Illness, Cures, Growing

We all eventually get ’em, perhaps extreme ones. Sometimes we get healed, sometimes not.

What I am learning is how one either walks with God in these moments of suffering and struggle or we take the route we used to take B.C. (before we followed Jesus) and self-medicate.

Wendi has taken the high road and regarding illness, I am best when I follow her. She’s been the courageous one. I’m trying to learn to love her in better and deeper ways and not merely be a spectator, live out of my emotions, self-pity or anger at her hurt and need.

I’m writing this in her hospital room a day after her first hip replacement surgery.

She’s dealing with the worst nausea she’s ever experienced. This is big seeing she’s always been motion sick and such. So we pray and the docs and nurses are working to get her pain meds in such a state that her stomach will cooperate. Not an easy time post-opp.

The operation went well and so the recovery time would be shorter, but of course rehab is what it is so pain is what pain is.

Thanks to all who have prayed, so many kind thoughts, and encouraging words! I’ve read most of them to her. I’ve prayed for her to get sleep somehow. Not easy as unlike me she’s only rarely slept well while sitting up. I learned to do that years ago flying so much, and last year when I was so sick lying down only made things worse. For a week I was able to get great sleep in a chair but it’s more uncomfortable for her and add i.v.s, etc. to this. You get the picture. Yet she cannot really lie down as the pain is too great. Sleep, welcome sleep!

There are times when one is so ill that sleep seems the only respite.

My own issues have been about learning how to best serve the one I love who has gone through so much suffering. In fact the all-too-often muscle cramps which are so difficult for her have been more or equal to the pain of the new hip so far. Again, thanks for prayers, the staff is trying out some different pain -and- anti-nausea meds on her tonight.

Some of this blog is due to the fact a number of folks have asked how I’m doing during this process. The truth is I feel several things- guilty that it’s her and not me in this pain of arthritis in all her major joints, the muscle cramps and all… sad I’ve not been more of a gracious servant and gift to her.

I don’t believe I ever really comprehended the tension and work that often accompanies more serious, painful illness. Not just hearing her words but understanding how to do what she needs done, to find this or that item she could no longer get out of a drawer for example. As a man, who knew they had stuff like that organized in drawers like that?! 🙂 So some of it is man/woman communication and understanding stuff.

Certainly both of us don’t hear well, that sometimes causes misunderstanding and in some moments, frustration on one or the other’s part. Extending forgiveness and apologizing more than ever has become quite the norm. We truly, deeply love one another and we both know this to be true. We pray and read the Word more than ever, come to Jesus for constantly for help through it all, so that’s all good!

Overall, God has certainly gotten my attention on serving in this past year and a half with the love of my life. Wendi is such a gift and worth my time and effort, but I fail so often to “get it”.

So part of my answer as to how I’m doing now is “Thankful the operation seems to be successful, also blessed to have so many incredible friends, prayer-partners and servants (especially our amazing friend Sharon) and a caring hospital (Swedish Covenant Chicago) with the best staff ever. I’m realizing more and more that cures are one thing, love is at times something else. Love cures even if “THE Cure” either doesn’t happen or takes a long time. Faith, hope and love even when suffering’s closure seems slim or none”.

I’m also aware as is Wendi that rehab will include the pain factor. Too, her other hip and both knees are eventually going to take us down the same roads. This disease can be very devastating and it is what it is.

Lastly, my own life has been quite re-arranged, so I’m even more careful about which gigs or speaking to do and when to say “Sorry, can’t commit right now with regard to Wendi’s needs”. I honestly have plenty of ministry to do via online, local shows and a few overnighters but have turned quite a few folks down as I just sense the need to be serving her more. So prayerful, pick-and-choose time for me re. music recording, shows and touring.

You might think that side of it would seem more of a loss to me than it does, but I’m very happy to serve where and when I ought to. Just hoping Wendi’s body will respond in the positive to her illness/s, and continuing to seek God for grace to grow and be the loving servant she needs and truly deserves.

As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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