Waiting at the Tomb | Where are you Mourning?

Image of Empty Tomb

Growing up a true Southern girl, Easter was always celebrated & church attendance was mandatory. All those years—I heard the same message. Jesus died a brutal death on a Cross, forgave his enemies in his suffering, and was buried in a tomb. After three days, resurrection burst forth from the burial-place and Jesus walked among his disciples. Death was overcome that glorious day. Just when the disciples had lost all hope, Jesus walked into the upper room where they were hiding in fear. They thought He wasn’t coming back. They thought the Romans won. His appearance restored hope that yes, His message of hope and grace and everlasting life was true. Hallelujah!

I did not consider the disciples actions until a few years ago when I went through a dark time in my own life. I remember weeping before the Lord speechless. Words could not even begin to express the depth of pain inflicting my heart. I couldn’t imagine how my life could ever be pieced back together. Have you experienced such a time?

Then came Easter. As I meditated on the story of crucifixion and resurrection, I noticed something for the first time about the disciples actions. And it was characteristic for my life at the time.

The disciples gave up on hope. I had lost hope.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, all twelve of Jesus’ closest followers hid in fear, assuredly praying the Romans wouldn’t find and crucify them too. Even though Jesus told them over and over that He would come back, when He breathed His last they went home and hung their heads. They gave up expecting Jesus’ promised resurrection.  

I can only imagine the period of great mourning that followed. The disciples had left jobs and families and dedicated their lives to follow Jesus. And after all they went through with Him, all the miracles, the boat rides, the gatherings of thousands—He lay lifeless in a grave.

So the disciples ran. Mourned their loss. Grieved the Roman’s apparent victory. And hid in darkness.

We all know how the story ends. Jesus rises from the dead triumphantly, fulfilling his promise not just to His disciples—but to the world. A promise to raise your life and mine from the dead.  The disciples seem ridiculous—hiding and crying about their dead Savior. Because the resurrection was always coming.

I knew I was living like the scared disciples. My life had turned out differently than planned and I could not pick up my  and cling to hope. I wasn’t waiting at the tomb, expectant the resurrection was coming. I was hiding in the upper room with the disciples—hopeless.

The resurrection symbolizes death to life. God raised His Son, Jesus, from the dead and promises to do the same for you and I. Not just in a prayer of salvation, but in every circumstance in our life. Car accidents take lives. Miscarriages happen. The man you love chooses. False accusations wreck careers. Moments of passion end twenty year marriages.  Infertility is diagnosed. Children feel abandoned. Dream jobs slip through fingers. But God promises this is never the end.  All will be resurrected in time.

Mourning and weeping always predicates healing from suffering. You can’t insist on happiness and expect to find joy. During this noted hard time in my life, God showed me that it’s where I mourn that matters. Three years ago, I carried out my days hiding in the Upper Room. I wasn’t weeping at the tomb, expectant that Jesus was coming back. That was, until Easter came and I chose to begin waiting at the tomb. Expectant.

The message of Easter is this: Jesus overcame death. He triumphed over suffering. He nailed shame to the Cross, never to have power again. The crucifixion always comes. Each of us will at some time or another face a dark period in our lives when all hope is lost.  Weep in these dark places. But do so with hope. Wait at the tomb in expectation.  “He’s coming back. He promised He would.”

Jesus promised He would come back—why didn’t the disciples believe Him? They allowed their circumstances to darken their hope. They forgot Jesus’s consistent promise:

“I’m coming back for you.”

He’s always coming back. If you face storms this Easter, I do pray you mourn and weep at the tomb. Expectant that Jesus will do as He promises:  raise your life from the dead.

How does this post resonate with you? Have you experienced such a time of grieving? Lost hope?

But First, Coffee | On Growing a Marriage

But first, coffee.

“Really?” I spouted out the bathroom door, glad Michael couldn’t see my rolling eyes.

“Sweetheart. It’s just something I want to discuss.” Michael replied in his usual level-headed manner.

“I can’t. . .I won’t. . .uhh, can we just talk about this later?” I almost couldn’t get the words out because of the building frustration.

I don’t remember exactly we were arguing about that summer morning. Or any of the other mornings for that matter. Because our first three months of marriage, I remember many days starting off on the wrong foot. I would leave for work feeling upset, confused about where we went wrong. It wasn’t everyday, but several times a month was enough to leave me exhausted. And clueless about where our communication breakdown was occurring. The evenings were great for us; we’d cook dinner, take walks, laugh, and enjoy being married. And then, those morning bickering sessions would creep in.

