Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4a
I TAKE YOU: A DREADED PHONE CALL
As I held the phone in my hands, I knew that it was time to make another hard call. It had been over a year since I had spoken with my family friend and counselor. She had helped me through some very tough times in the past, and even though I felt reluctant to share our latest news, I knew that the Lord was prompting me to share my need.
It’s not been easy to share the news of my husband’s terminal illness with anyone. How do you start a conversation like that?
“Hello, we’ve received word that my husband won’t be with us much longer.”
No, that’s too abrupt. Maybe this instead:
“Hello, we wanted to update you on our progress, as we are feeling the weight of our coming days.”
No, that’s a little too vague. I finally decided to just call and let the Lord lead the conversation. He knew what I needed to share, and what I needed to hear. And it was a beautiful conversation, with my friend asking the questions that I needed to face.
She wanted to know if we had found ways to truthfully communicate our feelings about the diagnosis with each other. I knew that we had only scratched the surface. So she suggested a couple of books that might spur our conversations to go deeper. I agreed that I would look into those.
But after I hung up, I realized that I had a wonderful resource from Chronic Joy already waiting for me on my bookshelf. I had wanted to read Cindee Snider Re’s book, I Take You in Sickness and Health, for several years, but the timing wasn’t right. Until the day I called my counselor.
I TAKE YOU: SHOWING KINDNESS
And so, on Sunday mornings during this summer of change, my husband and I have sat with the book and brought our hearts together to the Lord. And He has met us in ways that I could not have envisioned.
The first chapter spoke on Kindness, a topic that I had long been thinking of, especially with the Chronic Joy emphasis of “Kindness: Pass It On” that I kept coming across. However, I did not realize that in many little ways I had been showing UN-kindness to my husband throughout this exploration of our unique journeys with chronic and terminal illness.
While I knew in my heart that we each would process our illness journey in different ways, it had taken my head longer to catch up with my heart.
And so, as we took time to express our unique needs and desires for kindness, I saw such ways that my attitude needed to shift. I had been expecting him to bear his illness in the same way that I had learned to bear my illness. But he is not me, and his illness is not mine either. My heart began to see small acts of kindness that I had missed along the way. He saw things too, and we both held each other in prayer that first morning of study.
I would love to invite you to join me over at Chronic Joy to read the rest of today’s post.
Click here to read along, and to hear the audio blog that I was so blessed to be able to share.