In 2009 I was finishing my last semester of college. I was going nonstop, super involved in extracurricular activities and managing a full load and a part time job. But something wasn’t right. My body felt weird. Different.
On top of all I was doing, I started going to the doctor to figure out what was really going on. When you go in and they say, oh nothing, you just need rest or you just - fill in the blank- you cannot stop if you feel it deep within that they’re missing something AND your body is reacting or acting in a foreign manner. So I persisted. And eventually, it got real.
When I realized that my life as I knew it may be changing in an unfavorable way regarding my healthy, I prayed. I said God, if I’m about to go through something please send me someone. It does not have to be a boyfriend or husband but a companion. Someone who will truly be there with me and go to doctor appointments with me and support me.
At this point, I didn’t know if I would get married. I wanted to but health issues...who really wants to deal with that? And I knew I’d have to let this person know what was going on. So I felt sad but persisted because that’s what we do right?
Here comes Orlando. We go on a date. We talk the rest of that weekend like 24 hours straight and we’ve been speaking every day since (uh and a little more than that lol but let me back up).
We just clicked. And became friends and fell in love. Really quickly. And then oh wait, this health issue
I told him I was going through some things. He was never too phased by it. We went to the hospital, he never made a big deal about it. He never made me feel like damaged goods. We went to the hospital a lot. He was my advocate. The doctors gave me a diagnosis. He told me I am no disease and that God had me and I would be well. He taught me faith. To believe no matter what I see.
I asked God to send me someone. I expected God to send me someone. I wanted it to be a husband. I told God that. But I also realized that it may be option 2 of my prayer; a sister friend, my mom, whomever God knew I needed. But he sent me O. And I am so grateful.
The doctors said what they said and O was a buffer. He wouldn’t let me crumble. He was so sure! A constant. Unmovable.
God sent me O and I am grateful.
I have not been the perfect wife.
I have let what has gone on in my body affect my mood and I have been mean at times as I teetered on the verge of bitterness, why me’s and God I’m done with you moments.
I was lost when my mom passed almost 3 years ago and I was not able to be present in my marriage as I tried to grieve and raise a new baby and a bigger baby.
But almost 8 years later we are still here and though life has been a roller coaster we are still best friends and he is still my person.
A marriage can end swiftly. It takes one major issue to get heavy enough and spouses bounce. We have stayed together through so many things that would break others. Health issues affect everyone involved.
Last night God gave me a visual. I was surrounded by fire (not hell lol. The fires of life, trials, pain). My head was down. I looked up and O was in front of me flashing his award winning smile. I looked up and into his eyes and I smiled back. Then I was able to look in from the outside. His back was singed by the fire but he was smiling and keeping me focused so I wouldn’t panic.
That visual made me so emotional! God gave me O to help me through this. But it also showed me that he is also going through this. He’s feeling my pain. Affected by my fire and still encouraging me, loving me, pushing me to be better (taking away my unhealthy snacks *eye roll*). He has been there with me every step of the way. Even when I was mean. Even when I felt like I was alone, even when I was complaining; he was there helping me hold it together.
God also showed me that HE is the one surrounding us both. I knew that but God needed me to be reminded. I needed to see that visual because when I tell you doubt has been trying to overtake me....
God is a buffer, he surrounds O and I so that the flames don’t consume us. He is our shelter. And he is our joy.
That made me rejoice! Because there is an alternative.
I could be sad.
I could be bitter.
I could be angry.
I could be unbelieving.
I could also be dead.
Yep, I literally could be dead.
But thank God I’m not.
And with each day I will continue to enjoy and be blessed by the life I GET to live.
It is imperfect.
I am visibly scarred.
I have pain.
But I am breathing. I have my smile. I have faith. I have my beautiful kids and O.
And I am so grateful...