I never in my wildest dreams imagined being in a place with so many things to keep track of all at the same time. Honestly, I was just managing homeschooling two kids, homework with another, and my volunteer stuff. Now, I have a whole list of stuff to keep track of that is separate from all that.
Where is the four-wheeled walker that has been promised to us? Will 3M be able to have a place to keep a motorized wheelchair for Tim? What about short- and long-term disability benefits? How long will I and the boys be able to have insurance benefits through 3M? How soon can we get the foot braces for Tim so he can walk better? Will this house be OK for this journey? How many more nights will I be tucking Simon into bed for the fourth time? When will Tim and I get to cry together again? When will Tim and I get a chance to talk for more than 5 minutes before being interrupted by someone or something? Can Tim drive for just a few more months? Will I continue to be seizure free? Is this really it? How soon will I get to drive again? What can Tim and I do to make our family time special? How can we afford to do a special trip with the boys?
This list could continue for several more pages worth. But at some point, I just want to run crawling into a deep, deep cave and pull inside my protective turtle shell. However, I’m not allowed that choice. So, instead, I made 5 phone calls this morning, walked over to FedEx/Kinko’s to fax in some disability paperwork, scheduled 2 appointments, and did all my regular stuff, too.
Somehow, God is babystepping me through this whole thing. I love who God is. My Bible study now is on the names of God. Today was on our Loving God. His love is two-fold – first, His love is passionate and intimate. Like the “in love” kind of love. But that is sustained by the other kind of love – a committed, loyal love that is based more on God’s character than on who I am. It is intriguing to think of how He passionately loves me because He is loyal and committed to me. And he is loyal and committed to me because He passionately loves me. That is the model I am to follow when I love others. My commitment to Tim is what carries my passionate love through times like these.
No matter how long the list of to-do’s, questions to be answered, appointments to make and go to, my committed and loyal love will guide me through and keep my passion aflame. And it is my passionate love that makes me want to stay committed and loyal. They go hand in hand. They spur each other on; yet if one begins to waver, the other will also tend to extinguish. So then, how do I keep myself in the right side of that equation? How do I make sure that my passionate love is burning? How do I stay committed and loyal?
I think it is exactly what I am trying to teach my kids right now – it’s all about choices. When I have a choice presented to me that will either make my love burn brighter or dim that flame, I need to make the deliberate choice to do the right thing. Sometimes that is so hard. Especially if I don’t see a result right away. It’s especially difficult to make that choice if I will be required to make that right choice many times before seeing the result. And sometimes, we don’t ever see the result we want, because we cannot control other people or their responses to our actions.
But God is the perfect example to follow. He does not act or decide based on me. He acts and decides based on His own character. Applying that principle to myself becomes this challenge: who am I? What kind of person am I? Will I be loyal and committed to always making the right choice – whether I am looking at making my family closer because my husband has ALS or not? Would I be looking for ways to build my marriage and my family if this situation were not happening right now? Wow, those are some heavy questions, and I don’t really like the answers I have to give myself.
Much to think about, much to do. With God’s presence and example ever with me and ever before me, I will make right choices and I will be in God’s will as I do.