October 10, 2011

weeping for her husband and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

Paraphrased from Matthew 2:18b

October 10, 2011


For the very first time since I began writing this devotional I am doing something out of the ordinary. I am taking a verse in the Bible, paraphrasing it and then applying it to me for today’s devotional.

I was reading the Bible this morning (Oct. 7, 2011) and I read Matthew 2. When I got to the above verse it just stood out and like an arrow hit the heart and told me to pay attention to what I am reading. Today,
the day I am writing this devotional, is my Birthday and I wanted so badly for this day to be perfect. But let’s be honest, I am not perfect and neither is life so why should my Birthday be, right?  My big prayer for God today was to heal Gary enough that he would remember me all day and stay focused on us. Let me explain so all of you do not think that I am the queen of selfishness.

All of you know that Gary has an anoxic brain injury. The injury causes him to have memory loss. I work very hard with him pouring through pictures and videos. One thing I have learned is that the brain will
heal, and he will remember when the brain is ready to heal. Another part of the injury is that lack of maturity and executive function of the brain. What that means is this: Gary’s maturity level is a lot lower than his actual age. Now that is not bad, most of us would like to think younger, but Gary is younger
than that. The executive function of our brain is what directs our brain to think, do and act. So on top of going through pictures to help him remember, I do therapy with Gary to try and help him focus and retain the executive function of his brain. I drive Gary twice a week to therapy and I do therapy
with Gary six times a week. Slowly Gary is healing, and when I say slowly I mean very slowly. I am not expecting him to heal overnight. I am a realist and I know that the lack of oxygen to his brain was damaging. How much damage is now known but how much he will recover remains the mystery.

Now this is the part that is the hardest for some to understand. I am very thankful to God that Gary is alive and I am thrilled to have him here with me. What I have is the physical body of my husband. As for
the rest of Gary, all the inside part that makes him who he is, is at about 50% as of today. That percentage that is here is the part that is immature and lacking executive function. I am getting the chance to see how my husband was when he was a young boy. He is cute and charming and I am sure his mom adored
him. I adore that young boy too.

What I miss is the other 50% of Gary that makes him the man he was when I met him and fell in love with him. Now before I say one more word, I do love Gary today for who he is. I am just missing terribly the man that I met and fell in love with. That man is gone, along with all the little nuances that made him who he is and us who we are. If you are married you can understand this. I am missing the casual way we talked all day long about everything. (Now he just asks me the same 7 questions.) I am missing the way we
would make dinner. (Now he just shows up and says it is icky.) I am missing the way we looked at one another and knew how we felt. (Now he looks past me or through me.) I miss the help around the house. (Now he has to be monitored.)

I miss all that, but I miss most of all the romantic man who brought me a pink rose once a month. I miss the man who kissed me goodbye when he left for work, then walked down the stairs, went in the garage, got in his car and called me on the phone. We would talk the entire time he drove to Rush Copley, then he’d hang up as he got to his office. He would make his coffee, pour a cup and call me back. Okay, do we sound crazy? We were and that is what I miss. I miss the way we would laugh at each other, talk about our day and
then rest in one another’s arms. I miss that part of Gary and wished for my Birthday that I could have that part of him back. I didn’t get my wish.

My day started out hard, and by lunchtime I was ready to just put on my jammies and forget about going out for dinner. Then God, as He always does, directed me to the verse I am paraphrasing today. Matthew is
telling us about the time when Jesus was born and king Herod ordered all of the male babies 2 years and younger to be killed. There was great wailing and that is understandable.

When I read: she refused to be comforted because they are no more–I said to God, “Yes, exactly, I am refusing to be comforted because we are no more.”

Then God being who He is, directed me to Jeremiah 33:6 and again I will paraphrase, but I do invite you to look up both verses I am using today.

“Yes Michele, at this moment you are correct, the two of you are no more. Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to Gary. I will heal him and let the two of you enjoy abundant peace and security.”

It was after I read this verse that I realized I was refusing God to comfort me because I was so mad and upset about the part ofGary that is not healed yet. I have to be patient; Gary is going to be healed.
God keeps telling me through His Word that Gary will be healed. I have to trust and believe. I also have to run to God every time I get overwhelmed and let Himcomfort me. Some lessons are just plain hard for me to learn.


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