It has been a difficult couple of years. I have fought a lot of self-pity. "Woe is me. My life didn't turn out the way I wanted. This is hard work. I don't like it."
From the outside, it may seem like the fact that my husband had a stroke should be "no big deal" by now. "Hey, it's 2 1/2 years later. Accept it and move on." I accepted the stroke itself within the first six months...by repeating to myself over and over and over, "My husband had a stroke." It was very unreal, so I said it to myself and out loud to everyone I met until I accepted it. Then it was, "My husband is disabled." To the cashier at Meijer. To the guy at the greenhouse who helped me to load wood chips onto a cart. To the people who came to my yard sales.
Then it was, "Will I have to work full-time for the rest of my life?"
Then, "We have to file for bankruptcy."
Then, "Our marriage will never be the same."
Then, "God....You let us down."
When I was young(er), my vision for my life was this: Know, Love and Serve God. Get married, have kids, raise a family of prayer warriors (a word God spoke to me when I was a missionary in the Philippines), and become Super Wife and Super Mom. Can you guess what didn't happen the way I wanted it to?
The time has come. I am challenging myself, my children, my husband, and hopefully all who read this: Accept God's will for your life. I was reading Psalm 16, which I had dubbed as my "life Psalm" over 20 years ago. I wanted my heart to reflect what David said in the Psalm, "Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."
But my attitude has been far from this in dealing with the aftermath of the stroke. I accepted that it happened; obviously, I couldn't deny what in fact had happened. But I have been crying, whining, and complaining that God didn't swoop in and fix it all right away. Where was the miraculous healing? Where was my husband's Academy-Award-winning rally? Where was the new house and car that Ty Pennington should have given me? Where were my lottery winnings?
I hope you realize that I am exaggerating just a little, but it certainly didn't get easier when I had to work full-time in a high-stress job for a year after the stroke. It worked out peacefully for me to move to a part-time position, but that created more financial stress. It didn't get easier to deal with the depression and anxiety with which I've battled for years; in fact, those things became exponentially worse. My kids didn't magically transform into Spirit-led prayer warriors. And I most certainly did NOT become Super Mom.
Now, I'm faced with this reality: God has surely allowed my life to progress to the place where it is today; surely for His purposes, and ultimately for my salvation. Either I can change my thinking from "God, when are you going to do something about this huge mess in my life?" to "God, show me how I can serve you in this mess" OR I will continue to be depressed, miserable, and deceived.
Can you guess what choice I'm going to make?