“I don’t want to talk about this now. PLEASE.” I would say, exasperated.

“But why are you shutting me out? I don’t understand why this has to be an argument. . .” Michael would respond.

One rainy Sunday (on our weekly coffee date) we sat across from each other and experienced that ‘aha’ moment that inspired this post. I may be a morning person, but I am [much to my dismay] not a morning relationship person. Sure, I may bound out of bed before six to run, blog, read, or pray–but when it comes to relationships, I’m not at my best before 8am. And Lord have mercy on anyone who tries to communicate with me before I’ve had coffee. Michael, in turn, realized that me putting in headphones to write a blog post or sitting quietly on the couch reading–made him worry that I was mad at him. He envisioned us talking over coffee at the breakfast table–and when our mornings didn’t meet his expectations, he would cling. He would offer to get me more coffee; offer to bring me whatever he thought I needed; and try to engage in conversation.

We learned more about ourselves that day. We learned how to better serve & love each other and in turn grow our relationship. Neither of us had ever lived with a significant other before, so we had no idea what kind of habits and preferences we brought into marriage.

Now? My sweet husband doesn’t say much of anything to me before 8am other than ‘good morning’ & maybe “how’s the coffee, beautiful?” I feel terrible even admitting that I prefer quiet in the morning (because after all, I LOVE talking to Mr. Real Men Don’t Text), but Michael is great about reminding me it’s ok to be me. He is more relaxed in the morning as well, knowing that my silence shows zero indication of how I feel about him. He knows that at 6:00pm, I’ll be ready to sit on the couch and spend hours with my guy. My hero, really.

I am deeply relational and receive energy from “people-time”. My love language is quality time. My love speaking truth to women and watch them come alive. I love telling women it’s ok to grieve and feel sad because without sadness, true joy never comes. I love reminding myself God is a good Dad. But I’m terrible at all of it if I don’t {each morning} drink my coffee and spend time talking to my Savior.

It’s hard to understand why marriage doesn’t suddenly cause selfless living and perfect harmony. I’m not sure why God didn’t make it any easier. But all this stumbling and trying to figure things out is producing a garden of well-watered goodness that will last a lifetime. A rich relationship that will not be uprooted by the storms of life.

Waking up next to a man who captures my heart again and again is, in a word, wonderful. More than I ever deserve. Let’s dream about the future, love. I can’t wait to discuss where we’ll live, how many kids will run around our house, and all the exotic countries we’ll visit. But first, coffee.

What is something you’ve learned about yourself in marriage? What is something you wish you could change about yourself?

An Uncluttered Life | Passage from Jesus Calling

Peace

“Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on with today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be beautiful simplicity about your life; a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.”

Jesus Calling

Any obsessive planners out there? If I could truly learn to live one day at a time, all the uncertainty of life would not continually shake my peace. Yesterday, God threw a wrench in what Michael and I thought He wanted for our future. Do I trust Him? Absolutely. I will write about how I trust God’s plans are better than my plans ALL DAY LONG. I could name 6 verses by memory that state that truth. But my heart clings to anxiety, wrapping it’s tiny little hands around fear. What am I holding onto? My plans for the future & how I want my life to play out. But as we learned yesterday, all this clinging does is bring a fistful of ashes.

I know the future is uncertain for many of you. If we hold tightly to anything, let it be the peace that stands even when we do not know what tomorrow brings. I pray your peace today comes from an uncluttered life at the Cross.

Is it hard for you to live one day at a time? How are trying to “work things out” in your life?

Fistful of Ashes | What are You Holding?

What do you love? Who do you love?

For me, I love my husband more than anyone in the world. I love my family. I have some very dear friends that I love deeply.

I also love to plan the future. I love writing and hope to grow this blog to 10,000 followers by January 2013. I love my goals for my life. I love when aspirations come to fruition and plans just work.

Michael spoke to the young adult group at church last week and shared his plans of getting married right out of college. (He wrote more about his journey here.) Graduation came and went and he was still single. “Ah, I’ll certainly be married by 25,” he shared. He was living in Germany at the time and wondered if he should move home in order to meet his Mrs. It wasn’t until he was 29–7 years after he wanted to be married–that his dreams came to fruition when I walked down the aisle towards him. Our entire wedding party erupted in laughter when Michael {at the reception} cheered and shouted, “I’m FINALLY Mr. Dean!”

