In Sickness and in Health: An Ode to a Different Kind of Labor Day

Lisa Cherry —  September 3, 2012

lisa_and_doug_cropBy Lisa Cherry

“…In sickness and in health…” No one ever wants to believe those words will have any real application in their marriage.

When I stood at the altar 31 years ago, that seemed to be something distant to my mind. Something reserved for old age. This past month I had my first real encounter of the depth of those words.

I have always enjoyed amazing, supernaturally blessed health. With a strong countenance I brought forth ten healthy babies, which is quite a testimony to the Lord’s power.

 But when a diagnosis of a torn rotator cuff necessitated a very difficult surgery, suddenly my strong countenance and quick come back wavered.

It took my husband and me by surprise. But isn't that how most of those ‘in sickness’ experiences are? They come as unwelcome intruders—time and emotion robbers that we dread.

As days and nights gave way to some of the most intense pain I've ever encountered, my soul was in anguish. Leading my household was impossible.

In fact my heart, though it wanted to cry out to my Savior, was deeply disturbed, exhausted and confused.

Perhaps it was the sleep deprivation or maybe it was the bad reaction to the narcotics. Or maybe the pain had simply chipped away at my spiritual confidence.

Whichever it was, in the middle of those desperate nights I discovered the true meaning of the vows my husband had taken. He was my "laborer," my tender knight in shining armor. ← tweet  Helping me in and out of my bed, delivering me my medicines, and calming my frantic heart.

He could have moved to the other room to get some sleep himself. But he chose to sit by my side lovingly and gently leading me back to my true Shepherd.

“Honey, listen to this song,” were his words as he would set m Ipad to play. “You remember how the Lord has always come through for you? He will do it again.”

My middle-aged mind began to wonder if old age was creeping in. Would the pain never stop?

Would my husband somehow have to take care of a bedridden wife as well as a house full of children?

I'm eternally grateful that the Lord has moved on my behalf and those fears are not being realized. But out of the dark night has come renewed love and appreciation for the man who walked his bride down the aisle from that altar some 31 years ago. And for my Bridegroom who will hold my heart for eternity.

Marital oneness? It is often found in the most unlikely places. The joy of the sunrise, the snuggling together under the warm blankets…those are all beautiful and nice.

But my dear sisters, it’s the ashes of those ‘in sickness’ times that our Heavenly Father can redeem into a magnificent beauty on the other side.

Check out the previous posts in this series:

Gratefully linked to:

Marital Oneness Mondays

Marriage Monday

The Better Mom

Welcome Home

Sharing His Beauty

Titus 2 Tuesdays

  • http://twitter.com/Affair_Care Cindy at Affaircare

    Like you, I have experienced the blessing of wonderfully good health and the joys of seven amazing children.  But unlike you, my "in sickness" journey has not been a test for myself (a test I'm not so sure I would pass, as I'm not a very good patient) but for my Dear Hubby.  He has Chronic Fatigue and I have learned that commitment in a marriage means that I will faithfully stand by him, ministering to him physically by helping with medical care, medications, encouraging him to exercise, massaging his aches...everything.  

  • http://www.frontlinefamilies.org/ Lisa Cherry

    I am humbled and challenged by your loving comment. Thanks showing me the other side.....

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