The Priceless Anniversary Gift

The Priceless Anniversary Gift

Marriage Log, Day 6,205…..

Today is our 17th wedding anniversary. Many couples our age have been married twice that long, but this is a second chance at love for both of us.

I got up at daybreak use the bathroom and my husband, a.k.a Superman, is lying on his stomach on a twin-size mattress that is clearly too small for his man-size frame. He is sprawled out and it looks as though he exhaled and then just melted into that spot. I know he is exhausted…

I am 9 days post ACDF surgery in which I had a cervical disc removed and then fused. My activity has been very limited and he has been there to care for me every step of the way.  He chose to sleep on the floor next to me so he could hear me and tend to my every need. He didn’t want to disturb me by sleeping in our bed.

The first day home he got me cleaned up from the blood, goop and sticky stuff all over me. This included showering me and washing my hair, then using baby oil to wipe away the sticky patches. He put lotion on me, dressed me and carefully got me situated in our deluxe king size adjustable bed. He tucked pillows, blankets and raised my feet. With super-human strength, he placed thigh-high compression stockings on my legs. No easy feat, I assure you! He continued to monitor my elevated blood pressure due to my body’s response to pain.

He organized my medication regimen and set his phone every two hours to check on me. I had water, ginger ale with bendy-straws along applesauce at the ready to take my pills. He alternated ice packs and sometimes heat depending on my needs. For two days he didn’t allow me to walk unassisted.

The second evening home, he was in the garage with our son and he didn’t hear me calling for him. My daughter came to my rescue and I told her I needed Daddy. When he came in, I needed to used the bathroom and was terribly uncomfortable. I took this opportunity to spew some fiery darts of unkind words at him, but he didn’t even flinch. He stood me up and walked me to the bathroom and asked if there was anything I needed or that he could do to help me.  He then helped me back to bed, held my drink for me and saw to it that I was put comfortably back to bed again. He leaned over to kiss me and asked if that was all I needed from him. I opened my eyes to see his face inches away and he smiled at me. I melted and big tears fell from my eyes. I said how sorry I was for being so mean. He wiped away my tears and told me once again he loved me. I can’t remember what he said next, but it made me laugh! (that is so Eddie!) He smiled at me again and I knew all was forgiven.

Meanwhile, he got the kids out the door every morning for school, arranged their transportation to various activities, did laundry, cooked, cleaned and managed it all. It was odd listening to all this activity from behind my bedroom door. That is where I am usually front and center. I smiled knowing Eddie could handle it- probably better than me!

Before this planned surgery, I tied up a thousand loose ends at work and at home, trying to make things easier on everyone. I trained a woman at work to do my job and arranged my schedule so there wouldn’t be as many commitments. At home, I filled out paperwork, audition forms, trip forms, yearbook forms, doctors’ forms, wrote out checks, paid bills and checked the calendar to be sure I hadn’t forgotten anything before the surgery because I knew I would be unable to help and I didn’t want to forget a thing!

Then, I discovered the one thing I forgot, was our wedding anniversary. Maybe I figured we would go out one night in a month or two, but I didn’t even get him a card or present. How did I miss that?

This year however, I received the greatest anniversary gift a wife could ever imagine. It wasn’t diamond earrings or red roses and chocolates. Eddie showed me how devoted he is to me by how he cared for me. His tenderness, compassion and understanding were felt infinitely. He looked at every detail to see what he could do to help or make things better for me. He’s so resourceful and smart. He was always smiling at me. He called me beautiful when I knew I looked like hell. When my appetite wasn’t good, he made tons of soft foods only to have me turn up my nose at them. Then I mentioned that chicken-n-dumplings from Cracker Barrel sounded good and I had them in front of me within twenty minutes. There isn’t a minute that goes by that I do not feel 100% loved by my sweet Eddie.

A3918A84-07B2-47DE-B1BB-830507BCC4FFHappy Anniversary honey. I love you so much!
I know this man would move Heaven and Earth for me and that kind of love is just priceless. If I didn’t think I could love you any more, I was wrong, but this is on a whole new level. As we look down the road to our Golden Years, I hope I can be as good to you as your are to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let It Go

Let It Go

Forgiveness has been an issue for me. I want it when I’ve done something wrong, but when someone hurts me, I’m not as eager to let it go. I may act like I’ve forgiven you, or even believe that I have, but it’s the letting go part I need to work on…

I harbor resentment. I think that is a protective mechanism we all share. It has been said, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

We don’t like to be hurt by others because, well, it  hurts. Pain is something we are programmed to avoid. That make sense to our physical selves. We are careful when handling hot items, or going down stairs, to prevent physical injury, but when we are hurt by another’s actions or words, that pain isn’t as evident. We might pretend we weren’t hurt, but those wounds affect our heart, and that’s when the internal battle begins.

Satan would love nothing more than to convince us that the person who hurt us, doesn’t deserve our forgiveness. He will feed us lies and tell us we are somehow better than they are. He wants us to point the finger at others and forget to look at our own faults. We become arrogant and forget about grace.

God’s grace….

It is because of grace that we have been set free. The gift of grace is an unmerited favor bestowed upon us when Jesus died for our sins. Our sins, not just my sins. None of us are perfect and none of us deserve forgiveness. We could never earn our salvation. It is only because of Jesus’s blood and sacrifice that our sins are forgiven.

In the movie, The Shack,  the main character, Mack, struggles with forgiveness. Forgiveness for the way his father abused him as a child, and forgiveness for the murderer who killed his little girl. The Holy Spirit shows him what it looks like from God’s perspective by asking him to choose between his two remaining children, who would be saved and who would be condemned to hell. Mack can’t do this, and his answer was, “Take me instead! I will take their place.”

Convicted.

I would never promote allowing ourselves to be continually hurt by another person. That is abuse, and we do need to protect ourselves from that. I am saying, however, that there may be more behind why others hurt us.  They may have built a wall of protection around their own fragile heart. Therefore they may lash out and hurt us, to keep from being hurt.

I am a work in progress. I struggle with letting go; letting go of resentment when someone hurts my feelings. I know I am super-sensitive, but I am trying to see others through the eyes of Jesus, and to not stand on the throne of condemnation.

2 Peter tells us that, “God is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all come to repentance.”

If I had one thing to share with the world, it would be to forgive; and then, let it go. Do not harbor resentment. I believe if the world forgave each other daily, the way Jesus does, all of our conflicts would dissolve. There is nothing more refreshing than to know someone has forgiven you when you’ve hurt them, or when you don’t deserve it. When someone withholds forgiveness from you, it plants bitterness in both parties. These roots grow deep and strong, causing division, and hinders any spiritual growth.

Colossians 3: 12-13

“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” 
Lord, I ask that you give me your heart and your eyes, so that I would be more forgiving, so that others would know, through me, your great love. I ask that I would let go of resentments and let your peace wash over me. Help me to let it go….. all of it. Amen.