I am so happy to see that it is Friday, y’all, because that means
Â I am less than 24 hours to having the first time alone with my husband in a hotel in over 13 years.Now to many of you that may sound crazy,
but to these two crazy parents,
we have had other obligations that have taken our time,
for a very long time.
We have had 13 precious, blessed years with a medically fragile child, who spent the first three years of her life more in a hospital than she was in our arms at home.
We have had numerous miscarriages, resulting in hospital stays.
We have had multiple health issues that has been an enormous drain on our finances and our stability as a family, including an 18 month stint where my husband was physically unable to work, and I became our “other income” when disability barely paid our rent.
And then the time we spent with adopting our two beautiful, precious Littles, and the emotional and physically demanding roller coaster that was and has continued to be for three years.
You know, some things in life have just been more important
than a night in a hotel room
Until this weekend.
You see, we celebrate 16 years of marriage in a few short days.
16 YEARS, you guys.
To some of you that may seem like nothing.
To us, it is everything.
Let me tell you why.
You see, nine years ago we picked up and left everything to move to where we are now. We chose a ministry over a paycheck, and instability over advancement. We literally picked up, moved three hours away from any help other than friends we knew for a short time, and planted ourselves down here. We had a medically fragile daughter who had immune issues as well as many other physical issues from birth trauma and brain surgery at 8 months old. We left a very good job with limitless advancement opportunities to move to an incredibly small town
(what do you mean, they don’t have pizza delivery???),
and start our very first full time youth ministry job, ever.
Let’s fast forward shall we?
The rose glasses came off quickly, and we had an awful lot of growing up to do in a very short time.
Exactly one year later, my husband begins to have these spells.
Spells where he stops talking in the middle of a sentence and stares,
frowning at you as if in concentration on what he is trying to express.
The first time it happens, I am patient.
The second time, slightly irritated.
The third, concerned as I realize he is completely unaware of it.
And it goes from there
From silent spells to seizures.
From seizures to loss of movement.
From the man I cherished to an angry one, stuck in a wheelchair.
From one stuck in a wheelchair to one that can not cross a room
without falling down,
out of the chair,
Who is angry with the world, with me, with anything and everything
because he can not do a single thing for himself.
And no one, not a single person able to help me.
Or the precious little five year old girl watching everything crumble around her with wide, blue eyes.
Our ministry crumbles, for more reason than just one.
Our marriage begins to crumble too.
His family hovers. My family hovers.
12 months later, a little girl who is broken hearted that her parents are not together. A husband desperate for his family, for answers, for healing. A wife who is broken, and afraid, and hurting more than she has ever hurt in her life, even when her dad committed suicide. Even when she was abandoned by the same father at 13.
And then, Hope broke free.
We found help through counseling.
We found a body of friends who stuck tighter than any we had ever before had the blessing of sharing our lives with. We found peace, and strength, and more than anything, we found one another again.
We found an amazing church that was filled with broken, loving, give-you-the-shirt-off-your-back people. Real people.
Who really loved us, and really loved the Lord.
People who had walked the dark side of life in every possible way,
and were all broken,
Healing began, the darkness began to change, and suddenly, we found a light at the end of the tunnel that we were sure just wasn’t going to show up for us.
Why am I sharing all of this with you?
Because the single most important lesson I want you hold on to as you walk away from this week is the one that we learned as we walked through the fires of pain, and suffering, darkness,Â
and the ugliness each person has behind the masks
Â that they wear.
We learned our very most important lessonÂ
in those fires.
And honestly, I cant think of a more important lesson to share with you right now, at this time,
when so many things around us are turning completely upside down.
Never. Lose. Hope.
You see, for the Handy Hubby and I, we had one single thing going for us in the midst of all that horrible, terrible, no good, very bad, day
….after day…. after day.
We had a rock solid foundation that kept pulling us back from the edge of the abyss.
It was the foundation that time has tested, fire has refined, and now is incredibly strong in both of us.
Our hope, our foundation rests on Christ alone.
And it is the one thing that we can look at, right now, and focus on to tune out the other things, all clamoring for our attention, and our loyalty……..the things that pound on the door and demand to be allowed access to our hearts, and our minds and our thoughts.
It is that no matter what we face, our hope,Â
is not of this world.
And when we tie ourselves into that, with strong knots that simply can not be broken.…after realizing it is, above all, the only and best way to live a life that is focused on lifting up others,
and encouraging others….
then we are strong.
I pray that for you.
As I have said, a thousand times over on this white space,
you are not here by accident.
You are here, right here, right now, for a purpose.
For a reason.
And if this is the only message that you take home with you from my blog, then I am thankful.
All of the other things I have shared with you this week are very important, absolutely.
But today’s message is the one that makes the ONLY difference that impacts you to the end of life…
I hope you take it to heart.
Â What is your foundation built on?
If you want to talk to me, please reach me via the contact me button up above. I can pray for you, encourage you, and walk with you through whatever you are facing.
Blessings to you and yours,