I don’t know if you’ve heard the story of Ian and Larissa. I am quoting from Larissa’s blog from April 22nd with the following post. Underneath the link are some writings from my friend Helen’s Caring Bridge website for her husband, Matt, who has a brain tumor. I think everyone who lives with someone with hidden disabilities can relate.
On Friday after work, it was warm in the 70s, the end of the day was on my mind followed by two more work-less days. Driving home with the windows down, I watched as people were jogging, playing tennis, sliding down the homemade slip-n-slide outside their college apartments. My desires to “do something” were growing. And I was so glad to not be at work.
But then I got home and saw Ian sleeping, so tired from his cold, and not able to go for a run with me. Or even a walk. And his disability again freshly became mine. And I had to try to fight to let my desires to go out and enjoy something die.
This is what it’s like to be married to someone with a tbi. I imagine it’s the same for someone who is chronically sick, or has special needs, or who is dying. Their sickness becomes their spouses sickness. I have a brain injury, just like Ian. Because when we became one flesh, I gained his sorrows. Just as Jesus was a man of sorrows and has shared in them with us, I share them with Ian. And while it is a gift of marriage, it is painful and sad.
We could probably write a whole book on this topic alone. Because it changes everything about our life, even mine. But Jesus knows it more deeply than us, and if we can just rest there, we will be filled.
Thank you, always
My friend Helen added:
This helped me understand why I feel so sad much of the time. Matt and I are one flesh. His sorrows are mine and mine are his. I am able to do things he can no longer do and while I’m grateful to drive, enjoy the kids, live without pain every moment, etc…there is a sadness that accompanies me as I’m doing all of these things. I’m always aware of Matt and that he is not with us or of what he is not able to do anymore. When I see him walk with his left arm hanging there or each time he smiles at me with his crooked smile or when he’s sleeping in the middle of the day or on his i-pad playing games for hours it makes my heart sad. And Larissa helped me to see that it’s normal to feel that way. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing. There is peace in my heart, we have times of laughter, I am thankful to God for so many things but life is not as it once was and it’s not as it should be. God created Adam and Eve in that garden as perfect humans. There was not cancer, pain, sadness, sin. But when sin entered the world all of that changed. And yes, I believe God is sovereign over all. I believe that He uses ALL things for our good, even brain tumors, BUT they are a result of the fall and one day…oh one day…it will be different. Rev. 21: 1, 3-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Amen.