It’s hard to pry our fingers off that which holds our affection. Opening tightly clinching fists and forgoing our need to control is a lifelong process. I’m still learning, daily it seems.

I want to live my life with open hands–expectant of what God will do with my detours, failures, interruptions, & plans. The greatest blessings in my life have come not in what I’ve planned, but when God wrecks my plans and swings open the doors to His. Natalie is just one example. The thought of becoming a missionary was enough to make me break out in hives, but I couldn’t walk away from her and not acknowledge that God was doing something BIG. Is God opening doors in your life now that you never before considered? Do you trust Him?

“It’s hard to let go anything we love. We live in a world which teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we’re left with a fistful of ashes.”― Madeleine L’Engle

Stop clutching and embrace the life for which you were created. Detours, interruptions, heartbreak, and failed plans are always the beginning of stepping into the extraordinary.

Have your plans recently changed? Has something happened that you can’t make sense of? What are you holding? What do you need to let go of?

You’re Going to be O.K.

My emotions grabbed my heart. I sobbed uncontrollably.

Hiding in a dark office, the feelings were all too familiar. The unanswered questions about Michael’s health left me ridden with anxiety and fear. The mile high medical bills seemed to remind me at every turn of my inadequacy. The uncertainty of the future turned my focus towards God. “Why is this happening?” “What are we to do?”

It was a familiar dark place. Confusion. Why questions. Feeling forgotten by God. But I’d been there before–in China, when my team fell apart. In college, when I suffered rejection. And throughout  my childhood, when I believed my circumstances were God’s punishment. As many of you know, God has never allowed even an ounce of pain to go to waste–but used it and continues to use it for His glory.

It’s hard to remember, isn’t it? I was so tired of fighting. I called Michael and told him, “I just want life for once to be easy. I’m sick of everything being so hard.” Have you experienced this moment before?

Finally, I wiped the mascara off my face & pulled myself together. It felt good to cry and let my feelings out. I grieved a loss of control last week. Control I never had in the first place.

Do we ever really have control? Are we ever guaranteed health? Wealth? Success? Control is an illusion and through this experience we are learning to open tightly clinching fists on what we believe we deserve.

Shattered Dreams, by Larry Crabb, states a powerful truth: “People who insist on happiness never find joy.” If we don’t grieve our losses, our confusion, our unanswered questions–then we never find joy.

My story is a testimony of light breaking into the darkest places. I lived without hope for decades until I trusted Grace to carry me out of the darkness. My life is outlined by redemption–and the truth that “God always, always redeems” is never far from my mind.

Madeline L’Engle wrote, “Maybe we have to know the darkness before we can appreciate the light.” I believe without being well-acquainted with darkness, we cannot fully grasp the overwhelming joy of living in the Light. If we do not understand the fear of losing our sight, we cannot begin to grasp the joy that comes as Light flings open the doors and tells us, “You’re going to be ok.”

Remember? He has overcome the world. Whatever you are going through today, I pray Light breaks in and offers you the warmth of hope, knowing that everything will be ok.

[Michael is doing much better now that his symptoms have gone away--but these moments were very scary and very real. He returned to work & for the most part we are back to life as normal. Please continue to keep us in your prayers! ]

Are you in a place where you want reassurance that everything is going to be ok? How do you deal with losing control? 

Give the Fat Girl a Break : On Telling Yourself the Truth

Image of girl sitting on a fence

After publishing Am I Worth Loving? Wrestling with Rejection, I have sifted through emails and comments from many and even cried over one. I cannot express how it hurts me to see you suffering and on top of all that suffering believing lies about yourself.

My college journals reveal several lies I wrote about myself over and over–many of which started as questions and over time morphed into answers. Am I worth loving? changed forms to I have nothing to offer any man. Am I good enough? to “I’ll never be enough.” 

STOP. I wish I could step back in time and sit down with Freshman Ruthie. I’d ask her what she believed about herself. I would ask her to stop and consider the messages even that day she has bouncing around inside her head.  And then, plead with her to cease speaking lies over herself and learn to recognize negative thoughts. Only awareness of our destructive thoughts can lead to healing.

What do you believe about yourself?

