Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Rest Of The Story


I am so proud of Michael for sharing from his heart yesterday.  I know it wasn't easy. But look at the response we've had from you, our dear readers.  His words, even the raw, painful words were real.  And you felt that, right? 
Thank you.
Thank you for your sweet, encouraging comments.
Thank you for the love.
Thank you for putting yourselves out there, and sharing the painful parts of what you are going through.
We all have those days.
We all plead with God.
We all want to know why, or why not or why not now? Don't we?

When we're in the middle of the storm like we were last Friday ('the storm,' such a "Christian" thing to say, isn't it? haha), it was uncomfortable.  My poor husband.  There was nothing I could do.  Nothing I could say that would make anything better.  All I could do was hold him, wipe the tears off of his face, and try to remind him that it would get better.

That night was Michael's Birthday party.  He had been looking forward to it for weeks.  I tried telling him, we'll get through this, I'll get you dressed, and tonight, all of your friends are going to be together, and we're going to have the best time.  And your heart is going to be so full.  It will be the opposite of how you feel right now.

Eventually, bless his heart, he cried it out. I cried a lot too.  But, I felt strong.  And normally, MICHAEL is the strong one, an I'M the one falling apart.  So me being emotionally strong is not normal!  I believe God works in marriages.  We have seen this with our own eyes.  When one of us is down, the other has super strength, that is strong enough to carry the other one. I know that strength did not come from myself.  Because I too was mad right along with him.  I was heartbroken.  I agree that it's not fair, that he doesn't deserve this, and that it's enough already.  

But, I was strong.  Because I was given strength and courage.
So, I did what had to be done.
In the bathroom.
In the bed, as I wiped his tears, and got him dressed and lifted him into his wheelchair.

And though we started that day at about 3:00 in the afternoon, with puffy eyes and red cheeks, we did it together.
And by 7:00, we were laughing and joking and eating and drinking with Michael's best friends.
I was so happy looking over at him, splitting an okay pepper steak (we have become quite the little food snobs) that we had done it.

We had made it to the other side.
With a little help from our friends.

*The middle photo is us mocking our drivers license pictures. I look like a bug-eyed serial killer in my DMV photo, and Michael looks like a happily drugged guy who had a stroke. :)


Tonja said...

You are so right, Dana, about one being strong while the other is weak. God is amazing that way. I don't think Robby and I ever cried at the same time after the initial pain of Kyle's death. One of us could always be counted on to comfort the other - not by choice but because God held us up and made us that way. Love you guys sooooo much!!!

LaDonna Ritter said...

I'm so proud of you, my precious Dana! I know how hard these times are for a mother. I cannot imagine how hard they are for a wife. God DOES give us strength, tenderness, compassion, and wisdom all at the right time. And, he brought you and Michael together at the right time. And I'm so thankful He did! I love you, my precious daughter-in-law!

Diane Moody said...

Love you guys.

Miller Callen said...

Dana & Michael,

I keep re-reading these posts and had to share a conversation I had with a friend of mine where we agreed that the "cliche" that "God never gives you more than you can handle" is really just b.s.!

It comes from a verse in the Bible that has been misinterpreted and twisted. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Life circumstances happen all the time that are too much for us to handle. Whether it's a broken neck, the loss of limbs, the loss of a child, or spouse, or loved one...ALL of these things are too much for us to handle. If we could handle these things ourselves, we wouldn't need God!

And so it goes, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:28-30.

And this is the place Michael has come to...

"Some days, like this weekend, it just comes to the point I cannot take it. I'm not strong enough to bear it all. There is nothing I can do to fix it. The one who supposedly can fix it doesn't. It hurts. It doesn't give in. It is always there. I would that it would all go away. When it doesn't, we suck it up and push through."

And you suck it up, push through, and by God's grace, make it through to the other side.

And for those who suffer, we pray the Holy Spirit will fill them to the brim and heal their pain, grief and despair.