I had met a woman while in Palo Alto whose daughter had TBI. It wasn’t as severe as Cale’s brain injury and the daughter was much younger which helped as far as healing. She had to go through the hospital and relearning everything just as my husband has. Last winter, the woman had talked with me about how it’s easy to love them (our brain injured family member) when they love us back and when their attitudes are easy to deal with. It’s when they get angry and they fight us that the real challenge begins. She then proceeded to encourage me for when that time came. At that point, I can honestly say that where Cale was at and how joyful he constantly was, that I didn’t think I would have to deal with any of that. It was just hard to imagine.
As all of you have read, I’ve had to deal with it. I’ve had to listen to him tell me that I’m mean and he doesn’t love me. I’ve had to hear him tell me he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore.
I’ve had to step up and be the “bad guy” in many different forms when all along I just wished that someone else could take that job. Even to this moment, that still happens to be one of my many job titles.
For no word from God will ever fail. –Luke 1:37
Friends, I need you to know something. Not once has it been in my own ability that I’m able to speak back to this man who is supposed to be my husband, yet resembles so little of him and speak to him; replying to anger, frustration, hurt, pain, confusion, fatigue, and terrible attitudes in a loving patient voice-and really feel it.
There are more times than I can count on my fingers that I have wanted to respond right back in defense of all that we have been through, of how I’ve stayed by his side, of how I have cried gallons of tears by his bedside praying and pleading that he would make it through this. I so often just want to scream reason at him about how his reaction of anger to such simple situations is uncalled for or ridiculous.
Where does that get me with him? Where does that set up my heart? Where does that calm the intensity of his uncontrollable emotions?
It is priority, crucial, desperately important that I don’t take one day; one step, even one breath without being so very in tune with the Holy Spirit. The words that want to escape like the running of the bulls in Italy are not loving, kind, gentle, encouraging words.
Because I have chosen to let God’s gift rule my tongue, I’m able to still love this man; my husband, my love, like I never would be able to on my own.
It’s by His grace; His loving embrace that causes me to react differently than my flesh desires.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Ephesians 3:20-21
Yes, it has been one of those days. Not all of it, but there have been times today that I can 100% know without a single doubt that it was because of Jesus that I handled a conversation with Cale like I did. There’s just no other explanation that fits-at all.
I’ve also had some thinking time today and couldn’t help but think about the accident and (once again) how everything was so quickly changed. What is it that I truly miss? What is it that causes my heart to weep even when there are no tears that ride the trail down my cheeks? What do I miss that I can’t have anymore? What’s so different?
Want to know what I came up with?
A list that has to do with what I don’t have anymore. It was a list of things that I miss because it’s what I received from our marriage; from life. Cale can’t help me physically like he used to. He can’t love me intimately like he once was able. He can’t be solid for my emotions like he has always been. He can’t provide for me the way I counted on. He can’t ease the mental stress of important decisions or financial choices like I counted on him for. He can’t lead me spiritually like I had felt so blessed to have before.
What if I took Cale and all that he was before out of the equation and filled in with God?
He’s enough right? Isn’t that what I daily tell myself? That HE is sufficient for ALL of my needs?
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
Suddenly when I look at the way things are now and the life I have now…well, it seems a lot easier to let myself get lost in the miracles that God is constantly working and all the blessings that He’s continually pouring out on us…
…and just be ever so thankful.
I’m spending tonight with my husband in a new kind of way. I’m sure I will have to be reminded of all of this within a few short weeks when the battles come full blast threatening to knock down the door to my oh so annoying emotions, but for tonight; tonight I was with my man.
On to our day…
Cale was trialed at home for 30 minutes by himself! The UPS guy came and delivered a package and Cale didn’t open the door!! When I asked him about his time at home alone he said, “It was boring. I needed you.”
Today was a step in a good direction. We’ve made a list of things for him NOT to do while I’m gone and today was so far so good!
Before the accident we loved watching Family Feud together. In the beginning of the show, we would both find something to slap (not each other!) and try to be the first to call out an answer to whatever the question was and then we’d play along to the show, both trying to guess top answers. We never had cable while married, so this fun usually happened if we were visiting someone that had cable, on a trip and staying in a hotel, or right before the accident while staying at our friend’s house. In Palo Alto we played it a few times in group therapy and also had fun with it. Tonight we laid in bed and watched two (what is it called? Shows?) shows of it. Cale came up with some pretty funny answers. One of the questions was, “What do angry women throw at their husbands?” Cale’s two guesses were, “gloves” and “balloons” apparently he envisioned me throwing soft stuff! :)
We started watching Jurassic Park after that, but the TV we had already watched was already on the too much side for Cale! I would have kept watching it while he fell asleep, but that is one of the movies that scare me. I just can't watch it by myself!
Thank you for letting me share my heart with you tonight. I needed it.
I love him. I love him in an unexplainable kind of way.