[I hate sharing this part]. Every time I walk into a Christian gathering, church, or anything Christian my mind tends to start racing. I’m not as good as these other women. I’m not a ‘good Christian’ like they are. I have nothing to offer. If they had any idea what I’m going through. . .

That might sound ludicrous to you, but it started when I became a Christian in college. Vanderbilt is a small enough school that if you have a come to Jesus summer — you can’t exactly slide into RUF and church the next semester unnoticed. Were people judging me? Probably some were. But for the most part, it was all inside my head.

Even now when I walk into church those same lies often come back if I’m not paying attention. I’ve sat through entire church services before thinking about how I was a no-good Christian because a “women’s retreat” was the last place I wanted to be on a Saturday.

Checking the Christian box won’t stop these lies from storming your mind. We have to actively engage in telling ourselves the truth. Will any man ever find me good enough? quickly changes to No wonder I am single. I don’t deserve a husband. I am pathetic/unworthy/unattractive/boring/insertliehere. Don’t ask questions  for which you already know the answer.

Are you worth loving? Christ died so that nothing could ever separate you from the Father’s love for you. Do you have what it takes? The Bible says with God, everything is possible. Are you good enough? No one is–we are all in the same sinking boat [church-going Christians, abortionists, politicians, homosexuals, hard-working moms] without Christ.

Are you fat? Possibly you’re overweight, but if you call yourself a fat girl all day long how will you ever find the motivation to lose weight? Will anyone find you attractive? If you believe you are unattractive, it will show in how you carry yourself and interact with others–and the thoughts will start to define you. The “I am unattractive” lie makes you unattractive even if you are flawless in beauty!

Where do you go from here? Self-awareness. I challenge you to pay attention to the thoughts flowing through your mind today. Write them down. Put a big fat x through each and write the truth next to the lies. If you struggle with constant thoughts about your appearance, stand in front of the mirror and TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH.

Your mind will not change overnight. But after months, maybe years, of learning to capture your thoughts and speak Christ’s truth over each–you will be free. And then you have to keep fighting for freedom that comes from knowing & believing the truth.

cartoon about taking thoughts captive“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Have you experienced the destructive nature of thoughts? What lies are you believing & what truths do you want to believe?

Am I Worth Loving? | Wrestling with Rejection

Rejection

In preparation to share my story at a Vanderbilt Greek retreat next weekend, I spent hours yesterday reading back through my college journals.

Several themes emerged from the pages, but I mostly wrote about desiring love. And rejection that seemed around every corner. I find it intriguing that when asked about my college years, I usually say something along the lines of, “Vanderbilt was great! I loved college”, but my journals show differently.

Everyone experiences rejection. We don’t get the jobs we apply for. We aren’t asked on a date to a formal or prom. We aren’t the class president. We experience break ups. I receive the most emails from women recounting rejection from a man they thought would be their husband.

Depending on where you are in your spiritual journey, rejection can surface deep questions about self. “Am I worth loving?”, “Is there something wrong with me?”, “Am I worthless?”, are a few questions I wrote over and over in my journals. Rejection can lead to deep self-hatred as I found in many failed dating experiences in college. What kind of questions do you ask when faced with rejection?

The spring of my freshman year in college, I picked up journaling after six months of ignoring God & prancing around fraternity row in midriff bearing shirts and wrote:

“So he calls me a bunch of times and wants me to come party in his suite. So I drank and went to towers. . .then basically ended up making out with him. He is such a great kisser–and didn’t even try to go farther. He kissed me like he loved me.

Today, he didn’t talk to me. Didn’t email me. Didn’t IM or call. It hurts–I feel so unloved, unattractive, and used. I hate myself again and again. I want him to call. I want him to want me. I want to fall in love. I want him to love me. . .

Whenever I look in the mirror, I see a girl hurting herself & others because she only wants to be loved.”

A few weeks after this entry, Mr. Come Party in My Suite told me he wanted to stop hanging out. I applied for a job as a camp counselor–at a camp I considered my “home away from home”–and wasn’t offered the position. The last journal entry for the year read, “Please God, do not let me be rejected again. I cannot take it anymore. . .or else I will have to wall my heart up and not feel anything.”

The rejection continued throughout college. I didn’t meet my husband. I wrestled with my decision to save sex for my husband. I may have “missed out” in college, but as a 26-year-old married to the love of my life, I cannot express how glad I am all those frat boys didn’t call me.

