I think I am a super shallow person. Like, my contentment is really fragile and based on, well, a shallow/trivial set of circumstances I see as acceptable.
Before you get all judgmental, let me explain. Then, by all means, judge away.
The last three weeks have been horrible. I mean, not super awesome. Stephen’s surgery went. That’s it, it just went. It didn’t go well, and I’m sure more could have gone wrong. So, in an effort to remain semi-positive and keep people from feeling too sorry for me, I’m just saying it went. It’s over. We’re home, he’s slowly recovering and my wound packing skills are basically perfect.
There were many nights in the hospital where Stephen and I just cried. There were a few points where I straight ugly cried and sobbed in front of nurses. There was a lot of pleading with God. I don’t think I’ve ever really spent entire nights praying and seeking God in my entire life the way I did these past three weeks.
There were some moments where I was kicking and pulling toward the surface with every once of strength I had, just to get a glimpse of the sky and fill my lungs. No matter how hard it was and how weepy I felt, I refused to forget all God had done before. He’s never, in the history of everything, failed. That pushed me forward.
But it still sucked.
And all that sucking, made me realize a lot about myself. Mainly, as I said, that I am shallow.
I want things easy. I want things ‘normal’. I want to sleep in my own bed every night. I want to be spooned by my husband. I want to grocery shop without complications. I want to not bring an IV pole to dinner. I want my husband to wear jeans. I don’t want to know how to flush drains, run PICC lines or change ostomy bags. I want a closet to store things in that do not include shelves and boxes full of medical supplies. I never want to go to United Hospital again in my life. I don’t want to think about having a new born and going through surgery again. I want my husband to not have anxiety about everything that happens to his body.
I realized, unfortunately, that my happiness is very much tied to these things, and things like those on the list. That, maybe, I think I deserve a ‘normal’ life. That I am entitled to a healthy husband.
No one, unless they’re already so when they say them, ever thinks seriously about the ‘sickness’ part of the ‘in sickness and health’ part of the marriage vow. At least not in their 20’s.
Apparently, I didn’t think that one through before I said it. Love is fun when it’s well, fun. When it’s easy. When it’s unchallenged. Love comes easily and quickly for others when your circumstances meet your expectations and acceptable situations.
When things are hard, when they’re messy, when they’re dirty and mess up your plans and your back and compromise your comfort, well then love seems to come a little slower.
Or at least that’s the ugliness I’ve seen in my own heart.
All I can think is that this is the best parenting book we could have ever read. That love, real love, isn’t pretty or easy or soft or gentle 100% of the time. That it really, really requires a death of self.
I can look at Stephen and say, with certainty, that I have never loved him more. I love him more than I knew I could love another person. And, thanks only to God, I know that when things get real, I can shove myself out of the way long enough to do what needs to be done.
This isn’t really a fluffy post, and there isn’t really a conclusion. But, that’s life. And love, apparently too.