A SNAPSHOT OF OLD AGE…

I wrote this last week but it took me awhile to process and edit.  It is long for a blog but I decided to leave it in one piece.

A DAY OF WAITING

I’m writing this on Tuesday evening after Ron’s prostate surgery (7/13/10).  I am weary.  I don’t mean I’m tired, I mean I am weary to the bone.   Pretty amazing since I have been sitting and waiting most of the day!  This is the culmination of our summer.  In a way, the planning of our year!  We learned that Ron would need this surgery in December.  We knew there wasn’t a rush, but his bladder was starting to show the strain of being partially blocked and this work needed to be done.  My feeling was “Let’s do it as soon as possible and get it over with.”  His was, “Let’s delay it as long as possible and maybe it will go away.”  That is a typical tension in our marriage.  It has always made for an interesting marriage and keeps us both on our toes.  He calms me down…when I listen to him (which is most of the time!).  I keep him moving forward with a challenge here and there that he chooses to implement or not in his own way.  We complement each other.

OUT OF SYNC?

Unfortunately, we have been out of sync in some ways the last couple of years.  There have been a lot of factors.  A huge factor has been my full-time 3-11 job.  In addition would be a major move that we still haven’t settled in from, a “career change” for him (now retired) and  of course our innate desire to serve ourselves and our personal agendas.  We had not anticipated the ways in which my job would interfere with our relationship.  I need a system and routine to function and get things done.  Since we have been back in Tyler, I have not been able to get into one.  Every time I get close, some major change comes along to ruin the opportunity. (Structure takes work for me.) It seems that our evenings were the times we did a lot of our encouraging and talking and positive helping of one another.  With more evenings together now (I’m part-time), we are doing better, but we developed some bad habits during that nearly 1 1/2 yrs. and have struggled since we have been back “home”…forcing us to lean on Christ in ways we haven’t before.

LIFE JUST SEEMS TO GET MORE COMPLICATED!

Anyway, shortly after we found out that surgery needed to be done, I had a seizure (after a six-year pause).  That always means six months without driving for me.  It also throws a huge monkey wrench into our organizational structure (such as it is).  No longer can I do certain errands and Ron do others.  We have to do errands together (if they are my errands) or Ron can do his separately.  It takes a gouge out of his schedule and cramps mine a LOT!  With the seizure came the decision to delay the surgery until I could drive again so we set the surgery for today’s date, July 13.  Once again, OUR plan was thwarted by my second seizure shortly before I was to drive again!

GOD IS FAITHFUL AND CAN BE TRUSTED

After years of walking with the Lord, raising children, seeing the faithfulness of God both in our family and up close in the lives and families of people in the churches we have served, you might think that we would just brightly and cheerfully smile and trust God with joy and excitement when the challenges of life come along.  I wish I could say that we do. It does happen sometimes, but when we feel trapped in a corner with walls on every side, we react in the much the same ways as many of you do.  We are afraid, question what is going on, go inside ourselves and often take our eyes off Christ.  At times it even spirals down to “Why me?” kinds of thinking.  It is a mess!  That is one way we are similar.  I get way more down than Ron, but we get very quiet when we are worried or processing our struggles.  We are much more likely to  at least partially process them before sharing them with each other because we don’t want to add to the other person’s load.  (I’m not advocating for this, I’m just telling you what happens.)  It makes for a quiet house at times, believe it or not!

It was such a relief when Ron’s surgery went smoothly and well.  We have had enough things go wrong that we know our prayers won’t always be answered with a “yes”.  We have learned that this is a loving and faithful God that we worship.  But just as a two-year old doesn’t always understand the “no’s” of a loving parent to be loving acts, we are often in that position with God.  Our perspective is very small.

THE BODY OF CHRIST GIVING GRACE

It is interesting how some seemingly small acts today were so touching!  When a friend, who picked me up and brought me home at the end of the day, made the arrangements for my pick-up tomorrow.  I could have done it, but when she called back with the arrangement made, it felt like a huge load off my back!    I also had the opportunity to encourage some friends who are in the hospital today with scripture that has encouraged us.  The Body of Christ was alive and active.  We were helped and encouraged and were able to help and encourage others.

It was a good day.  So tiring.  Such a relief.  Ron is okay.  The surgery went smoothly and he is doing well.  I can rest.  I have a ride tomorrow.  God is good.

Be encouraged by Psalm 145:13-21 (the whole Psalm is great!)

[The LORD is faithful in all his words

and kind in all his works.]
14The LORD upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
17The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
18The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.
20The LORD preserves all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ann Pallex
    Jul 21, 2010 @ 17:03:37

    The changes that age and illness bring are indeed challenging. It was pointed out to me some years ago that old age is just as challenging as the younger working years are. It’s just that the challenges are different. “Old age is not for sissies” is very true!

    I think it helped me that I went all the way to the end of life with my first husband when I was less than 40. Nothing is a surprise now, and I learned so much that has been useful on the years since.

    When I was VERY young, I read the book by Elizabeth Elliot called Through Gates of Splendor about her loss of her husband when he was killed by the Auca indians in Equador. The statment that remains with me after all these years is that she said, “Only in acceptance lies peace.” That’s helped me all my life.

    I know that changes in relationships are very hard. So far, we haven’t had a lot of that, but illness can bring it on. I dread a serious illness for Ralph as I dread nothing else. I think I can pull it off if it’s just me. It’s harder when it’s Ralph. He feels the same. He has found my illness harder than he found his own. So far, we have survived, but none of us are to the really hard things yet. Those are yet to come. Acceptance of that helps one to deal with it.

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