|Back when we both had hair... ;)|
Since then I've told just about every married couple I've run across that every spouse should go through a "sacred moment" like that. Yes, It's difficult. Yes, it's excruciating. But it truly is a gift from God.
I never shared this on my original blog post but the first time I thought Kim had died (Jan 8th) I was at home putting the kids down for bed when a nurse called me crying (see HERE). She could barely get the words out but managed to choke out between her tears, "You need to come to the hospital - right now." You'd be surprised at how many thoughts can race through your head in just 20 minutes. One of the biggest things I wrestled with during that long drive was what would my last words to her be? If she was breathing her last what would I want to leave her with? Many different phrases and cliches came to mind - and although I hated that I had to even think of what I would have to say - the Lord gave me three words.
No. It wasn't "I love you."
It was simply, "Run to Jesus."
About halfway through my drive to the hospital I had settled in my heart that if upon running into her room I found Kim about to breathe her last I would just hold her head and speak those three words into her ear: "Run to Jesus." When I think about it - it still brings tears to my eyes.
Not five days later (on Friday the 13th - see HERE) we had another episode in which I thought I had lost Kim. She went unconscious right before my eyes (due to one of the chemo drugs) and everyone went "code blue". She came to but then she began to cycle through the most excruciating pain I had ever seen her endure (infusion reaction to the Rituxan). I remember as they were wheeling her into ICU she was so desperate for relief. She would push me away while still crying out "Help me!" - nothing is more humbling than seeing the one you love suffer in so much pain. I remember at that moment I stopped and prayed the most difficult prayer I've ever prayed. I said:
"Lord, if you want to take her home...please....go ahead and take her. I'm giving her back to you now."I was surprised I was even able to pray that prayer - but I'll never forget it. I told Kim about this the next day, and she started crying and hitting me saying, "Don't give up on me!" I felt so bad, but I had to keep telling her, "I wasn't giving up on you!" (of course, this is only funny now)
But seriously, I've thought a lot about those two prayers in the last few weeks. The one I would pray to Kim and the one I would pray to God.
|(HT: Christine M)|
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. -Revelation 19:6-7Sometimes when your theology meets life's darkest moments you're not quite sure how things will turn out. Will what I believe stand in the refinement of God's fire? Or will it be consumed like so much wood, stubble and hay?
I realized that, as so many of you have prayed, despite the intensity of that heat that my faith had not failed. (See this POST on 1/10/12 - which was written before the code blue episode on 1/13) And it wasn't because I'm a "spiritual giant" it was only because of God's grace and the faith He has granted that I could tell Kim to "Run to Jesus." and allow the Lord to "Take her home."
I know that ultimately my job is not to lord over her, but simply to love her, in the highest way imaginable...to love her "as Christ loved the Church" And my job isn't too change her into my own graven image, but rather to edify and sanctify her as Christ sanctifies the Church.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. -Ephesians 5:25-27This is no easy task and trust me - I can be a real jerk sometimes - even these days. But I'm praying for the strength and the faith to live up to Christ's commands and that is the best birthday present I can ever give her.
Happy Birthday love. In the words of Jack Nicholson, "You make me want to be a better man."
In His Love,
Peter & Kim