibly beautiful  love cards and emails he sent me when we were dating. My response? To purge without mercy. Yesterday was the icing on the cake when I grabbed the bag containing my beautiful wedding gown and threw it on the trash pile.

Why share all this with you?

Because I know I'm not the only one going through this! Is my story that special that I think others should read it? Sadly, I have no doubt you could tell me more horrific tales. No, I'm not sharing this because I think my story is so special or deserving. I'm sharing this for the lost soul who is going through her/his relationship break because their spouse/partner/significant other/caregiver said "I can't do this anymore". I want them to know that they will survive this - WE will survive this!! I'm also sharing for another very important reason - perhaps the most important reason...

When the rubber hits the road

I am a Christian. That's what I call myself anyway. I say that because my behavior rarely matches up with the Words of Jesus. I get angry, I say hurtful things (many of them towards my soon-to-be ex), I feel tremendous fear rather than trusting that God has it all in hand, etc. I'm just being real here. 

So whether this is just my own accountability journal or a testament to my faith, I have decided to share this journey with you. The good and not so good parts, and everything in between. I will be living out my faith for the world to see (or maybe there is just 5 of you, that's OK too). I will share my physical journey, because we all know there is going to be a heavy price on my body once all this is said and done. I will share my spiritual journey, because I want my life to be congruent. Finally, prayerfully, I will encourage someone along the way, give them hope, but most of all lead them to the One who gives all Hope.

One day at a time

This concept is so alien to me that I almost panic at the thought of it... living one day at a time. However, Jesus Himself said:
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.      Matthew 6:33-34

Experiment #1

  • Do not worry about tomorrow
  • Look up verses that deal with worry, copy them, print them out and have them ready
  • When I begin to worry, run to those verses, go to God and pray them out loud to Him
  • Leave my worries at His feet
  • DON'T take them back just because it seems like He isn't doing anything!
If anyone wants to join me on this journey, I would love to have you along! Hearing the experiences of others helps me and everyone else who reads or participates in this "social experiment".

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If you are experiencing loss after loss in your life because of chronic illness, know that my heart breaks for you as well. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy! Unfortunately, the statistics on the impact of chronic illness on marriages is dismal. Caregiver burnout is a serious issue. I used to say to my husband that I almost felt like it was harder on him then it was on me. My body dictates how much I can do, how much I hurt, etc. However, he is strong and healthy, yet my illnesses stopped his life almost as much as they did mine.

Lord, there are so many hurting people living with chronic illness(es). This is such a difficult road to travel, yet our bodies dictate that we must. I'm so thankful that when we don't think we can stand one more day, You strengthen us. Lord I pray for every hurting person reading this. Chronic illness inevitably brings heart ache - be it from our broken bodies or our broken hearts. I pray that You would shower every reader with Your amazing Love. That they would feel You wrapped around them. Though people may leave us, You never will! Help us to always reach out to you, in both bad times and good. I pray these things in the precious Name of Jesus. Our Lord and Savior, Amen. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

What a difference a year makes

Trying something new

Because I want to

I have spent the last year trying to built a Wordpress blog... I'm not even close to figuring it out. I couldn't understand Wordpress when I was healthy let alone with severe brain fog! Why did I do it? I believed an advertisement. BUT, I still plan on getting it done! Until then, rather than not write at all, I come back to my tried and true Blogger site.

Because I have to

My husband announced last Friday that he is leaving me. Apparently the demands of my chronic health issues are simply too demanding... I can't even begin to explain the utter... the horrific... the profound heartbreak... I'm housebound and my mind is scrambling to figure out how on earth I will pack, get the house ready for sale, move and unpack - not to mention managing the spectacular crash that is sure to follow once all this is done. My soon to be ex has assured me that he will be here to help me. These words bring me a very fragile comfort.
I know that I'm not the only person dealing with severe chronic illness to have this happen. It's not easy to live with people like us, which I found cited in numerous articles. What I also found, and acknowledge, are the significant difficulties facing caregivers (see article). I knew that the effects of my illnesses were not easy for my husband to bare. I have been carrying around crushing guilt for most of the past 7 years as a result. But there is still a part of me that is horrified that I could be married to a man capable of such cruelty. He is strong, healthy and handsome. His life will improve without me in it. Mine will become significantly worse... to start with.