We must not quickly forget that when rejection takes the wind out of our sails, redemption is waiting to beckon our hope in a living God. This past Valentine’s day, Michael gave me a letter he wrote his future wife after a hard breakup. His words penetrated my heart, “My love, saying ‘no’ to her was in essence saying yes to you. I will continue to wait patiently for you.”

I believe all the rejection I faced in college was God’s protection. What if we started to see rejection differently–as protection from a loving God who has already accepted us.

“And Grace calls out. . .You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or pot-bellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted.’ Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.” ― Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

What is Grace telling you?

“100 Reasons Why I Like You” : A Love Story

“100 Reasons Why I Like You”—the email subject line that popped up on the screen was enough to make her stop and nearly squeal in anticipation. She turned on her favorite song to “set the mood” and started reading.

“I like how incredibly intelligent you are. I like how your intelligence is coupled with amazing humility. I think you’re beautiful. I like how you bake me cookies. I miss your smile right now and I just saw it yesterday. . .” Annie’s boyfriend listed out reason after reason of why he liked her. He liked her hugs and their “seat back” late night car conversations.  After listing 99 reasons why John liked Annie, he typed out the words “I can imagine a future with you.” {names changed for privacy}

She had to pinch herself to believe this was really happening to her. “A godly, handsome man likes 100 things about me?” She walked on clouds all day & giggled through our entire phone conversation later.

But 3 years ago. . .

“Do you think my past will keep God from giving me a husband?” Annie asked one day as we sipped ice coffee through green straws.

“Absolutely not. I think God is going to bless you with a better husband than you can even imagine at this point. He’s going to give you the best—because He loves you.” I responded.

Annie was new in her faith and she was struggling with a recent breakup. We had many conversations about dating and relationships similar to this one. Never easy, but always rewarding. Over the past five years, I talked her out of bad relationships, seen her distressed about friends marrying around her, & listened as she lamented that she’d never meet someone.

I love stories of God blessing those who wait for Him. I remember Annie looking at me across the dinner table one night saying {in a joking, yet half serious way}, “You ruined my life. If it weren’t for you I’d be married with a baby now.” If I’m honest, I was scared. I wondered if I should have just kept my thoughts to myself and let her marry a man I knew was wrong for her. Speaking the truth in love is always hard; saying nothing is the easy way out.

As soon as I talked with Annie yesterday, I thought of a verse I’ve held onto for years:

“With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us. . .is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” (Romans 8:32 The Message). Another version says God graciously gives us all things. I love the picture those words create.

I’m thrilled Annie has found someone who appreciates all her great qualities & even her flaws. It’s much later than she planned, but what if she had decided to give up on waiting and married whoever was available? What if she had grown bitter and believed God didn’t care about her? What if I hadn’t told her the truth?

The good news is we will never know.

Annie & John– I wish you all the best. Even if this doesn’t end in marriage, God has used your relationship to remind you both He is a faithful. Annie, you my sister are a shining light & I’m proud of you for trusting. Even when it felt dark. I love the picture of God’s goodness to us. He always gives freely. But it’s on His watch, not ours.

Have you experienced a time of waiting followed by God graciously giving you more than you imagined? Did you ever have a friend come along you and speak the truth? How did you respond?

An update on Michael: he’s feeling better and home from the hospital. We are continuing to pray for complete healing! Thank each of you for your prayers and encouragement during this time. We feel so loved!

God is a good Dad

“There are several concerning areas of inflammation on both the brain stem and the spinal cord.” The room started to spin. Dr. Lee continued, but his words fell on deaf ears. All I could hear was something was wrong with my husband. Seriously wrong. I tried to muffle my tears/snot/sobbing so he could finish….

“Do you have any questions?” he asked at the end.

Are you sure you looked at my husband’s MRI? Is there any way they could be switched? (I mean I’ve heard about switching newborns in the hospital–could it happen to brain scans?). Please tell me you called the wrong couple.

We hung up the phone & I felt weightless in that room stacked with books & boxes. Michael was in Atlanta taking his Greek test–and I was back in Nashville at work. Nothing could have prepared us for that phone call. He left Atlanta immediately with a promise to drive carefully.

As many of you know, we checked into the hospital Tuesday morning. Michael started steroid treatments to help decrease the swelling in his brain stem & spine. We saw doctors–lots of doctors. He had a lumbar puncture (spinal tap)  & I nearly fainted. I tried to sleep in a chair at the hospital, but to no avail. Nurses came in to check his vitals. We learned what a myelin sheath was and how to spell “transverse myelitis”. We heard all the possibilities of what he might have, and we banned ourselves from google.

