Have you ever heard “when life gives you lemons make lemonade”? Well, I once heard a GREAT sermon at Covenant Church Texoma where he said “whoever invented that theory assumed that you had sugar because lemonade tastes really bad without sugar”. And yes, I agree!
Well, I have a friend from Texoma who is walking through the fiery furnace. Her life is living proof that the rain, winds, and storms hit both the wicked and the righteous, the just and the unjust, and it is so true that life is NOT fair (and the Bible doesn’t say it is by the way). I would not dare give this wife and mother advice because I would not dare pretend or assume that I could EVER carry her load or put myself in her shoes. So, one day in an attempt to offer whatever encouragement I could to her, I text her “Well, if you are going to have to go through the fiery furnace no matter what, I am glad that God is in there with you and I hope you have marshmallows and chocolate so that you can make smores while you’re visiting.”
So… just the other day, my dear Faith hero sent me a text message of encouragement out of nowhere. She said “Hey friend!! I was thinking about you this morning while I was getting ready to bring Derek to chemo… Just so grateful that we met!! I enjoy your blog 🙂 You inspire & encourage me 🙂 … That is all 🙂 Keep up the good work ;”… “& yes I’m making smores!!”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. This was like the president calling to let me know he reads my newspaper article each week. I mean PUH LEEZE this girl is a modern day Hebrews 11 girl that would have been listed in the Hall of Faith had it been written during her era. Her street credit and life experience is unbelievable and she is MY HERO and the person that comes to my mind when I think of someone who is an amazing wife and mom.
Sidebar about street credit – I will only receive advice from people who have walked the walk. Anyone can talk the talk but if you want my ear you have to be a doer not just a knower. Forget head knowledge, give me heart knowledge and a seasoned vet any day. So, speaking of her street credit…
For the past 2-3 years I have secretly watched this woman – in private like a true silent stalker of course – wanting to ask her how in the world she manages the situation that she’s in. If I recall correctly, her husband was diagnosed with terminal, non-treatable cancer many years ago. They have been married 19+ years, and have 4 kids (ages 6, 10, 14 & 16). She’s that amazing wife and mom who even homeschools the children, helps lead in church, and prays for everyone. For years they prayed and managed his symptoms the best they could. And then last year the disease really began violently attacking his body. The tumor in his leg became so toxic that they had to amputate it. He is completely dependent on his wife and is unable to work. They are literally living by prayer day by day as God meets daily needs financially and medically.
I have always wanted to ask her what advice she has for others. And most importantly to my selfish motives, what marriage advice she has for me. If she could tell me anything based on what she knows now, what would it be?
So, Sunday I finally asked her what advice about marriage would she give me at the end of the day. What matters and what doesn’t? And her advice opened my eyes so much that I just HAVE to share it with others. She said:
“I hate to sound hateful or judgmental. It’s just the season I’m in causes me to want to savor every second, good or bad with him. For instance, a friend the other day mentioned being so mad at her husband that they went the whole day without speaking. Honestly, I’ve been there. BUT, at this point in my life I can’t even imagine being mad at him. And seriously, is there anything in our lives worth NOT speaking to the one you love the most for A WHOLE DAY!!! That’s a WHOLE day wasted!!! That we can NEVER get back. I’m going to be super honest right now… Our marriage is different now… completely upside down. All that selfish “what you do for me” crap is gone. On a bad day he doesn’t leave the bed. I do EVERYTHING for him. Feed him, clean out his urinal, etc. I used to be completely selfish. It was important that he remembered flowers for no reason, sex often (I’m being completely real and transparent). Those thing aren’t happening right now. I miss my best friend & lover sometimes, most days. But the bad days … are even a joy & are worth the few days when he does feel good and we can have conversations!! Forget rules!!! Forget his dirty socks on the floor two feet in front of the hamper. Let the house get dirty!!! Let all the stupid unimportant crap go!!! “LET IT GO.”… Lay in the bed for hours with your man. Enjoying … Wine!!! LOL & chocolate & conversation & each other!!! Sometimes the battle now is holding on to hope and it’s hard to watch him suffer. But the hope that we will have all that we had before makes it all worth it… our marriages are worth fighting for. I’ve been blessed, even on the bad days… Derek continues to teach me!! I know what true strength is. Strength really can only be revealed in weakness. Cancer strips a man. Of a lot. It sucks. But my man has proven his true strength…”
So yesterday while my husband was off of work, I hit the pause button on my life. I took a day off myself and took a time out to follow Misty’s advice. I went with my hubby to the golf course, we shared a dessert that’s forbidden on my diet at lunch, then we spent the afternoon before the kids got home from school cuddling and writing in our prayer journal. We ignored the very long “to do list” that is always there and just spent the day together like it could be our last.
Thank you Miss Misty for all of your amazing advice and for speaking into my life as powerfully as you have. I so admire you and promise to remember and follow your advice. You remind me of the verse “keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and give honor to God…” You are SO honorable. And we are praying for your family girl. I really hope and pray that God will SHOW UP AND SHOW OFF and show His glory to all through your situation.
UPDATE: Misty replied to me to this blog saying “It’s definitely the Father in the fire w/us… & I think it’s the rest of the body of Christ who shows up w/the chocolate, marshmallows, & graham crackers for the s’mores!!! Ha!”. Yep, gotta love that girl.
And I even found her a fiery furnace theme song – Burning Ones by Jesus Culture.
You can also stay updated about Misty and pray for their family at http://pressleys6.blogspot.com