Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Calvary Love . . . in my husband

When I think back over the last thirteen years of my life there is one constant thread binding the story.  Before I really knew what Calvary love really was; Before I had tasted real Grace that changes you from the inside out; God gave me Dan.  I separate my life into chapters easily.  I know telling the truth out loud about those years before Dan will someday be important.  For now, I can only tell you Dan's love saved my life as surely as God's love saved my soul.

"I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I've heard
Is a good place to begin

We WERE able to get away on Sunday afternoon.  Our plans changed last minute, because I was still feeling pretty blah and Dan's back had been hurting.  Knowing how much driving we had coming up for our Cincinnati trip tomorrow we decided heading north to attend the "Songs and Stories" concert was just too much.  I was very disappointed not to be able to share that experience with Dan, but I knew we needed to just BE together more than anything.  I was able to give the tickets away to someone who would really be blessed by them which gave me great joy.  We decided we would head to our anniversary spot, Gervasi, for a Sunday supper.  It turns out God had been planning this perfect getaway for us.  He took care of every detail, and we ended up staying the night in one of Gervasi's new Villas.  It was like we were home.  It was simply amazing in every way, and we both agreed it was the best date we have EVER had. 

One of the enduring things about our marriage is how much we truly like one another and love being together.  We do not take this for granted after all this time and all we've been through.  Walking down the brick path after our amazing meal, the sun setting and the torches lighting the way back to the Villa, we held hands and all was right in that moment.  Curled up in the big four poster bed watching the fire, I was able to snuggle beside Dan with my head on his chest for the first time in months and months and listen to his dreams for our family.  He shared his new found peace with where we are now.  He asked me if I believed we would really move past all this in the future.  He told me why he does. 

My heart trusts him.  To hear him verbalize something about our tomorrows besides being "stuck" gave me the very hope I was needing to move forward.  He rescued me and faithfully loved me when I was so unloveable.  He has always believed in the promises we made.  He has laid down his life, his wants and his needs over and over again to care for the girls and I.  He's shown me Jesus when I couldn't see Him anywhere else. 

'Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for

Tomorrow morning we will get in the car with our little Danica Jean and make the long drive to Cincinnati again.  We will watch Danica be put under anesthesia and taken away from us for several hours.  We will sit together waiting and praying.  We'll go to recovery, and I'll cry when I see her sweet face.  Thursday we will head back to the hospital to see Dr. Crone, Danica's neurosurgeon, to go over the scans.  We will wait and wait.  We will see children and families all around us who know all too well what these days do to your spirit.  We will give a sympathetic glance to many, and they will understand our hearts.  I will pray for them as they pass us crying their own tears, wearing their own battle scars from a story they would give anything to rewrite a different way for their child.  We will go into a small dark room, and Dr. Crone will put up the images of our girl's brain and spinal cord on the wall.  I will hold my breath waiting for him to speak.

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love's chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

Friday morning I will see Dr. Brad Tinkle, the geneticist at Cincinnati Children's who specializes in patients with genetic connective tissue disorders like Ehlers Danlos.  I have a million and one questions to ask.  I am not well versed in this new challenge.  I want to be equipped to lived the healthiest life I can with the limitations God has given me.  I want to give Danica the best chance too.  I know this means other big changes for us and our family.  I am trying to prepare my heart and mind for the responsibility and gift of seeing this gifted doctor.

Through all this my Dan will be there, sharing in each moment and loving me and supporting me even when he cannot understand or does not agree.  We will drive the same roads home mostly in quiet.  We are always completely sapped of strength and feeling a little lost no matter what answers we receive.  We are always reminded this is a life long journey God has asked us to take.  We go back again and again to His faithfulness and mercy to us as we put one foot in front of another.  I will reach over and rub his neck while he drives.  We will quickly steal a glance and say the words that could so easily lose all meaning but do not, "I love you."  I will put on a CD of our life songs, and we will hear Andrew Peterson sing about us,

'Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

'Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

I look at my husband, Dan, and see more than human love.  I see Calvary love.  We will keep dancing.  We will keep sailing.  We will keep doing hard things because we promised and His promises are true.  Our hope remains.

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