Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Words are one of my things. As the years have passed by I have become more and more aware of the weight they carry. I often wince at how casually we toss them around.
That children's rhyme that says "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me" should never be taught to another child! Words are powerful and thus can hurt or heal.
With words we can build people up or tear them down and it is through words, along with actions, that relationships are built or destroyed.
If we are thoughtful, we will reflect on the words we speak before they are spoken. Yet, even once we have spoken in sincerity, how fully do we understand what it might mean to follow through on those words?
I've been thinking about the words of my marriage vows. What did they mean to me when I spoke them and what do they mean to me all these years later? Standing at the altar and speaking those vows no one really has any idea what challenges will come that will call upon an ever deepening commitment to those very vows.
Back then I honestly would have uttered any words for security; for the sense of belonging. Along the way keeping those vows was challenging, at times, and I can honestly say that we made it through truly by the Grace of God.
Before Ray's accident we had finally reached a good place, together. It had become a pleasure to uphold those words, for both of us.
These thoughts are a result of my conversation with the social worker at Glendale today. Actually, it was something she said that triggered this line of thought. We were discussing Ray's progress and my concern regarding his returning home. (by the way, they are requesting an extended discharge date of August 12th from the insurance company. Pray!)
She told me that I had to realize that this place we find ourselves in is not going to be a brief one, but that I can expect it to last for years. She also said that I need to adjust myself to the fact that he will need caregiving for quite a long time and that some of his problems will most likely be permanent.
What might be permanent? Well, the immobility of his left arm for one. He also has sensitivity on the left side of his chest and finds it very irritating to be touched. I found that out when I was sitting with him and, in a show of affection, lightly brushed his chest with my hand. In a tight voice, he asked me not to do that again.
So those words spoken over thirty years ago are taking on deeper meaning along with a need to find creative ways to uphold them.
To love and to cherish. I do. Now more than ever I need to do so with words and companionship.
Part of me wants to selfishly say, "Hey, how about the "to have and to hold" part??
In sickness and in health. Who ever imagines what this can mean? Yes, I say with trepidation. Not that I don't want to care for him, but I feel so inadequate.
And that voice whispers, "What about all you love to do? What about all you have been involved with?"
All I can do is take it one day at a time. Papa reminded me this morning that He has called His children to love at all costs. He does. He did.
He is going before us and He is contantly reminding me of this fact. I know it is true.
Anything that He allows in our lives is for a greater good than we could have experienced without the experience. I know this is true.
He promises that He will never leave me, nor forsake me and that He will give me the strength I need for the tasks I face. I know this is true.
I also know that He is carrying me right now. My heart grieves for my niece and all that she is going through and it grieves for my strong husband who faces such a long recovery laced with loss. Yet, I am confident that He has allowed these circumstances for a greater good. May nothing hinder all He desires to bring out of these hard places. Not even me.

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