We cried. We asked God questions. We begged for healing.

We are waiting. Waiting for the results of the lumbar puncture. Waiting for a diagnosis. Waiting to see if the steroid injections will help.

Questions we’ve both been asking: Why God? Why are you allowing this suffering? Are you punishing us? Did we do something wrong? Will you heal Michael? What is your will for this illness? Is this a test? And a question we’ve both recently learned:  “How can we glorify you in the midst of this?” It’s not coincidental that I recently wrote about asking how not why. 

We don’t know why God is allowing Michael to experience this. We don’t have an answer whether or not God will heal Michael. We can make guesses at His plan for all of this, but ultimately we don’t have a clue.

I’ve written about my struggle before not to see God as a cruel taskmaster waiting to hand out punishment when I screw up. I formerly lived in fear, almost tiptoeing around trying not to “upset” God. From an early age,  I believed that suffering must mean I’ve done something to disappoint God. One of the greatest truths that has only sunken in over the past year is simply this: God is a good Dad. This view of God as a loving Father has completely transformed my relationship with Him. (For more read God Isn’t Punishing You)

After we talked to the neurologist and I sat in that room with mascara all over my face Michael spoke without hesitation: “He is still a good Dad”.

We don’t have answers, but we serve a faithful God who has good plans for our future. What an incredible man I married.

Will you pray with us for healing? If you’d like to know how to continue to pray for Michael, please join our prayer list.

Do you believe God is a good Dad? Have you ever struggled with seeing God as cruel instead of loving when bad things happen?

E.R. Visits & Companions for Life

Last Tuesday started off like most Tuesdays do. Michael slept in after his late night drive back from Atlanta; I worked out in the morning and headed off to work around 7:45. The weather was beautiful and sunshine filled my heart.

But at 2:00, Michael called and said he was headed to the ER. He was experiencing double vision to the left and numbness on the left side of his stomach and back. His vision had grown worse since Saturday (after our 8 mile run). He complained about his vision after the run, but I assured him he was just dehydrated {I blame most complaints on dehydration:}. He talked with several doctors, and they all agreed: go to the ER to make sure it’s not a tumor (what?!) or anything neurological. I left work around 4:15 and finally was able to hug Michael and assure him everything would be ok.

If you’ve ever been to the ER, you probably can agree that there can’t be a worse place to sit and wait. For my international readers, America requires emergency rooms to see all patients–whether or not they have insurance–which is a huge blessing, but also leads to some interesting characters. I.E., I was the only woman who did not have a cell-phone hanging out of my bra. I digress…

Michael had a CT scan & several other tests run. The CT came back clear (no tumors) and we felt extraordinarily relieved. But then the neurologists started visiting. Two mentioned he might have MS (multiple-schlerosis). Others, didn’t venture a guess as to what was happening. I cannot tell you how emotional we both felt. MS felt like a death sentence. Michael held it together really well, and I tried to find ways to distract him from imagining the worst. After 10 hours, the MS possibility still loomed and they sent us home to come back the next day for a brain and spine MRI.

On Tuesday morning, I started a blog post about “waiting on God” and wracked my brain for a new story to share. I still haven’t written the post  because we’ve spent many hours in an actual waiting room. In my life, God has used periods of waiting to teach me to draw closer to Him. Waiting on God is designed to be refining–but it’s up to us whether or not we surrender to His will or keep demanding He take us out of waiting or make our lives easier.

Last night, Michael finally was able to get his promised MRI. We were back at Vanderbilt for over 5 hours. We played rock-paper-scissors {I won} & other mindless games the waiting room–because we were in desperate need of distraction. You know you’ve had a crazy week when the officer posted up at the door of the hospital says, “Are you still here? I thought you were here last week?” What else could I do but laugh.

When we finally came home last night, Michael looked at me and said, “You are the best companion”. I smiled and hugged him and said, ” this is the best part of marriage, isn’t it?” At 10:45, we ate hamburgers and french fries and sat on our couch and laughed. The best part of marriage is truly our friendship. Whatever hardships we face–we face together.

Please pray for wise doctors and positive results from the MRI. {Michael has exhibited  amazing courage and strength this week & I’m proud to be his wife.}

Have you ever been through a medical scare before? What kind of emotions did you experience?