In Sickeness and In Health…I sort of remember saying those words in our vows almost 7 years ago. Our anniversary is May 19th!! Okay, I know I said them ,but my memory is not that good. So I can’t actually remember saying them. 😉 The overload of emotions that were going on probably had something to do with that. I always knew I could and would be there for Tyler if God asked “ in sickeness” of us. I didn’t understand the emotional toll that sickness can bring on a soul though. And it wasn’t a terminal illness or something scary like cancer. Just a bug bight that got ugly.
It seems each trial God brings along our way always seems to be the hardest one yet. I sure am grateful for God drawing me in closer to Himself and purging out impurities in my life that I didn’t realize were even there until the trial came. The closer we allow Him to draw us to Himself , the more like Him we become. The more holy and like Him we are. Its not an option for a born again believer to “maybe be holy or maybe not.” God says “ Be ye holy, for I AM HOLY.” Wow! There is just so much weight and depth in those words. And in our own strength and efforts it is such an unfathomable goal to even reach! That’s why God in His gracious ways gave us the gift of trials. Gift? Yup, anything that God uses to draw us closer to Him is a gift because we sure don’t deserve to be drawn closer to Him. Usually we can’t see the imperfections in our lives. Sure we know the obvious weakness, but those hidden deep down suppressed but ever existing filths and impurities that separate us from a closer walk with Him aren’t always as visible to us. God sees our feeble hearts though. He loves us anyways and sends trials to help us see our short comings and to see a little more clearly His over abundant sufficiency in every area of our lives and life itself.
When Tyler got sick the first weekend of March, it didn’t seem like a trial- at first. But when the first week of fever went by it seemed like maybe it was a rather long time for a simple bite to give anyone such a long period of fevers. After all, a bug bight? It’s gotta move on out of a human body after a week of fevers right? Then came week 2, and then week 3 he was hospitalized and we were told it was a serious infection. Week 4 he was feeling better off and on. Week 5 he went back to the doctor and was told it would take another 4 weeks before he might start feeling better. Week 6 went by, and by week 7 the doctors got together and decided its not going away on its own so they were going to do a minor surgery to drain the fluid from the abscessed gland under his arm pit. Since that day Tyler said the absolute relief of having that pressure removed was so great that the pain of the open wound and the healing process didn’t compare. Through those couple months I trusted that God was going to take care of him. I had no doubt whatsoever and I had no fear either. I knew and still know He is always good. But my trial came in a side winding road kind of self inflicted fashion. Tyler was in so much pain and had zero energy. Which meant I had a 2 month old and a 2 year old, not much sleep, meals to prepare, a home to stay on top of and do most of it all- just like a single parent- by myself. I have a lot of respect for those single moms and dads out there. I never realized exactly how hard it is to do it ALL by yourself. And with an infant to top it off. I know, I am a big baby!! But I will be the first to tell you that my trial came in the form of my wrong attitude towards my husband. I wish I could say that every single day and every single moment I was the perfect picture of the caring loving wife doing my best to nurse my sick husband back to health. And after all I’m a missionary so shouldn’t I be even holier than the average American Christian mommy? Yup, sorry , but that is a commonly believed myth. Maybe I was for a tiny portion of the time an ideal loving wife, but when I got sick and Lily and Landon too on top of it all I fell flat on my face. Most of the time I was struggling with my attitude and my actions towards Tyler. I acted almost as if “ how dare you get sick and stay sick.” I get sick and life goes on. You get sick and you get to rest. My whole mentality towards sickness in general is usually “Deal with it.” The gift of mercy is one that I need more of. What a pathetic pity party I had all by myself during those weeks though. And thats right…all by myself. Of course it was off and on, I wasn’t horrible the whole time, just enough for God to make His clear point to me. I alienated myself from God and from my husband. How foolish a self centered person can be huh? In retrospect, I wish I could have talked some sense into myself, but I’m not perfect and I’m prone to fail just like any other. I am so grateful for God healing Tyler. I’m so grateful for the trial that God used to show me the ugly part of me hiding away in my heart. I’m so grateful that God is patient enough with us to help us through every purging necessary to make us holy like He is Holy. My God is the One and true God because He is an active ever present and visible force in my life. And I love having my husband back! I know he is grateful to be healed. To be able to use his left arm again after 2 months! He is the most forgiving husband and loving husband. I don’t deserve him. I know God made him just perfectly for me. Tyler isn’t perfect and I know he knows I’m not perfect , but God placed us together and made us for each other before time began. I am so lucky that I get to walk through life, the ups and the downs with Tyler. God knew what our trials and short comings would be. He knows what lies ahead for us. He also knows what our victories and accomplishment by His grace will be too. Many times the toughest battles and the toughest trials aren’t the ones that are on display for the world to see. It’s the hidden ones in our hearts at home, in secret, that are the toughest and the hardest to overcome. Sometimes because there’s no one to cheer us on , to counsel us, and empathize with what we’re going through. But God sees our hearts. He KNOWS our hearts. He knows us. And has said so clearly in John 15:5 .. “he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:for without me ye can do nothing…” And that is where I am. When I alienate myself from God. Alone and unfruitful in everything I try to accomplish. Daily falling flat on my face as a failure bing a mommy and a wife. But with Him I can do all things through Christ which gives me the strength for each difficult moment of each day. I can have the right attitude. I can have the right response to a situation as small as my toddler breaking my favorite Salt City candle. God can be glorified through my life and my children can see a reflection of the holiness of my God when I choose to be loving and self less just like Christ was. I can be fruitful and so can you!!!