I just finished reading Ann at A Holy Experience today (2/01/2012). Her writing today is a beautiful expose on love between a man and a woman and how that love makes each complete. It is more than that but you have to read it for yourself and cry your tears, and laugh with joy as she describes it so well.
I couldn't imagine life without Larry, without his shoulder to cry on, without his ear to listen, without his wisdom, without his love, his arms, his strength. He was my rock and my life revolved around him.
And then on February 13, thirty-five years ago, life changed. A car accident left us a changed husband and father—a child-like man who needed our care, our understanding, our love day after day, week after week.
A few years after that accident I confessed to a preacher who had come to share during a Spiritual Life Conference in a country church that I felt guilty about something....."You see," I said, "I don't really love my husband, Larry, now a child, like I did before—for those first 8 years of our marriage—before he changed. I don't love him like that anymore....."
He took my hands and told me his story....his wife, after bearing 5 children, had a total breakdown and spent all of those little one's growing up years in their state's mental hospital. She was suddenly released when the youngest was a senior in high school and then he had cared for his wife, she wasn't better but in his care, until she died.
Looking in my eyes, he said, "Love is not a feeling. Real love is a decision—a decision to love no matter what the other person can or can't do for you. Don't ever forget that. Love is not a feeling."
God and his steadfast love and faithfulness have never failed me. It is His arms that are around me. It is His strength I depend on. It is His love that surrounds me, that holds me as I continue to love my husband.
Has it been easy? Never. Have I failed? Often. Do I ever wish for my other Larry? Many times.
But God in His goodness planned this path for us. Why?
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as
we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are
unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that
are unseen are eternal." II Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
[the last picture includes Larry and I at my dad's 95th birthday celebration "Happy Birthday, Dad!" Check it out.]
The act of writing, of sharing the circumstances, the gifts and the graces planned and carried out by my Savior and God brings joy, peace, and contentment to know that He has my life in His hands. My prayer for those who read, who share in what I continue to learn each day, many times through my weakness, is that you will be encouraged to look for God's presence and grace in your life also.