AFTER 40 YEARS ◽ MARRIAGE
I’ll be the first to admit it. I’m not a good nurse. You don’t want me as your nurse when you’re ill or hurting. I faint when you look like you’re in pain, and I’m impatient and gag at the sight of blood. I am so thankful for nurses and doctors, and even more thankful that I am not one!
However, we are called to love our spouses in sickness…and in health. I cannot even imagine what people go through with spouses that are chronically ill. I have several friends in that season, and I pray for them often. But we ALL have spouses that are ill from time to time. It cramps our style, they can’t help us out like they usually do, and they need attention. All of those things require us to slow down and be still and just love.
Every winter season it seems that one of us gets a sinus infection or a flulike bug, and we’re down for a couple of days. He recently had this, and we actually had to stay home one night – imagine that! I’m used to getting out each evening, since I work at home, and this night we needed to stay in because he wasn’t feeling well. Like I admitted above, I’m not a good nurse or a patient one.
However, that night we got out a board game. An American Trivia board game. We watched a Hallmark movie together. I wrapped presents in front of the fire. I even made myself a fun snack, and he sat all cozied up in a blanket on the chair. We were together, in the house, just chilling.
Some of you may be thinking, “We do that all the time!” But for me, it’s hard for me to sit still and be present in the moment…at home. I enjoy being out on the town, seeing and doing and experiencing something new and fun.
He’s been with me when my mom was sick for weeks.
He’s nursed me through long nights of coughs that required shots of honey/lemon.
He’s helped calm my fears by praying for me and holding me close.
He’s listened when I just needed to unload all of the heavy cares of the day.
He’s just better at loving in that way than I am, but I have to learn. I have to give in seasons sickness, as well as in health. Always. And in that loving and being still and noticing and caring, and stroking and settling, and praying and again loving…we move closer.
I’m so thankful that he got better, and we’re back to outings again. But I’m very aware that there are many people sitting by the bed of a spouse, waiting and serving and loving, who are weary. There are some that have no good prognosis on which to hang hope, while they wait and they sit by the one who is sick. And then there’s the spouse that’s the one who is sick. He or she is tired of the illness, feels bad that he cannot help, and longs to feel better so he can once again be a part of the duo that lives and moves together.
The longer we live together the more opportunities we will have to serve each other in sickness AND in health. We can make each other feel worse by our impatience and harsh words (I’ve done that), we can feel pitiful that we are causing the other so much worry by our pain, or we can choose to pull out the board game, light the fire, and make a fun snack.
Who wants to be a shut in, or serve a sick spouse, or be an ill partner? NO ONE. EVER. But neither do I want to be the one that makes my hurting husband feel worse when he’s already hurting…EVER.
I’m praying for you today, whoever you are, if part of your duo is sick. I’m praying for healing. And I’m praying that while you wait that you find the strength that comes in the waiting...from the Servant of all servants…that serves you.