God in his ever gracious love for me has decided it’s time for me to dive deep. My sister and sister in law invited me to do a sugar fast with them. The first step was to pray and ask the Lord how he wanted the fast to look. I kept waiting for his response. Time and again the thought was not fasting, rather doing. Do drink more water. Do eat veggies. Do eat fruit. Do eat (sometimes I go a whole day without eating and then crash at night). I was not getting any do not eat this much sugar. Then one day while I was folding laundry at work it hit me. I knew immediately the one thing God asked me to let go. Social media.
I use it to one get information on events, news, to keep up to date with dear friends, and to encourage the world. To speak truth and love in what tends to be a dreary and depressing place. God was asking me to step back and leave. While social media can be used as a good tool, I was using it to numb out of the world. To numb out of my relationship with Mark, my kids, and the world.
The first couple of weeks I found myself with the habit of simply picking my phone up every five minutes. That was the first habit to break. Then last couple of weeks God has gone even deeper. When loneliness would set upon me, my phone wasn’t there. When I was bored, my phone wasn’t there. When insecurity or anxiety roared its ugly head, social media wasn’t there. I was left to face what was really stirring in my heart.
In three years I still have not acknowledged the depth of Mark’s illness. In many ways, it is as if he has died. Parts of our relationship has died. The things we enjoyed doing together has died. Life all around looks and feels drastically different. I am not whole without him. When my audio processing flares up or I am in the middle of a migraine, he patiently explains the world to me in a way most people don’t know how to reach me. He knows how to interpret the world to me and vice versa. How do you grieve a death that hasn’t happened? As Jason Gray says, “It’s a Death without a funeral.” How do you grieve a death with someone alive? It feels so wrong and so morbid.
Quick trips to Home Depot with Mark take maybe ten to fifteen minutes depending on what we need. Trips to Home Depot by myself take twice as long. There is no quick in and quick out. I don’t mind asking questions, but I miss the camaraderie and comfortability of doing it with him. Simple projects like laying peel and stick flooring take me days, it would take him hours. I miss my friend. I miss my partner. I miss us.
Yet, in the sorrow I find myself in, God has met me in the pit as he always does. One of the my favorite thing about Jesus is his ability to sit in the pit with me. He chats with me. He gets to know me. He doesn’t belittle me or judge me (although he would be justified to do so). He does wait until I have oozed every emotion out. He waits until I have taken the deep breath to rise. He takes my hand, helps me to my feet, then proceeds to walk beside me while I continue to cry, swear, and attempt the various ways to get out of where I am. I have to learn the hard way and he knows me well. Strength and perseverance are learned best by learning how best to climb. A few slips and falls is good for humility. He does whisper his love for me even when I cuss like a sailor. If he can love fisherman named Peter, he can love a girl named Robin.
I keep trying to find ways to make our lives as self sustaining as possible. The world is busy and we need to make sure we have our own wench to pull us out of the ditch, a drain snake to unclog wood chips when our kids wash them down the drain, or a snowblower to clear eight foot drifts of snow in the driveway.
My name is Robin and my husband has a chronic illness. I am sorrowful, but God has us, and we will rise and continue walking.