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Mar 18 2013

Marriage Monday: Chronic Illness and Communication (New Series)

Marriage mondays

 

 

Chronic Illness and Communication in Marriage:

 

I hope that in the next few articles

 my words will be an encouragement and blessing to you

as I share from my heart

how God is growing my marriage

 - – even in the midst of trials and pain in my body – -

 

~~~

Over the past year, I have lost the ability to do all of the grocery shopping, drive a car, and keep up with all of the household responsibilities due to my new health challenges.  My life doesn’t look anything like it did even six months ago.  It has been a hard transition for me to go from being capable and confident in my abilities to keep up with my life each day to someone who has to ask for help.

It’s really, really hard for me to ask for help.

(I don’t think that I am alone in feeling more comfortable offering help than being on the receiving end.  Am I?)

~~~

I will be honest with you – I don’t like where God has me right now.  It hurts.  It’s humbling.  It’s uncomfortable.  I miss being able to make plans and keep them.  There are days I long to know the answer to my “whys” that I ask the LORD.  So far, He hasn’t given me an answer.

And, that’s OK.  No matter what the challenge, I still choose to trust His Love for me and His Plans for my life.  I rest on His Promises; His Grace enables my every breath each day.  I can see how He is growing me.  Stretching me.  Allowing me to slow down enough to see the hurts and needs of others.  Teaching me things I didn’t know that I needed to learn.

There is blessing to be found in the painful places.

 

~~~

One of the blessings of this time is that I have had to learn how to rely on and trust my husband.  

I look back and realize that before this time of health challenges, I was busy working to carry my weight in my marriage and family.  I felt confident that I was doing well keeping up with it all; many days, weeks, months, and years slipped by with things going on as usual. I considered myself a committed, submissive wife who communicated well with her husband. 

What I didn’t realize was that I was acting like a Lone Ranger in my marriage.   I made many of my daily decisions without thinking of “bothering him” for his input.  In addition to that,  I wasn’t looking to my husband to meet many of my unspoken needs.  I didn’t want to be too needy so I “let him” be a husband to me, according to what I thought that looked like.  I trusted him not to hurt me, but I didn’t give him much room to have a chance.

~~~

For over 10 years I missed out on the blessing that comes from looking to your spouse to serve and meet your needs in that spiritual cycle of mutual submission….

~~~

The key from moving from just  being man and wife to having a marriage of deeper intimacy is centered on communication – and I lacked the ability to open up and really communicate with my precious husband.

~~~

I didn’t grow up with safe people in my life.  When sharing from my heart, many times my feelings were hurt by others who would use that information that I had shared against me.  My ex-husband never proved to be a safe person… and I learned to guard my heart from being hurt by anyone else again.

If I could take care of myself and only share my heart and deepest needs with the LORD, isn’t that enough?  It was, for a while, but things came to a head when I had to face the hard reality of how my life had changed:  I wasn’t going to be able to be a Lone Ranger and deny that I have “needs” in my life anymore.

- – - * When you get to the point that your physical body gives out on you, you learn what it means to ask for help.  Without help you will not be able to get up off the floor when you fall  -  or  - get out of bed when you are too weak to do it by yourself. * – - -

~~~

Although I am in a very hard place, I am so grateful for this time.  I am grateful for a husband who really does want to help me and serve me with the strength of God holding him up.  I don’t take any of that for granted.  I am very, overwhelmingly blessed.  I daily thank God for my husband…

It’s been a hard journey to come to a place where I am able to share my heart without worrying about acting too needs or hearing a big, scary NO; by God’s Grace and help I have been able to learn how to be a better communicator with my husband.  It has taken baby steps, but I am getting closer – - – and, we are growing into a deeper intimacy each day as a result of my surrender in this area also.

~~~

I don’t have all the answers – I am still on the journey – but, this is what God has encouraged me to do when it comes to communicating with my husband as he seeks to be a help and a loving support to me as we face this trial, together:

  1.  Establish a running communication between the two of you – and seek to be an encouragement to HIM through these messages.  Touch base somehow during the day when he’s gone. Send texts, emails, call during this lunch break.  Get creative!  :-)
  2. Explain that you need him to do (X).  Let him know how much it will help you.  When he does it, say thank you and show your genuine appreciation,
  3. Have him come with you to your doctor’s appointments.  It really helps for him to hear things from your doctor(s) and ask them questions directly.
  4. Be honest – but kind.  Know that he desires to hear from your heart but how you say things matters more than the words you say sometimes.
  5. Stay in communication with your Lord.  The foundation of intimacy with your husband is a deepening, daily time of intimacy with your Lord.

 

May you grow closer together through the times that would seek to bring you apart,

may the LORD be your Foundation and Guide as you hold on even tighter to each other,

and may you find yourself deeper in love with each passing day.

 

1 Corinthians 13:8a - Love never fails.

 

To God be the GLORY!

Gina Marie

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About the author

Gina Marie

Gina is thankful to be on the journey of Hope to be found in the LORD and His Word. She is blessed to be married to her precious husband Randy and to be the full-time homeschooling mom of three kids: one teen girl, one pre-teen girl, and one son still in the single digits. Her days are full and she is always trying to keep up with the details, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. When she isn't writing here, you can find her at http://ginaweeks.wordpress.com/.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/2013/03/18/marriage-monday-chronic-illness-and-communication-new-series/

  • http://www.surrenderedlivingnow.com/ Mary Joy Pershing

    Gina Marie,

    I know what you are going through has to be so hard. I am so blessed to read how God is ministering to you right now. What an amazing gift is happening in your marriage because of what you are learning through your time of physical illness. Isn’t it amazing how God does that?

    I remember that in my own marriage with Will we both had a similar lesson as he learned to be more interdependent with me in our marriage as God helped him to start being more comfortable sharing his needs while he was going through the recovering time with his seizure disorder. It was very hard for him too but as he opened up more our relationship deepened and that is a gift I will always treasure.

    I know that this lesson also applies to me now, even though my husband is in heaven. God is teaching me to trust Him and open up and be more honest with myself and others as to what I can do and what I need help with or just can’t do right now. I love how the marriage relationship teaches us so much about our relationship with God and others too.

    I am so blessed by how you are sharing your heart with us and in the process making all of us stop and think about our own situations and how we are communicating.

    God bless you sweetie! I am continuing to pray for you as you walk this difficult journey.

    Blessings!

    Mary Joy

    • Gina Marie

      Your words are a gift – and you are such a blessing to me.

      Thank you for sharing your heart… and allowing us to hear how God is growing upi in this area.

      Love, you sis.

  • Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    Another great and inspiring post. This really spoke to my heart and the place I’m in right now. Thank you for openly sharing your blessings as well as your struggles. I have a friend who is in a similar situation and I’ll be sure to share with with her as I think it might uplift her as well. I’ll be praying for both of you ladies; you’re a blessing!

    • Gina Marie

      Your words were such a blessing to me, Faith. THANK YOU so much for sharing this from your heart. Grateful that God can use my words to be a blessing and offer support though this WWW we share; may God be praised.

      I enjoyed getting to know you better through your blog/website! May God bless you and yours as you look to Him to be your All in All.

      Blessings,

      Gina Marie

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