New possibilities

God has already been showing me blessings in the midst of my worst nightmare. They are:
  • Feeling even closer to Him - I admit that when my husband sprang the news, my first thought for God was "Really? You are going to take THIS away from me too??" Then I began listening to Praise 106.5 and as I sang along I noticed I was smiling and even felt joy!
  • Concern for my husband - I definitely didn't anticipate this one, but I felt true concern for what this choice would do to him. He too will be paying a heave price for his decision.
  • Trusting God more fully - It's not that I didn't trust God, but as a woman who used to be a strong Type A and highly independent, there was always a part of me that had a back-up plan in case God didn't come through... that's not faith. What I am experiencing now is a trust that is as strong as iron being forged in the hottest fire. It's not a trust that is fueled by my fear; it's a trust that is fueled by a rock-solid faith!
  • Being showered with love from the most unexpected places - As I reached out in utter panic, I found many people ready to jump to my aid... and I am humbled. There is something so beautiful in watching people allow God to work through them. I feel surrounded and uplifted by His Love, and I'm grateful beyond words.

The next chapter

I don't know what my future holds, but there is a part of me that is feeling a tiny drop of excitement. My goal? To do whatever I can to serve God by helping others through the power of His Son. This will be my way of thanking Him for loving me so completely.

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Have you lost a relationship because of your health? How did it impact your faith? What would you say was your biggest lesson learned?


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Do Not Run Away from ze Love

Merry (belated) Christmas everyone...?

As we all know some Christmases are merry and some not so much. Sometimes we are surrounded by loved ones, other times we are alone. Sometimes we are so stressed by all the shopping that we feel anything but merry. We just want to get it over and done with! It's all too easy to forget what the heck we are supposed to be celebrating. Where is the love and joy that people are singing about??

Let's talk about love

If you are like me, you grew up listening to Bugs Bunny cartoons. One of my favorite characters was Peppe le Pew. He had SO much love to give this cat (who he thought was a skunk), but she would frantically do everything she could to run the other way!

Why is it that so often we chase after people who don't want our love, then turn around and refuse love being offered by someone else? We live in a world where people are desperately looking for love, but we continue to feel disconnected. Stories of kids becoming depressed or even suicidal because of cruel, hateful remarks on Facebook are becoming  commonplace.  People sit down in a restaurant or even at their own dinner tables and spend more time looking at their phones than each other. Quality eyeball-to-eyeball conversations seem to be relegated to "I remember when..." stories.

I'm certainly not pointing fingers. When hubby and I first met, we would spend hours on the phone almost daily. Now, after 10 years, it's far too easy to sit staring at the TV all evening. Sometimes we do it out of necessity - like when my ME-CFS symptoms are sky-high and I don't have the strength to talk. Illness has a way of becoming the elephant in the room we try to ignore. That can bring a lot of stress, which has a way of putting an even bigger magnifying glass over problems in our lives, which often brings fear. For example, as my list of symptoms grew, so did my fear that hubby would leave me. I became so fearful that I began pushing him away - I almost became a self-fulfilling prophesy. Does any of this sound familiar? Thankfully, after a lot of prayers and counseling, we no longer wonder if the other person is going to bolt when the going gets tough (well, he could bolt; I would be shuffling along with my walker 😉) . But before we could get there we had to learn (and continue to learn) how to do things God's way.

The paths of our lives and the lessons we need to learn are as individual as our DNA. It took a health crisis to get me to turn to God. Through my relationship with Him, I am learning what real love is and what it isn't. I no longer want to run away from ze love - His Love 😊. I'm finally learning to see myself and others through God's eyes, which makes it possible to give and receive love.

Living with chronic illness isn't easy but I will be eternally grateful (literally) for the lessons, dare I say - the gifts, that it brings.


How has chronic illness changed your relationships - both with others and yourself? If you had to name one positive outcome, what would it be? What are your hopes and goals for 2015?