Friday, February 6, 2015

It Is Well

Last night Tanner and I had the privilege to share our testimony (dating to present) with a youth group. We also got to be a part of a prayer and worship time and watch our young adults small group pray over, worship with, speak Scripture and share with these youth. 

My heart is so full. 

The past couple years there were many times I wanted to give up. I wanted to throw in the towel and be done. Sickness, marriage, small group, relationships - it was all too much. I felt like I couldn't do everything in front of me well. To be honest I felt like I was merely surviving. 

When I look back on the ecstatic, happy, and in-love couple three years ago (to this day) who just got engaged; they had no idea. No clue that the wife was going to be deathly ill. That they'd move into the bride's parents house. That the husband would have to give up dreams and goals. That their vision of a cute little house with a dog and a baby would become tainted. That for a while they would merely survive with no end date, no forecast of the future, no medical promise, just hold on tight and push through. 

I was able to go to one of Tanner's classes this past year. I remember someone asked the pastor,"what do you do if you can't take anything off your plate? And it just keeps piling up and you have to do all of it. What do you do?"
The pastor replied,"you just get through it. You hold on tight and you push through."

You stand. 
"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." (Eph 6:10-13) 

Recently Tanner and I were reading through Ephesians 5 together and I broke out into tears. How blessed am I that I married a man who would lay his life down for me and love me the way Christ loves His church. A man that would lay aside dreams and goals to fight for me, fight for our marriage, and fight for his relationship with Christ. 

If any of you have Lyme Disease or live with someone who has it, you probably understand how completely difficult it is to live with us. Irrational, hormonal, depressed, illogical, easily angered and upset. Not able to do anything outside of dr appts and meds and being a nurse. For like a year Tanner spent every night he came home from work on the couch with me swapping out heating pads and ice packs. Comforting my tears. Throwing me in the bath tub. And carrying me around everywhere. And he did all of this with no end in sight. 

He loved me and layed his life down for me. He didn't complain about it. He never told me he wanted out. Even when people told him to leave me cause no one would judge him or blame him. Even when people "counseled" him to leave me for a few months to follow his dreams - he didn't. He stood next to me, and loved me and fought for me. (Thank you to those of you who gave us wise counsel and encouraged us. We love you) 

Last night as I looked around the room  my heart was so satisfied. Listening to Tanner do what he loves and pouring into other people's lives. Being rejoiced and celebrated with in my health and our marriage. Watching my small group pour into these youths lives. This same small group that Tanner and I "led" when we had nothing in us and they gave us life and helped carry us through the muddy pit. 

I like this side of life. I like being able to say "we made it". My heart wouldn't be so full and life wouldn't be so sweet if I hadn't walked through hell though. 

Ladies, hold out for a man that you know, without a showdow of doubt, that when life gets hard (cause it will) he will stand. Hold out for a man that will love you and lay his life down for you. My husband is my best friend. We walked through hell and back together. And what we have now makes the journey worth it. You're worth a man that will do the same to you. Why? Because your Jesus already has done that for you. 

~ "In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God." 
John Bunyan